GET COOKING – Eating fresh in winter

Eating fresh fruit and vegetables during the winter months is a brilliant way to stay healthy as they can provide the body with certain vitamins and minerals the daily diet requires. During this time of the year many different types of fresh, versatile vegetables are in season, such as potatoes, leeks, carrots, winter squash, and swede. Fresh fruits that are in season during the cold winter months include plums, pears, apples and satsumas. There are many ways of including seasonal ingredients like these in snacks and meals so how about getting started with our fresh in winter recipes below! 

Cooking in the classroom

An important part of getting children involved in the kitchen is helping them to recognise a variety of fruits and vegetables. Before cooking, get started with some simple matching or memory activities. If played as a class game, the winning team could be rewarded with first choice of ingredients for their winter soup, or special extras for a crunchy slaw!

Matching activities – collect different individual unnamed pictures of winter fruits and vegetables and make name cards that children can use to match the picture to the correct name.  Extend by grouping them into fruits and vegetables.

Memory games – have a selection of fruits and vegetables on a table, allowing the children to look at them for a short period of time.  Then cover them up and ask them to list/share what they remember and for more advanced questioning a suggestion of how the fruit or vegetable could be used in meals.

Recipes

Crunchy Slaw

A lovely side dish for salads, sandwiches, burgers or pizza

You will need

1 medium carrot

½ small red onion

½ a white cabbage (if large use less)

½ apple

1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise/ salad cream

Optional extras: for added flavour and texture children can experiment with dried cranberries, walnut pieces, finely shredded brussels sprouts.

 

Method

  1. Finely slice the onion – adult help will be needed to do this.
  2. Peel and grate the carrot.  Wash the apple and grate leaving the skin on.
  3. Shred or cut the white cabbage into small thin strips.
  4. Put all of the prepared ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix well.  Stir the mayonnaise/salad cream through.

 

Top tip: vegetables could be cut using very small shape cutters once they have been sliced.  Use the bridge and claw knife holds when cutting vegetables.

 

Simple Vegetable Soup

A tasty, filling, winter warmer

You will need

One sliced or diced onion

One sliced carrot

One sliced leek

One diced potato

1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil

25g or one level tablespoon of plain flour to thicken the soup

1 pint of vegetable stock (this could be increased if larger vegetables are used or slightly reduced if smaller vegetables are used. The soup should not be too watery.)

 Optional extras: tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, crushed garlic clove, sliced mushrooms, sliced courgettes, mixed dried or fresh herbs. 100-125ml of milk could be added when the soup is blended to provide a creamy taste. 

 

Method

  1. Prepare the vegetables by removing peel or outer layers and cutting into small pieces. Similar sized pieces will ensure all vegetables are cooked evenly and flavours are balanced.
  2. Gently warm the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, carrots, leeks and garlic (if using). Fry gently for 2-3 minutes. Add the potato cook for a further minute.
  3. Stir in the flour mixing thoroughly so that the oil and juices soak it up. Do not allow the flour to catch on the bottom.
  4. Carefully pour in the vegetable stock stirring thoroughly. Bring to boiling point and then simmer gently until the vegetables are soft, approximately 20-25 minutes.
  5. The soup can be eaten chunky or blended.

 

Top tip: if making in a classroom the children could work in groups of 4-5 and prepare the vegetables together. Depending on equipment available, the soup can then be cooked in groups or as a class in one large pot, before dividing up to eat or take home in a suitable container.

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