Adventures in Veggie Tasting and Stock Brewing!
Today the students were learning how to use vegetable scraps to make soup stock. The Growing Chefs! volunteers had a variety of vegetable bits and ends to show students how useful those veggie scraps can be. What an excellent way to teach students the importance of conserving and not wasting any food! I was surprised and intrigued to learn that the outer shell of an onion can be used in a vegetable soup stock and it, in fact, gives the soup a nice brown color. It was also great for students to see firsthand what scraps might be considered ‘good’ for making a soup stock, and learning in this way is helpful for visual learners as well.
By the end of the lesson, students were able to try the soup stock and assess its deliciousness. Students were even able to see their hard work growing vegetables being put to good use as they added the sprouts that they harvested into the soup stock.
After some brewing and bubbling, the stock was ready. That once believed myth that the veggie scraps should head straight for the compost was broken. Yes, those veggie scraps can still have one more use! The Stone Soup veggie stock was a hit!
Although this part of the lesson was engaging, the highlight of today’s lesson was by far the creation of a recipe and the tasting of various veggies in preparation for the Stir-Fry Challenge that would take place the following week! Students gathered excitedly around their group’s tray of vegetables, all to be tasted shortly.There were some vegetables that the students hadn’t ever tried or even seen before and they were eager to see what they would taste like. Ginger, enoki mushrooms and baby bok choy were among the vegetables (and fungi) that were new to most of the students in the group I worked with.
I was impressed to see that students weren’t shy to taste the veggies. This lesson proved to be an excellent way to get kids trying and eating more vegetables; a great hands-on way to teach them about healthy eating. The atmosphere is class was buzzing with interest in vegetables!! In fact, my group of students were disappointed when there wasn’t any broccoli left to taste!
After tasting the veggies, the students collaborated to come to a group decision as to which vegetables should be in their Stir-Fry Contest recipe. Not surprisingly, just about every vegetable, and the fungi, made the cut!
~ Sara Bucovaz