By Katie Zampini
In our fast-paced world of rushed meals, there’s a good chance your child can name more processed “convenience” foods than fruits or vegetables. The vast assortment of ready-made foods available in grocery stores is astonishing, and one way to help kids make healthy choices is to include a wide variety of options. Enter the Farmer’s Market.
Mississippi has a treasure in its agricultural industry, and thus provides ample opportunity to visit farmer’s markets and show children a huge variety of produce. Take your child to a Farmer’s Market and challenge them to choose one or two items they have never tried before to incorporate into a meal that week. Allowing your child to participate in the choosing of the produce will encourage them to try new things and possibly give them a greater chance of enjoying a new fruit or vegetable as well.
Try one of the two recipes in this month’s article as inspiration for how to serve your child’s produce selections: a homemade, low-fat ranch dressing for dipping vegetables, and a whole grain, flax seed pizza crust to be topped with farmer’s market finds! You can feel good about both recipes: they are all natural, and you know they are not loaded with preservatives, artificial ingredients, and MSG.
Homemade Ranch Dressing:
- Dried chives, 2 tsp
- Dried dill, 1 ½ tsp
- Garlic powder, 2 tsp
- Dried onion flakes, 2 tsp
- Dried parsley, 2 tbsp
- Black pepper, 1 tsp
- Sea salt, 1 tsp
- Dried buttermilk, 1/3 cup
Combine all dry ingredients, and blend with plain, nonfat Greek yogurt according to taste. Start with a cup of yogurt, and use more for a milder flavor.
Whole Grain Flax Seed Pizza Dough and Toppings:
- ¾ cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 and ¼ teaspoons rapid rise yeast
- ¾ cup unbleached bread flour
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup ground flax seeds
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for coating dough and greasing baking sheet
Featured Toppings (Use any you choose!):
- Sliced red onion
- Crushed garlic
- Fresh, sliced tomatoes
- Yellow and Red peppers, diced
- Fresh, sliced basil
- Olive Oil
- Mozzarella cheese
- Combine warm water (not hot), with honey and yeast, and allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes for the yeast to activate.
- Combine all other dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend.
- Add two tablespoons of olive oil plus the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and combine until it forms a ball of dough that is not sticky. Add more flour, one small spoonful at a time if necessary to decrease any stickiness.
- Coat your finished dough with some extra olive oil and place in a large bowl, covered lightly with a kitchen towel to rise for at least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 435 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with olive oil.
- While dough is rising, roast your vegetable toppings. Fresh vegetables should be roasted during this time so that they are not soggy on your pizza! Just use about a tablespoon of olive oil on your chopped vegetables with crushed garlic, and put in the pre-heated oven for twenty minutes.
- When the dough has doubled in size, spread your dough thinly across the baking sheet.
- Top dough with desired ingredients, and bake in the hot oven for 13-15 minutes.