One of the reasons I joined a CSA was to ensure that my kids had access to fresh organic vegetables. But I soon had a big problem on my hands; my kids were not overly enthusiastic about eating the green vegetables we now had in abundance. It is possible to make vegetables, even greens, appealing to kids. You just need to get creative. Here are three healthy green vegetable snacks kids will be eager to nosh.
Edamame are immature soybeans still in the pod. Even though they are chock full of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and micronutrients, my kids found it hard to get past the fact that they were green and resembled lima beans, which they hate. That is until they tried these tasty snacks. In a bowl, stir together two tablespoons of soy sauce, two teaspoons of toasted sesame seeds and 1/4 teaspoon of sugar. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add ten ounces of fresh edamame pods. This recipe will also work well using thawed frozen edamame pods. Boil pods for five minutes, then drain thoroughly. Do not overcook the edamame as you want them to have a bit of crunch to them. Add the beans to the soy sauce mixture, tossing to coat. Eat these healthy green snacks by peeling away the pod and popping the beans into your mouth. These taste great warm or served at room temperature.
Baked Kale Chips
My kids would gladly eat an entire bag of salty, oily potato chips. Getting them to eat kale however proved a more daunting task, until I baked up a batch of these little gems. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove the tough stems from the kale and tear leaves into bite sized pieces, approximately the size of a potato chip. Wash and thoroughly dry the kale. Wet kale will not crisp up when baked. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Don’t crowd the sheet or the kale will not brown and crisp properly. Drizzle kale with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt or any seasoning of your choice. Bake for twelve to fifteen minutes. Chips are done when kale has a crisp sound when the pan is shaken. My youngest loves to eat these healthy green vegetable snacks dipped in ketchup.
Baked Zucchini Fries
Here’s a creative way to get your kids snacking on the one green veggie everyone always seems to have in overabundance: zucchini. Zucchini fries make a great appetizer when dipped in pizza sauce or ranch dressing or as a side dish for sandwiches or burgers. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Combine 1/2 cup of Italian-style panko breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 eggs. Wash one pound of zucchini, cut into fries and blot dry with a paper towel. Thicker cut fries will taste more like zucchini. Thin fries will have virtually no zucchini taste after cooking. Dip the zucchini fries into the egg then the breadcrumb mixture. Place coated fries onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for ten to twelve minutes, flip fries over then bake for another ten to twelve minutes, until crisp.