Ready to spring into the Kitchen full of fresh, seasonal ingredients? Put up your green thumb as we dig into a garden of colorful herbs and veggies!
Spring has sprung and our Kitchens are filling up with all this season has to offer like fresh herbs, arugula, spinach, beets, radishes, and carrots. Using fresh herbs and seasonal ingredients brightens and flavors dishes while providing a little extra nutritional oomph. And who doesn’t love the smell of fresh herbs and produce growing from their very own garden?
Gardening is a great way to connect with your food, stay active, and be outdoors. You don’t need a large outdoor space or an expert green thumb to grow your own herbs or produce. Try growing fresh parsley for these Cheesy Carrot Biscuits in a mason jar on your window sill. Or start with smaller fruits and veggies like strawberries or baby bell peppers in a small pot on your front porch. Just make sure your growing greens are getting the tender loving care they need to put that extra ‘crunch’ in your next meal! (More tips on growing our favorite herbs here.)
Did we say ‘crunch’? With the Easter Bunny hopping right around the corner, we have our eyes on all things carrots! A versatile root vegetable for both cooking and baking, carrots actually come in a variety of colors. Fun fact: Carrots were originally purple back in the day, but chefs didn’t like how these carrots turned soups and stews an interesting brown color. So, farmers decided to change carrots to a bright orange color instead. Problem fixed! Now you can find purple, orange, white, yellow, and red carrots. What a rainbow of culinary excitement!
Do you have your eyes on carrots this Spring, too? Well you should! Carrots are known as the “vision vitamin” because they’re full of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that converts to vitamin A to support eye health and immune function. The extra-crunchy fiber helps keep us full, too! Carrots can be purchased with or without the greens. Use the carrot top greens in fresh salads, add them to soups, or boil with other leafy greens. Remove them before storing carrots in the refrigerator as the greens will dry out the rest of the carrots.
Have fun with different preparation methods as you add carrots to meals. Carrots pair well with fresh parsley, dill and thyme (all easy to grow in your new garden!). The veggie’s natural sweetness can be used as a sugar replacement like in our homemade Tomato Sauce. This Tomato Sauce is the perfect topping to Eggplant Parmesan in our Taste of Italy workshop. Try grating carrots over a fresh Spring salad. Roast carrots and other root vegetables in the oven with a mixture of spices. Budding chefs in our Plant to Plate camp and after-school cooking classes even turn carrots into Carrot Noodle Nests while our Advanced Teen Camp chefs make carrots into “fries”. Or join us in making these Cheesy Carrot Biscuits for a weekend brunch with family and friends! What a fun way to turn this perfect Spring pair of ingredients – carrots and parsley – into a seasonal presentation.
These oh-so-satisfying biscuits are full of color and flavor from carrots, cheddar cheese, and parsley (Hello Spring!). This recipe is simple and fun to whip up with your family for breakfast. The cheesiness paired with shredded carrots helps sneak this naturally sweet veggie into a healthier breakfast treat. Having some friends over for brunch? Turn these biscuits into a bite-sized app using different sized biscuit cutters. Put a spin on this flavorful brunch dish by baking small batches with assorted cheeses like Swiss or Gruyère. And don’t forget to put those fresh herbs to good use! Use a sharp knife or herb scissors to chop fresh parsley and sprinkle on top of biscuits for that presentational flair.