I have always wanted to take my daughter to The Kid’s Table, however since we follow a gluten-free diet, it was hard to attend a class. This month, Elena is offering Gluten Free Grains Month, each week is dedicated to learning a new gluten-free grain and how to prepare and cook with it. My daughter loves to bake with me, so I thought this would be a fun thing for us to do. Here is the cooking schedule:
Week One: Quinoa “Meat”balls – a meatless dish which were very good. I enjoy cooking quinoa (pronounced queen-wah), it is easy to cook, only taking 20-minutes. Considered an ancient grain, quinoa contains a balanced set of all eight essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods, just like oats. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. It is nutritionally great for kids with asthma, cardiovascular health, breast cancer prevention and even migraine headaches. It is versatile, enjoy hot or cold, salty or sweet and if you are looking to incorporate it into your diet, start by replacing brown rice in your stir-fry’s or add in your fall soups. Then go from there.
Week Two: Millet Kale Salad – I don’t cook with millet at all, I have attempted a couple of items and from what I have tried I have enjoyed. Millets are rich in B vitamins, especially niacin, B6 and folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. I was pleased with how this recipe turned out, however I think this may be suited for more mature taste buds, but it is a good idea to continue to expose young tots to new foods so they are not turned off by them when they see green, especially kale. I enjoyed learning a new way of cooking millet.
Week Three: Banana Chocolate Buckwheat Crepes – This was a yummy dish to say the least and whenever you combine chocolate and bananas for young ones, you are sure to have a win-win situation. I learned the original crepe is actually made with buckwheat flour and is naturally gluten-free. Buckwheat is interesting, many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb. Unlike the name indicates, there is no wheat in buckwheat, but it gets its name because of its similar size to wheat kernels. It is ideal to use in baking and can be used to make gluten free beers. Buckwheat can be used to replace rice or as a breakfast porridge. Cream of buckwheat can be found in stores and actually makes a great first food for babies and has more nutritional value than its counterpart, rice. Buckwheat is a very good source of manganese and a good source of magnesium and dietary fiber. Buckwheat contains two flavonoids with significant health-promoting actions: rutin and quercitin. The protein in buckwheat is a high quality protein, containing all eight essential amino acids, including lysine.
Week Four: Amaranth Squash Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce – While there are officially two weeks left in the course, I have not tried this dish, but it sounds amazing. Amaranth, another ancient grain can be cooked as a cereal, ground into flour, popped like popcorn, sprouted, or toasted. The seeds can be cooked with other whole grains, added to stir-fry or to soups and stews as a nutrient dense thickening agent. Nutritionally, it has a 30% higher protein value than cereals, such as rice, wheat flour, oats, and rye. Amaranth is a very good source of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin C, riboflavin, and folate, and dietary minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese.
After you complete each class, each child receives a laminated recipe card to keep. There are safe and eco-friendly kitchen tools that kids use to cut garlic, onions and grate cheeses. They even learn to wash their hands thoroughly up to their elbows before cooking and they must clean up after themselves and wash the dishes. Kid friendly sinks are provided for easy access. I highly recommend trying this place out. It is a fun way to get kids to learn how to prep, cook and eat healthy foods. It can also give parents new ideas in the kitchen that they may have not tried before. Kids will usually eat what the create and cook and if you want to make healthy changes in the kitchen and don’t know where to begin, this is a wonderful place to start.
Be sure to check out their upcoming October cooking schedule.