Counting Our Veggies

Please join us as we focus on learning about and trying one vegetable each week.


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Week Seven: Fun with Veggie Art

One of our favorite clothing brands, Polarn O. Pyret, is holding a contest. They are famous for their fun prints and they are asking their fans to create their own prints. Lucie and I worked on this veggie print together. We were inspired by her favorite Polarn O. Pyret dress with teapots on it and by our veggie blog. You can help us win a gift card by voting for our vegetable print here http://bit.ly/1kpnebI.

Veggie Print

Here is a picture of Lucie in her favorite teapot dress.

Rainy GA Day_14

Wouldn’t a veggie print dress be fun!

Thanks for visiting,

Jen

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Week Four: Baked Radish Chips

While Lucie and I were researching radishes online, we came across an article about a festival in Oaxaca, Mexico called “The Night of Radishes”. This festival is held each year on December 23 and features art carved from locally grown radishes. You can read more about it in this article from the Vancouver Observer.

Lucie and I decided to try our own radish art. We saw this idea at Shades of Tangerine.

Radish

Carving Radish

Radish Mushroom

The kids all thought this was a fantastic thing to do. They now have big plans to carve an entire enchanted fairy garden from vegetables. I think we will save that project for later…

In addition to making radish art, we tried making two different kinds of radish chips. The first was plain baked radish chips with salt. We found this recipe on food.com.

First we sliced the radishes. We just used a knife, but they may have been a more consistent thickness if we had used some kind of vegetable slicing device.

Sliced Radishes

Next, we added one tablespoon of peanut oil and tossed the slices around to coat them. I’m sure any other kind of oil would be fine.

The girls were excited to help with the next step and had fun lining them up on the baking sheet.

Radish Helpers

We sprinked them with salt and baked them at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Then we flipped each little radish slice over and baked them for another 8 minutes. We may have overcooked them, but we found that we liked the crispy ones the best.

Radish Chips

These were eaten in less than one and a half minutes. And they only took about 30 minutes of slicing, arranging, flipping and salting to make. We need to find a way to automate this process.

Seriously, look at this reaction from Josie:

Josie Tasting Radish Chips

She was smiling as she tasted a radish! We got a triple two thumbs up rating for this one!

Radish Chips Theo Two Thumbs Up

Radish Chips Josie Two Thumbs Up

Radish Chips Lucie Two Thumbs Up

We will definitely be making baked radish chips again soon.

We also tried a cinnamon, sugar and honey variety of baked radish ships from Pinch of Yum

This variation was a little trickier to bake. They went from soggy to overdone in the blink of an eye.

Radish Chips Cinnamon

The girls did not like this kind of radish chips, but Theo and I gobbled them up.

Theo Tasting Radish Chips

I thought they tasted kind of like really burnt marshmallow for s’mores, which I love, but I would probably skip this variety in the future.

Thanks for visiting,

Jen

P.S.

A few words from Lucie:

We made radish chips and they were a lot of work. Josie and I helped Mama lay the radishes out on the tray. I like one kind of radish chips, but I did not like the other.

I think the radish festival and carving contest in Mexico is cool. I would like to visit the radish festival someday. I like the mushroom radish that we made. Vegetables can be more than tasty. They can also be fun!


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Week Four: Comparing Radishes – Combining Vegetables with Math

This year, Lucie has been attending a virtual school from home. We feel very fortunate that K12.com is a public school option in our state. One of the things we love about it is that we have time to come up with our own learning projects to supplement the already comprehensive curriculum that K12.com provides. This blog is one of our projects and today’s radish project was a way of incorporating math and consumer education into our vegetables. When we shopped for radishes on Sunday, we wanted to compare the price and quality of radishes available. We shopped for radishes at Whole Foods and Hy-Vee.

We decided to measure how much radishes cost per ounce and whether the quality varied based on the price.

Whole Foods/Hy-Vee Radishes

We purchased the two bunches of radishes on the left from Whole Foods. These cost $2.00 per bunch and were labeled as “organic”. We purchased the two bunches on the right from Hy-Vee. They cost $0.99 per bunch. We purchased one bag of radishes, pictured below, from Hy-Vee at a cost of $1.99.

Hy-Vee Bagged Radishes

Now to weigh the radishes.We removed the leaves and roots from all radishes before weighing, but left them in the picture for comparison.

Whole Foods bunched radishes:

Whole Foods Radishes Two Bunches

Hy-Vee Bunched radishes:

Hy-Vee Radishes Two Bunches

Hy-Vee bagged radishes:

Hy-Vee Bagged Radishes

Lucie made a table to help her compare price per ounce.  (I helped her get started and assisted with the calculator.)

Comparing Radish Prices

Her calculations showed that the Whole Foods bunched radishes were $0.33/oz., the Hy-Vee bunched radishes were $0.22/oz. and the Hy-Vee bagged radishes were $0.12/oz. While we were working on her table, we talked about dividing dollars into cents and rounding to the nearest penny. Lucie was frustrated that she could not divide a penny into thirds, but was able to understand why she could not. We compared the appearance of the radishes. The Whole Foods radishes were the prettiest, the Hy-Vee bagged radishes were the second most attractive and the Hy-Vee bunched radishes were the least attractive, but not bad. We found no difference when we compared the taste of the three types of radishes.

I introduced her to Microsoft Excel and helped her make a table of  the different radish attributes and a bar graph comparing price.

Type of Radish  Cost per Ounce  Amount of Leaves Appearance Organic Flavor
Whole Foods Bunch  $                     0.33 lots best yes Great
Hy-Vee Bunch  $                     0.22 few good no Great
Hy-Vee Bag  $                     0.12 none better no Great

image001

I asked Lucie to decide, based on her radish data, which type of radishes she would choose to buy and why she would choose that type.

Lucie’s response: “I would buy the bagged radishes from Hy-Vee. I want the lowest price and they all taste good. I would only care about how many leaves the radishes had if I had a pet rabbit who would like to eat the leaves. If I was making a craft out of the radishes, I would choose based on which ones were the roundest and the smoothest. I thought it was really fun to do a math calculation of radish prices and make a graph about them.”

Theo was interested in watching Lucie’s radish analysis and kept running through the kitchen to steal radish snacks.

Now, what were we going to do with all these radishes?

Thanks for visiting,

Jen


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Week Three: Pick a Pepper Color

“Red peppers are good. Yellow peppers are good. Orange peppers are the best!”

We tested the kids’ bell pepper theory today.

The kids have always said they like the orange bell peppers the best. We usually buy a pack of six peppers containing two of each color. We slice them all up and keep them in the same container. At meal time, they keep track to make sure that they are not being shortchanged on orange pepper distribution.

We decided to do a taste test to see if they really could tell the difference. Everyone wore a blindfold for the test and there was no peeking.

Josie went first. She was correct on the orange and the yellow, but thought that the red was orange.

Red Pepper_20

Theo went second. He guessed orange for all three, getting one right.

Red Pepper_21

Lucie went third. She got them all wrong, but had fun guessing.

Red Pepper_22

Finally, the kids insisted that I give it a try. I got them all right!

Although there is not a huge difference, I think the red peppers are the sweetest and the yellow peppers are the least sweet, tasting more like a green bell pepper than the red or orange.

We had a fun game and the kids decided that they now think the red, orange and yellow bell peppers all taste about the same. Our left over test peppers were soon devoured! I think playing games with veggies is a great way to encourage kids to eat them.  In the future, a “guess the vegetable” game could be fun.

Thanks for visiting,

Jen

P.S.

A few words from Lucie:

The pepper game was very fun today. I found out that all the peppers tasted about the same.