Sea Cliff Nutrition Committee. The Apple People

Sea Cliff Nutrition Committee. The Apple People

Monday, February 22, 2010

Jamie Oliver's TED talk

I 'll be back at home and posting more frequently next week, but in the meantime it seems important to share this link with you. Jamie Oliver speaks with great clarity about school food, food culture and the importance of change. I found this eighteen minute talk very worthwille.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Here is a recipe for the trail mix my family has been snacking on as we travel over the February recess:

Goji berries
Raw almonds
Raw cashews
Cacao nibs
Pumpkin seeds
Dried, unsweeted coconut (shaved)
Sliced., dried figs

Mix in quantities to your own taste.

The trail mix is also delicious on top of oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast or as a school snack assuming there are no nut allergies in your classroom.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Powerhouse Hummus

I'll be visiting family in Italy and Spain for the next few weeks, so postings will be a little less frequent. Enjoy your winter break! In the meantime, I'm making some Hummus to bring on the airplane and thought I'd share this very good recipe from Renee Loux Underkoffler's book, Living Cuisine.

By sprouting the chick peas you are greatly increasing the nutrition in the hummus and simultaneously making it easier to digest and assimilate. Make sure you really rinse them well or the taste will be too starchy. I also recommend steaming the sprouts to make them more digestible.

1 cup garbanzo beans
1-2 cloves garlic
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
4-6 tablespoons raw sesame tahini
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil (or sesame)
2 teaspoons sun dried sea salt

In a glass jar with a mesh or screen covering, soak garbanzo beans in 3 cups filtered water for 6-8 hours.

Drain off soak water and rinse and drain again. Allow to stand upside-down, at an angle, to drain (in a dish rack or in the sink).

Rise and drain in the morning and evening for 2-4 days, until the beans sprout tails that are as long as the beans.

In a food processor, chop sprouted garbanzo beans to a pulp. Put chopped beans in a strainer and generously rise until the starch is drained away and the rise water is clear. Additionally, the beans can be blanched or steamed after being rinsed.

In the food processor, finely chop garlic and parsley. Add rinsed garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil, and blend until creamy. Season with salt to taste.

Great with falafel, olives and pita bread!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day!

I'm thinking after you come back from sledding, you might want a project you can do together in your warm kitchen. These chocolate chip cookies are sure to please. Sara Jones made them for the bake sale last week and attributed the recipe to Denise. I imagine they would taste even better in front of your fireplace, in your favorite pajamas with a stack of picture books beside you and a couple of cozy children.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
3 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder-aluminum free
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
set aside
then mix
1 cup organic butter
until creamy add 2 cups natural cane sugar ( I use organic sucanat) mix well
add 3 eggs one at a time
mix well
slowly add the dry mixture in 3 parts.
Then mix in by hand 2 cups organic oats 2 cups chocolate chips ( organic - sometimes I use vegan)
Drop 2 tbsp on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chana Dal

I want to share some of the recipes from our bake sale, but before inundating you with more sweets, thought I'd throw this simple recipe for dal into the mix. I swiped this from the wonderful Mothering magazine website.

3/4 cup of chana dal or yellow split peas*

3/4 cup water

2 tsp vegetable oil

1/4 tsp mustard seeds (optional)

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 crushed garlic cloves

1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 red chili, finely chopped

10 oz frozen spinach, thawed

1/4 tsp chili powder (amount as you prefer)

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp salt

Wash the chana dal thoroughly and soak for 30 minutes. Drain, cover with fresh water and bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes until dal are soft. Cook uncovered until liquid is gone.

Heat oil in large pan and fry mustard seeds for 2 minutes - until they start to sputter. Add onion, ginger, garlic, and red chili and fry for 5-6 minutes, then add spinach and cook for 10 minutes until spinach is dry and liquid absorbed. Stir in remaining spices and salt, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the chana dal to spinach and cook for about 5 minutes. Serve.

*You can also make this dish with canned chickpeas. If so, skip step one but drain off liquid, rinse in water, drain again and then add in at the after cooking the spinach.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Full Moon Feast

I came across this passage and thought of our Sea Cliff Kids. It's from a wonderful book, Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection by, Jessica Prentice.

Our first experience of food is often synonymous with love: we are held, we are fed, and we are cared for--all at the same moment, by our mothers. In Hindu tradition the first rite of passage occurs when a baby reaches six months old--when he or she eats a mouthful of rice, the first food that is not mother's milk. The rice-eating ceremony is celebrated in the presence of a priest, often in a temple, with a gathering of relatives to witness this important transition in the child's life. Mantras and prayers are said, Such a ceremony reflects a worldview where food is sacred-- a blessing and a gift-- and being fed is not to be taken for granted.

Our culture doesn't express this worldview. We look at food as fuel, as something we need to keep going-- our Energizer battery. We view food as a commodity, something that people need and so a thing that can generate profit. Of course food is fuel and is a commodity, but that is not all it is.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Valentines day and chocolate are synonymous for many people. Dark chocolate (at least 60% cacao) is rich with antioxidants that fight off free radicals and flavonoids that can help relax blood pressure by producing nitric oxide that balances hormones in the body. Not all chocolates are created equal, milk chocolate has very little nutritional value and white chocolate is quite divorced from the cacao tree and doesn't really even fall under the chocolate category.

As with any sweet treat, a little nibble goes a long way. Try Cacao in its pure form by purchasing cacao nibs and sprinkling them on your porridge or adding them to a trail mix, smoothie or muesli.

The chocolate industry has been linked to child labor and unsustainable farming practices so it's especially important to look for Fair Trade chocolates that support the farmers and oppose child labor.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Golden Earthworm Farm

In the darkest days of the winter it is easy to forget the bounty of Summer. Many members of the Sea Cliff community have been preparing the Kinder-garden for planting season, some classrooms have begun to compost their food scraps whille others carefully nestled bulbs in the earth. We can start looking for signs of Spring in early March when the paper-whites and other early bloomers make their initial magical appearance. I've been planning my vegetable garden and spending time with the White Flower Farm seed catalogue. Now is also the time to sign up for a share in a CSA (community supported agriculture). Golden Earthworm Farm on the east end of Long Island has a wonderful website with lots of activities for children and a drop off point at Roots Restaurant in downtown Sea Cliff.
Don't forget to look for our healthy treats at tonights Jamboree at Sea Cliff School.

Bring some sweets home to your sweets and help support the work of the nutrition committee.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Longstanding committee member, Registered Dietitian and Sea Cliff School mother, Kathleen Ligure offered the following recipe--

Black Bean Brownies


1 and ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup agave syrup
2 eggs and 2 egg whites
1 cup black beans--pureed (cooked dried beans or canned beans--no salt added, rinsed & drained)
3 tbsp canola (or other vegetable oil)
3 tbsp butter
½ cup dark chocolate chips (optional)


In medium size bowl or food processor, mix together pureed black bean, cocoa, butter, oil, agave and eggs. In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients then mix into wet ingredients.

Pour batter into greased pan. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until done (toothpick inserted in middle comes out dry).

Want to Learn More about the Food at Sea Cliff School?

Please Join us at the Districtwide Nutrition Committee Meeting

Feb. 10th

Central Administration Building

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lunch Box Photos

We will be posting photos of inspiring lunchbox ideas. Check out the photo Denise Reiger sent me of her daughter Elle's lunch today. Children love color, and a colorful plate insures lots of immune boosting nutrients and antioxidants to stay healthy and happy in even the dreariest weeks of the year.

Elle's salad has organic lettuce, tomato and cucumber with left-over roasted chicken and goat cheese. Lucky girl! Keep posted for contributions from our students on the blog.

Your child's snack sack is another opportunity to introduce color. Steel cut oats with lots of blueberries are appreciated at snack time.

Send me a Picture of your brown bag lunch.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Interested in Knowing What is Inside the Food on the Lunch Line?

The nutritional information for the food and snacks are now available
for viewing in the districts website. All the labels have been scanned
into the computer by our very hard working committee member,
. We thank you !

Please take a look to see what is in the food being served. Cliff School
Go to lunch menus- then food service information. You will then see
"nutrition labels.". Also find the minutes from the district wide

Monday, February 1, 2010

Winter foods

The winter is a great time to focus on creating simple nourishing meals for our families, cooking can be a wonderful way to come together with a spirit of collaboration and creativity. Here are some simple winter meals my family has been enjoying this season. We naturally gravitate towards foods that warm the body and comfort the senses. Soups, stews and pastas (try whole wheat and brown rice versions of your favorites) can be enjoyed the next day in a child’s lunchbox.

-Quinoa and French Lentil Pilaf

-Brown Rice, Butternut Squash & Adzuki Bean Stew

-Chicken Soup with Ginger, Lemongrass and Garlic

-Avocado Maki Rolls with Steamed Edamame

-Miso Soup with Sea Vegetables,Udon Noodles and Tofu

What is your family enjoying this winter?