At the workshop, Chef Brendan Gallagher discussed health benefits of vegetables and fruits, healthy culinary techniques to prepare fresh vegetables and fruits, and tips on how to incorporate vegetables and fruits into school meals. His suggestions included:
- Roasting vegetables, which helps to concentrate their sweetness. The caramelization and browning of roasted vegetables provides nice flavors. Brussels sprouts and root vegetables, such as carrots and rutabagas, are great candidates for roasting. To roast vegetables, cut vegetables the same size, season them with oil, salt, and pepper, put them on a pan lined with parchment paper to prevent them from sticking, and roast them in the oven at 425 degrees F.
- Sneaking in vegetables, such as putting kale on pizza, in soup, in salad mix, or in smoothies.
- Blanching vegetables. Cooking the vegetables al dente so that they are still firm, and putting them immediately in an ice bath afterwards, will help the vegetables to retain their color and crunch.
- Making fruit salads, which can be a delicious and visually appealing dessert. Adding a little bit of juice, citrus zest, honey, cinnamon, and mint to a fruit salad can provide new flavors, help to soften firmer fruits, and help preserve the color of some fruits.
The kitchen staff then applied their knowledge as they split up into teams and made recipes incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables.
A variety of delicious dishes with fresh vegetables and fruits were prepared.
It was a productive morning, with enthusiasm and new recipe ideas for the Dover-Sherborn schools. Resources from the Fresh Vegetables and Fruits workshop are available in the JSI Resource Center. Interested in hosting a Workshop to Go? Visit JSI’s Workshops to Go page for more information.