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Summer Fun with Fruits and Veggies

mainbox-co+op-explorersParents can struggle to find ways to coax their kids into eating more fruits and vegetables. BriarPatch Co-op is hoping to help parents attain that healthy goal with the Co+op Explorers Fruits and Veggies Passport summer program.

According to a 2014 article by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 60 percent of U.S. children didn’t eat enough fruit to attain daily recommendations, and 93 percent didn’t eat enough daily vegetables.

The CDC says that not only is it a national health priority for children to eat lots of fruits and vegetables because are they nutritious, but also because the habits of eating created in childhood tend to be lifelong.

The Co+op Explorers Fruits and Veggies Passports are colorful and engaging, packed with activity pages for 25 common fruits and vegetables. Intended for kids ages five through ten, children can fill in the pages of the produce they try, rate it, and even draw their own pictures.

To help keep kids motivated, prizes will be awarded at BriarPatch through June and July. The “Let’s get started” prize is attained at pick up. When a child gets his or her passport booklet, she or he will also receive a Co+op Explorers membership card. The next prize comes when five fruits or vegetables have been eaten. Children earn a sticker and a temporary tattoo. The “Dozen Done Prize” is a coupon for a free 8-ounce organic smoothie. Finally, there’s the “Top Twenty Prize.” After trying 20 or more items, children earn a ticket to the 2015 Nevada County Fair (held August 12-16). (Prizes may be claimed at BriarPatch’s Customer Service Window, and BriarPatch reserves the right to substitute different prizes, if necessary.)

Eating fruits and vegetables doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be a fun way to while away the summer days, filling up a passport full of tasty produce just waiting to be explored.

Find the Co+op Explorers Summer Fruits and Veggies Passports at BriarPatch Co-op’s customer service window and at the Del Oro Theater, available during the Summer Film Series.

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Summer Co-op Cooking Classes

Kayl-and-friend-webA series of fantastic cooking classes are being offered this summer, ripe for the picking.

Just in time for Father’s Day, Kayla Wexelberg is teaching a class on the perfect “Steak Dinner.” On Friday, June 19, learn how to impress your friends and family with a California cuisine-focused meal. The class will make a classic full steak dinner with fun, refreshing sides. The menu includes: Marinated and Seared Grass-fed Beef Steaks, Cauliflower Carrot Ginger Mash, Roasted Asparagus with Wild Fennel served with a rich and creamy Mushroom Sauce, and Zesty Parsley Chutney with an Arugula Side Salad. Plus, Wexelberg will discuss wine pairings that can tried at home.

Cool off with “Three Nifty, Thrifty Summer Salads” on Saturday, June 20. Summer salads can be economical as well as delicious. Suzanne Bardsley will show attendees how she makes three of her favorites: a Coleslaw variation with raisins and other surprises; Mandala Salad, a perfect potluck salad packed with veggies; and Noodle Salad, a refreshing meal or side dish with garlic and veggies.

Healthful vegetables can be made into delicious and classy vegetarian entrees. Kayla Wexelberg will teach a gorgeous variety of dishes on Tuesday, June 23. The colorful dishes include: Delicata Squash Stuffed with a Roasted Garlic, Tomato, Chard filling and topped with a Creamy Mushroom sauce; Eggplant Stuffed with a Mediterranean Cherry Tomato, Olive, Feta, and Parsley Couscous, dressed with a Sweet Balsamic Reduction; and Marinated and Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with a Red Pepper Yam Leek filling topped with a Dill, Béchamel, Cashew Sauce.

Joseph Guida enjoyed Chinese Noodle Soup with Collard Greens, Daikon, Tomato, and condiments every day while training with his Tai Chi Master, Da Liu. Guida will teach that and more in, “Glorious Greens Prepared Three Ways” on Thursday, June 25. The class will also create Italian Escarole Greens with Potatoes (with cheese on the side) and Purple Mustard Greens, Indian style, with Basmati Rice.

It’s summertime and the living is easy – and so is the food – if it’s being taught by Maria Benner. Join Benner for a fun evening of warm weather, music, salt, and lime on Friday, June 26. It’s Ceviche time! Plus look forward to a number of other Mexicana Antojitos that can be prepared and shared all year long. Attendees will make Fish and Shrimp Ceviche with Seasonal and Tropical Fruits and learn how to make Sopecitos with corn masa which will be made from scratch on a traditional metate.

Finish up the month of June on a sweet note with Crepes and Cream Puffs on Monday, June 29. Kayla Wexelberg will have the class indulging in both sweet and savory crepes with fillings of Creamy Mushroom Spinach, Caramelized Leek, Sweet Potato Feta and Chard, Raspberry Chocolate Mousse, and Lemon Custard. Students will learn how to make light and fluffy cream puffs and three fillings: Vanilla Lavender Whipped Cream, Light Lemon Poppy Seed, and Mascarpone Cream Cheese.

Many more classes and descriptions are listed at http://www.briarpatch.coop. Classes are held at the BriarPatch Co-op Community Cooking School at 648 Zion Street in Nevada City. The fee for most classes, which includes a share of what’s being cooked, is just $30 for BriarPatch owners and $35 for the general public. Thrifty Cooking classes are $10 for BriarPatch owners and $12 for the general public For more information or to pre-register, call BriarPatch at (530) 272-5333 ext.134, email classes@briarpatch.coop, or sign-up and pay for the class online.

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