It is National Cherry Cobbler Day!

We’d better make a cobbler to celebrate! Do you know what cobbler is?

Cobbler is a fruit and dough dish that was created by the immigrants that moved to the American Colonies in the late 18th century.1 They were used to making suet puddings in England, but once they moved all the way across the ocean, they didn’t always have the ingredients they used to have in England. They made what they could with what they had, and a cobbler was born!

Cobblers usually have a biscuit or dumpling-style topping over any fruit filling, and can be called a lot of different names: cobbler, pandowdy, grunt, slump, buckle, crisp, or even bird’s nest pudding!2 They might have been called “cobbler” because the top is rough and bumpy like a cobblestone road, but nobody knows for sure.2 These yummy dishes are usually made with whatever fruit is in season, but savory ones exist too; tomato cobbler with cornbread topping has been seen in the American South, and Lamb Cobbler with herb and cheese topping is common in Great Britain still today.1

Small fruit, big nutrition!

Sweet cherries are loaded with carbohydrates for energy, a smidge of protein, and fruity fiber to feed those good bacteria that live in your guts.3 Cherries are also full of a long list of vitamins including: potassium, calcium, vitamin C, choline, beta-carotene, and magnesium.3 What does that mean? It means your immune system gets a bunch of help, your body gets energy to move, and your tongue is happy because cherries taste great!

When is Cherry Season?

Cherries are in season across the United States from May through August, depending on where you live. Utah cherries are grown in orchards all across the state. Some famous places you can go to pick your own cherries include the “Utah’s Fruit Way” orchards along Highway 89 near Brigham City, where you can pick both sweet and tart cherries; orchards along the mountains in Utah County; and the pioneer-planted orchards in Fruita, inside Capitol Reef National Park. Cherry picking is a fun family activity that combines a yummy snack with a little exercise!

Produce sections of most grocery stores will also stock cherries when they are in season, and if they are grown locally, the store will usually highlight the farmers that grew them for you!

Let’s get cooking!

Resources:

  1. https://www.cookingtobeclever.com/difference-between-cobbler-crisp-crumble-betty/
  2. https://whatscookingamerica.net/History/CobblerHistory.htm
  3. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1102660/nutrients

Nutrition Tip of the Week: Get Ready for Rhubarb!

Rhubarb is a tart, sweet, and crunchy spring vegetable that tastes like nothing else. It is full of vitamins like C and A, as well as potassium, calcium and fiber. It grows in a lot of different states and countries all around the world, so almost anyone can try it out.

Have you seen rhubarb growing before? It grows back every year, so it is known as a perennial vegetable (like asparagus). The roots live all year, but it only produces the yummy stalks when the temperature is just right. It also shows up in stores in the spring as cut red stalks. (We can’t eat the leaves, so they don’t make it as far as the store or farmers market.)

If you have a plant, the easiest way to harvest it is to pull it up one stalk at a time, then wash it off and go inside to cook. Some folks like to eat it raw, and the sour might make your eyes scrunch up! Because it is so tart, most people bake with it or make it into jam with sweet spring fruit like strawberries, or make salsa with mango and pineapple.

Try out this easy muffin recipe, or check out createbetterhealth.org for more rhubarb recipes.

May The 4th Be With You // DIY Fruit Lightsabers

No matter whose side you’re on, these easy and yummy fruit lightsabers are a great way to use the force on this silly, but very important, pop culture holiday. You can make the lightsaber of your favorite character, or join a side based on how tasty their color is, and don’t forget the dip!

This fun and easy snack only needs a few things to make: fruit of your choice, long skewers, duct tape, and a sharpie. Roll a bit of tape around one end of the skewer, add the buttons and machinery with a sharpie, and slide your fruit on. For an extra boost of flavor, try a yummy fruit dip!

Find Foods that are In Season // Strawberries

Its getting warmer and the days are getting longer, which means spring fruits and veggies are here! An easy way to get all the nutrition and flavor of your favorite foods at a lower cost is to find fruits and veggies that are in IN SEASON. In season means that they are growing at their natural time of the year, rather than being grown in a greenhouse, or shipped around the world, so you get fresh food grown nearby.

Strawberries are a bright, nutrient-packed spring fruit that are yummy on their own and can be added to all sorts of foods. Captain Create’s friend Candi, over at Create Better Health, has lots of ideas for strawberries, or you can try this easy smoothie recipe below.

Nutrition Tip of the Week: Simple Swaps

Simple swaps are easy ways to add more nutrients to every bite of food you cook, and can happen in any recipe you already know and love!

Swapping out an ingredient or snack for a healthier version is a great way to start making changes in your day without switching all your food for something new! Swap that can of pop for a lemonade or water. Swap that candybar for a banana and a handful of toasted nuts.

Swaps taste great!

Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day// Top 5 Ways to Upgrade a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

What a yummy holiday! Grilled cheeses are an American comfort food with as many versions as there are Americans, and each family has their favorite way to make them. Upgrading a simple grilled cheese to provide more nutrition per bite is as easy as adding a vegetable, protein, or even a fruit or two! Whole grain bread will provide long lasting energy, veggies have vitamins, and mix up those cheeses for more flavor and some dairy group goodness.

What grilled cheese will you CREATE?

The Hunt for the Egg Salad Sandwich

Sandwiches have probably been eaten for as long as there has been bread, but the credit is sometimes given to John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792) for the name “sandwich”. There is nothing left now but a rumor of how this happened. Apparently, he was a very busy man, and did not want to waste time at the table with a knife and fork so instead, he put his food between two slices of bread and continued to work with one hand while he ate with the other. Manners aside, the name stuck because it was unusual, and he was a Lord. The name stuck, and soon all the other Lords and Ladies were serving “sandwiches” at all their fancy parties.

Sandwich, the town, is still in Kent, England, and there is another in Massachusetts, USA.

So Where Did Egg Salad Sandwiches Come From?

Probably in Boston, Massachusetts! The oldest example of a recipe written for an egg salad sandwich is in the The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book written by Fannie Farmer, but since eggs and bread are easy to find, they’ve probably been eaten for a lot longer than that!

Have you had an egg salad sandwich before? Let’s make one!

Check out Captain Create’s Tips for Egg-zellent Hard Boiled Eggs here!

Tip of the Week: Hard Boiled Eggs

Eggs are a delicious addition to any healthy diet! They are packed full of protein for our muscles, and vitamins and minerals to keep our insides working they way they are supposed to. The white and yolk of an egg has calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, and choline for us to enjoy.1 You can enjoy the benefits of eating eggs no matter how you cook them,

With Easter on the way, many people want to be sure they cook their boiled eggs just right, and Captain Create has an easy way that works every time!

Are Easter Eggs Safe to Eat?

Yes, as long as you store them in the refrigerator, hide them in places above the ground and away from bacterial sources such as pets and dirt, and toss any eggs that are cracked, dirty or have been out of the fridge for more than two hours.2 They also should be washed, re-refrigerated and used within one week to prevent food poisoning.2

Better yet, minimize health risks by cooking two sets of eggs. Use one set for an Easter egg hunt or centerpiece display, and the other for eating. That way, the eggs you eat can stay properly refrigerated. Also consider using plastic eggs for hiding.2

Why Is the Inside of a Hard-Boiled Egg Green?

A green ring on a hard-boiled yolk is a result of overcooking.2 It’s caused by sulfur and iron compounds in the egg reacting on the yolk’s surface.2 The green-colored yolk is safe to eat.2

Save that egg boiling water!

Don’t dump this calcium rich water down the drain, and instead let it cool and feed it to your garden! Tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers can get a condition called blossom-end rot which makes nasty looking fruit and veggies3. Its caused by the plant not getting enough calcium3, so using this high-calcium water as part of a consistent garden-watering routine can help keep your fruit and veggies growing up right!

Resources:

  1. https://www.eatright.org/health/lifestyle/holidays/egg-essentials
  2. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/748967/nutrients
  3. https://extension.usu.edu/archive/whats-troubling-my-tomatoes

Hawai’i Island, Hawai’i USA

Aloha! Captain Create is on the Big Island of Hawaii! We will go to Volcanoes National Park, the Northern “Valleys”, eat purple potato and coconut pie, and of course go to the beach! The islands of Hawai’i are packed with incredible beauty, fun, and great food! There is an active volcano you can visit, lots of adventures to go on, things to do, and yummy foods grown and cooked there.

Let’s Explore!

Hawaii, usually known as “the Big Island” is the home of Mauna Kea, the world’s most active volcano and Volcanoes National Park on the southern side of the island.1

All of the islands in that region of the Pacific Ocean were made by volcanoes building up from the ocean floor, and the big island has the only active one, which means that island gets bigger every year!1

This picture is the streams of lava pouring down the sides of Halemaʻumaʻu into the growing lava lake at the bottom, December 21, 2020. (photo by USGS)

You can watch what is going on at the volcano from a series of webcams set up by the National Park Service here.1

The northern coast is a tropical area, which means lots of green jungle, and very very tall cliffs and valleys. You can hike into them, or see them by boat from the ocean, or take a helicopter ride. Wade, that helicopter pilot you can see, says that the Waipi’o Valley is one mile wide and six miles deep! Waipi’o means “curved water” and is the name of the river that carved the valley down to the beach.2

There are lots of ways to stay fit, and the most famous, and physically demanding ways is to learn to hula! It takes a lot of focus and your whole body to do the moves correctly. Hula was, and still is, a way very important historical way for Hawaiians to pass on stories through movement and music. You can find lessons online taught by Hawaiians who have grown up dancing the hula. 3

Are you hungry yet?

Modern Hawaiian food is a mixture of traditional Hawaiian food and ingredients mixed with the foods of new cultures of people that have moved there. Fish from the ocean, tropical plants, and roots were traditional foods, and now pork and SPAM are a big part of the cuisine, plus influences with chiles, seaweed, and fruits from Japan and the Philippines are common now too!

A fun, and very colorful food you can find all over Hawaii is the obe, or purple sweet potato!
Not only are they pretty, they are rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins, which give them their purple color. Studies have shown that anthocyanins may help reduce blood pressure and inflammation and protect against cancer and type 2 diabetes.4 These purple yams are also rich in vitamin C, which helps keep your cells healthy, boosts iron absorption, and protects your DNA from damage.4

Let’s get cooking! This is a Obe & Haupia Pie (aka purple sweet potato and coconut pudding pie)

There are a few steps to make this pie, and letting the purple part cool after you bake it is important to not melt the coconut pudding (haupia).

PS, did you know it snows on Hawaii!?

The top of Mauna Kea, the dormant volcano on the big island, is over 13,000 feet! Wade, our helicopter pilot from above, got to snowboard the top of Mauna Kea!

References:

1- https://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm

2- Interview w/ former Hawaii resident and tour guide, Wade Chappell.

3- https://www.polynesia.com/islands-of-hawaii

4- https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ube-purple-yam#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

Nutrition Tip of The Week: Manners Matter!

Eating meals with our friends and family at home is a great time to learn new and try new things in a safe place. This way, when you go to a restaurant or party, your good manners will stick with you and you’ll enjoy the food and celebrations more!

Manners are something to learn as a family to make mealtimes more enjoyable. Things like saying “please”, “thank you”, and “you’re welcome” at home at the table will make them a long-term habit when you’re not at the table. Not only do manners matter so you can be polite at the table, they also help prevent the spread of germs, help encourage family conversations, and make everyone’s day a little more pleasant.

Are these folks using good manners at the table?

It doesn’t look like it does it?! Eating foods right out of the jar, stuffing food in our faces with our hands, and putting our feet on the table are not good manners!

How about these folks?!

Much better!

Captain Create has a few table manners tips to help your family perfect their mealtime manners and Create Family Mealtime fun!

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