On Saturday May 19th, the world stood up for Real Food by participating in events in honor of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day. Representing Los Angeles, Out of the Box Food, together with Jennifer McColm and the city of Calabasas empowered kids to join in the movement by holding a community-wide event, Food Revolution Kids Day at the Calabasas Farmers Market…and what a Revolution it was. Armed with a reusable grocery bag, a wristband and a farmers market “treasure map”, kids from all over the Los Angeles area explored the Calabasas Farmers Market in search of fresh produce from local farmers. The discovery of farm fresh carrots from McGrath Family Farm, healthy mushrooms from LAFungHi, and gorgeous fruit from farmer/HealthierGeneration.org representative, Gene Etheridge of Etheridge Organics, inspired kids to try new, fresh produce. Throughout the markets, kids were seen sampling fruits and vegetables, engaged in conversation with farmers, planting basil to be grown at home, and creating their own farm-fresh recipes – It was truly a sight to warm the heart.
As I watched the kids pull produce from their bags, looking at it with awe (and sometimes wonder) I realized that part of experiencing produce for the first time, is learning how to prepare it. Enter the Fava Bean. For the last several weeks, Fava Beans have been plentiful in local farmers markets. Before I learned how to prepare them, Fava Beans intimidating me beyond belief – what is one to do with a bean within a pod, within a pod.
This week I’m going to demystify the Fava Bean and hopefully make these delicious, buttery beans more accessible and family-friendly.
FAVA BEAN PREPARATION
- STEP 1: Select large, firm Fava Bean pods.
- STEP 2: Slit the length of the Fava Bean (either with a knife or by hand) and open pod to expose the beans inside.
- STEP 3: Remove beans and discard pod.
- STEP 4: Bring pot of water to a low boil.
- STEP 5: Add beans to boiling water and cook 2 minutes.
- STEP 6: Let beans cool slightly then remove “skin” of bean by gently breaking and pulling away. A smaller bean will be found within the skin.
- TO SERVE: My children’s favorite way to eat Fava Beans is in their simplest form: fresh and warm, topped with a bit of good quality butter and a sprinkling of sea salt.
- ADDITIONAL SERVING SUGGESTIONS:
- Toss cooked beans into pasta dishes such as Fettuccine Alfredo or our homemade Stove-top Mac & Cheese
- Saute shrimp with olive oil, a bit of butter, white wine and garlic then add Fava Beans and serve over angel hair pasta or steamed rice
- Toss into salads such as our Farmers Market Pasta Salad
- Puree with garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and a little sea salt for a Fava Bean dip
A BIG thank you to all who volunteered, promoted and turned out in support at our Food Revolution Kids Day at the Calabasas Farmers Market event. This event truly was a community effort and was made possible by all who participated. Two special personal thank yous: First, to my friend and event coordinator, Mary Solis who dedicated her heart, soul and time not only to helping plan this incredible event for the children and families of Los Angeles, but to supporting me in all of my Out of the Box Food efforts. Thank you, Mary. I would also like to thank my friend and volunteer coordinator Suzanne Scrantom, who was able to successfully plan, organize and support over 65 local high school students, parents, friends, and business owners who volunteered their time and energy to help empower kids to choose “Real Food”. A HUGE thank you to these special friends.
If you weren’t able to attend the event but would like to support Jamie Oliver’s Food Foundation and their Real Food Education programs, please visit our Official Donation Site to make a tax-deductible donation. Every dollar counts and you can help make Real Food Education available to families around the globe. Until next week…
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