Here in Broward County, Florida, it’s the first day of public school. Wishing all the students, the teachers and the parents, a good first day back and a successful school year ahead. To teach and to learn…I always believe that is the purpose of life–well, it’s definitely my purpose. As you send your children off with all the tools they need to be present in their own learning, I hope you will look beyond the books, (do we still use those?) calculators and floppy discs and consider what your children will be eating, daily and how they will get in ample daily exercise. Both of these are as important (perhaps more so) to their short and long term success. While not every child will be able to eat a healthy breakfast, never stop offering them and load them up with healthy options for later in the day…and please schedule “get outside and play time,” as much as possible! Without their health, all the education in the world won’t be enough.
Here’s a couple of kitchen tips that I learned lately. In the constant quest to make quinoa easy to digest and yummy, I have found that soaking and rinsing for about 20 minutes before cooking the quinoa definitely allows some of the hard “skin” to easily come off the “seed.” Then, if you have an extra few minutes, stir the quinoa around in the pot for a few minutes to let it get a little toasted before adding the water and cooking. I did this last night and it came out really soft and much more like couscous than anything grainy…Another great tip I recently learned, is great not only for kale, but any of the darker, tougher greens that are so healthy for us–try massaging the leaves with a little olive oil for a few minutes before cooking. This will help soften them up and tone down bitterness….Finally, when preparing something messy in the kitchen such as fresh beets, keep a small box of baking soda handy. It will clean up your counters, knives, and cutting boards without all the messy soap suds. Use it on your hands and it will not only clean, but also exfoliate!
If school starts where YOU are, today please watch for school zones and buses. Let’s all help make these first days back safe and successful, for our own kids and for each others. We are, after all, all connected!