Friday, August 7, 2009

The Great Veggie Dip Taste Off

I tried a great experiment with my grandkids ... and it worked, even better than I expected. Here's the plan. I had three dips, three veggie dippers, along with a paper chart and pencil for everyone, so that we could write down which dip we liked best with each dipper. I made up three dips, each made with some good veggies. The first was hummus, made with garbanzo beans and sesame tahini. The second was guacamole, made with fresh avocados. The third was fresh garden salsa, made with tomatoes and peppers, straight out of the garden. Next, I prepared the dippers. Each plate had three carrot sticks, three celery sticks, and three jicama sticks. Finally, I prepared the charts. Everyone had their own chart, and we were keeping a secret about what we liked best until all the tasting had been done.

Well, it was a great success! The whole point was to get the kids to eat veggies for a snack, which worked like a dream. We all had great fun trying the different dips with the different veggies. Then, we compared our results. I was sure they wouldn't like some of the combinations, but what a surprise. I thought the jicama and hummus tasted gross, but one of my grandkids said it tasted like sweet peanut butter, and by the way, could he have more, please? If I made one mistake, it was underestimating how well the experiment would work. I had a plate of chips all ready, as a sort of reward for trying all these veggies. But, instead, the kids asked for more carrots and jicama, so they could be sure their results were right. Wow! Never underestimate the possibilities of a taste off!

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Come up with your own idea for a taste off. Kids love games, and also love to have their opinions heard. Other ideas might be what kind of fruit tastes best, or which way a vegetable tastes best: raw, steamed, or baked. Whatever you do, just make sure all the options are healthy!

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