Healthy Kids Cook-Off

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Second Annual Cook-Off, Linear Park, April 21, 2012

Brownsville student cooking teams participating in the Healthy Kids Cook-Off could be seen preparing some very creative dishes during the EarthFest 2012 celebration held at Linear Park, April 21st.  Kids ranging from grammar school to high school took part.  It was the most exciting event of day, drawing visitors like a moth to the flame cheering on their favorites.
The students with their aprons and chefs hats were busy preparing wonderful dishes, many were original recipes created by the students. Hudson School took first place with the students original Energy Bar.  LivingWay Leadership came in a close second with their Texas Grapefruit Pie, followed by Manzano Middle School with Fresh Strawberry Jam and Mexican Corn Bed.
All teams were winners really, as the seven judges talley sheets were very close.  The kids did a great job of preparing their healthy dish and presenting it to the judges.  Each and every child can be extremely proud of themselves as a great job was done by all.

Winning Recipes

First place: Hudson School
Energy Bar
Ingredients 1cup dry roasted peanuts, sunflower seeds or other chopped nuts
2 cups raisins, or other chopped dried fruit
2 cups rolled or instant oats2 cups rice cereal like Rice Krispies
1/2 cup creamy or crunchy natural peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1teas vannilla extract 1/2
1 cup wheat germ or flax seed (optional)
Combine peanuts, sunflower seeds (or other nuts), raisins (or other dried fruit), oats, rice cereal and (wheat germ or flax seed if using) in a large bowl.
Combine peanut butter, brown sugar, and honey in a large microwaveable bowl. Mircowave on High until bubbling (1-2 minutes). Add vanilla and stir until blended.
Pour the peanut buttermixture over the dry ingredients and stir until coated.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Press down firmly. (It helps to coat your fingers with cooking spray.) Let stand for about 1 hour to harden. Cut into barsGarnish with fresh fruit slice or coconut.
Second Place: Livingway Leadership Academy Texas
Texas Grapefruit Pie
1 Graham Cracker deep shell
1 pint of light whipped cream
2 large texas grapefruit
1. Slice off ends of grapefruit and peel skin preserving as much meat as possible.
2.  Separate the sections of the grapefruit and place them in a bowl.
3.  Strain as much juice as possible from the segments of grapefruit using a strainer.
4.  Combine the segments of grapefruit with a strawberry glaze, gently folding over the slices in the glaze.
5.  Fill the pie shell with the grapefruit mixture to the top of the pie shell.
6.  Add the light whipped cream and smooth over with a spatula.
7.  Top with strawberry slices.
8.  Chill, serve and enjoy!
Third Place: Manzano Middle School
Mexican Corn Bread and Strawberry Jam
5 ears of corn
1/4  cup of butter
1 cup of yellow cornmeal
1 cup of organic white flour
1 can sweet condense milk
2 Tbs baking powder
5 free range eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teas vanilla
pinch of salt
1/4 can cream of corn
1 can of corn
Honey, and strawberries for garnish
1.  Remove the corn kernels from the cob and chop in small pieces
2.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, oil, milk, eggs and vanilla until well blended with a wire whisk.
3. Blend into the mixture the chopped corn, can of corn and cream of corn.
4. Pour into muffin pan or a baking dish and cook at 325 degrees for 20 minutes until bread is a goldenbronw.  Insert a toothpick into the center, if it comes out clean the cronbread is done.
5. Remove from oven and let cool for approximately five minutes.
6. Serve with honey and strawberry jam
Fresh Strawberry Jam
1 cup of sugar
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1 1/2 pint of fresh strawberries, hulled nd halved
1/4 cup of honey
Combine the sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over very low heat for 10 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved.  Add thestrawberries and continue to cook oververy low heat for 20 minutes, until the strawberries relase some of their juices and the mixture boils slowly.  Continue  cooking until a small amount of the juice gels on a very cold plate.  Cool and serve with mexican Cornbread.

Cook Off Comments!

“The flavors are so brilliant,” Brownsville City Commissioner Rose Gowen siad of the dishes she judged.  ”The team from IDEA Frontier Academy cooked with vegetables grown from their school garden.”  Gowen went on to say “Rio Bravo’s Cook Off helps children understand the concepts of organic food and sustainability.  Children who learn this are a step ahead of older generations who didn’t have the benefit of doing so.”  Gowen thinks if this event was not going on, the kids would be inside playing video games.  The six-person 6th and 7th grade Manzano Middle School cooking team agreed with Gowen. When the students were asked if Rio Bravo would hold the Cook Off event again next year, they replied “Big Time” with smiles “We love it!”

Healthy Kids Cook Off is part of the Sprouts Cooking and Garden Club program.

The Rio Bravo Wildlife Institute is a 501c3 nonprofit, established in 2009 as a Massachusetts state non-profit corporation to inspire positive environmental awareness and action. The organization is based in Brownsville, Texas.