The Girl Scouts Discover a Love of Tomatoes

This Friday we hosted a Girl Scouts Troop from Mariemont for a cooking class at Scripps. We had been talking about it for a while, Troop leader Peggy works in our building and is a regular customer of ours and so we thought this would be a fun way for them to earn a badge.

12 7-8 year old girls arrive, chaperoned by three mamas including our friend Peggy. We are ready to cook! They all put their aprons on and listened attentively. We made introductions and I asked them to tell me about food they loved and food they hated.

Almost unanimously - LOVED: Cookies and Cake. HATED: Tomatoes. Ok, this could be a tough crowd. We are using TOMATOES today to make salsa. And raspberries. to make a torte. But yes, of course we are making gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar free food! This is Paleolicious. I talk to them about our mission, we discuss healthy food.

They look skeptical.

We start with raspberries. I ask them each to take a berry and pop it in their mouths. Close your eyes, think about all of the flavor in your mouth. What do you taste? The girls exclaim with love for the sweet tart berry. Ok, so far so good. I ask them to take a drink of water to cleanse their pallet.

Deep breathe.

Ok, now we are going to taste a baby grape heirloom tomato. GROAN, YUCK, "I'll pass on this one."

That's fine, I tell them, you are not forced to, obligated or otherwise made to do anything you don't want to do! But I do challenge you, I challenge your brave little souls to just TRY IT! Don't be scared, and don't decide until you KNOW. We have already talked about all of the health benefits of his mighty little fruit/vegetable. The Mama's jump in to show how easy it is to be brave, and how delicious it is. They start to follow suit. Their reactions are mixed, a few were still unconvinced, a few thought the texture was weird. Some of them exclaimed that they were sweet, and really were delicious. Hmm, progress maybe.

We proceeded to make my favorite, easy and delicious Chocolate and Raspberry Torte. It is made with coconut milk, almond flour, maple syrup, and its super easy. The girls took turns helping me mix ingredients and then assembled their own. We considered taking them home to share with family, but nah, they smelled too good. They ate them up and wanted to lick the bowl! Yay! Success.

Then we made salsa. I wasn't sure how this would go, but I knew the adult audience would be excited. I talked about the ingredents, through them all in the blender, pulsed a few times and poured it in the bowl.

Then I served it up with plantain chips! What are these chips that look like bananas?! And why are dipping them in tomatoes? I must have won a little trust with the torte because they jumped right in. And what do you know, they LOVED the plantain chips AND they loved the salsa! So I went in to make sure they understood that the salsa was made from tomatoes, onion, cilantro, bell peppers, lime and more tomatoes! They didn't care at all, they wanted to take it home with them.

Yay! Mission accomplished. We had such a great time!! I received hugs, exclamations that this was the best scout meeting ever and promises to return for lunch. My heart was full!

At the end they shot a little video for me, these wonderful girls proved today that "Healthy Food Should Always be Delicious," and I  was proud and thankful that they now understood my mission.

 

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Rebecca DenneyComment