We wrap up the school year with a simple, delicious (and simply delicious) Banana Cream Pie Smoothie. What a perfect treat.. sweet, easy and refreshing. Enjoy this often on those long summer days when the kids are in the mood for a cold and yummy treat. They may not care that it’s loaded with bone building and energy-boosting nutrients, but we know you do. Happy Summer!



harira_beauty-88Harira is a traditional soup from Morocco. Students made this delicious dish fit for “whole grain heroes” by using whole grain spaghetti instead of the angel hair pasta.

You’ll find the recipe for Harira on page 17 of the Winter issue of ChopChop – if your child hasn’t brought their copy home yet, you can find the recipe here. It’s um, um good!

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Mrs. Koster’s 5th graders enjoying Pumpkin Pie Smoothies.

Students love their issues of ChopChop Magazine – from the recipes and articles, to the games and puzzles.

WSU Extension Food$ense is thrilled to be able to provide complimentary issues of Chop, Chop to our Food $ense families.  The fall issue includes a Smashing Pumpkin Pie Smoothie.

We think it could be called a Strong Bones Smoothie! This “pumpkin pie in a glass” includes low-fat milk and plain low-fat yogurt.  We like to make it with calcium-fortified orange juice (for an extra bit of love!).

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Today Sue Duffy visited a first grade class at Garfield Elementary. 

All vegetables are good for us, but today Sue shared a secret about the Very Special Veggies. The Very Special Veggies are the red and orange vegetables, the dark green and leafy vegetables and the dried beans and peas. 

The students learned that red and orange vegetables and the dark green and leafy vegetables could also be called the X-Ray Vision Vegetables because they are so good for eyes! 

 The also learned that dried beans and peas are Protein Powerhouse vegetables.  They are high protein and iron to keep muscles and blood strong.

Then the entire class got to try two recipes from the Fall Chop, Chop magazine using a few of the Very Special Veggies:  Pumpkin Pie Smoothie and Roasted Chickpeas.

16 of the 17 students “Love” or “Like” the smoothie.  12 of the 17 students “Love” or “Like” the chickpeas!

Think kids won’t eat tofu? Cook it up with a bit of curry powder, soy sauce and garlic, then add carrots and spinach and you’ll change your mind! Our last cooking cart activity of this school year featured  Tofu Scramble  from the Spring issue of ChopChop. Students devoured it… and then asked for more.

The recipe works well with any veggies you have on hand. Try it at your house!

Parents know that it’s important for growing boys and girls to get the calcium they need to build strong bones and teeth. By the time teens finish their growth spurts around age 17, 90 percent of their adult bone mass is established.  Unfortunately, fewer than one in ten girls and only one in four boys ages 9 to 13 are at or above their adequate intake of calcium. This lack of calcium has a big impact on bones and teeth.

Low-fat and non-fat dairy foods such as milk and yogurt can have up to 25% of the calcium kids need every day in just one cup. Kids can also get some of their needed calcium from dark green, leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and bok choy.

Foods with calcium added are also an option. Check the ingredient list for added calcium in:

  • Tofu (with added calcium sulfate)
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice
  • Soy beverages with added calcium
  • Calcium-fortified breakfast cereals or breads

In the latest Food $ense lesson students identified calcium rich foods that they enjoy and tasted the Monster Smoothie recipe from the latest issue of ChopChop. The smoothie includes many calcium packed foods –  kale, yogurt, almonds and calcium fortified orange juice –as well as apples, bananas and blueberries.  Students love it,  give it a try at your house!


Milk Matters

ChopChop Magazine

In recent weeks, kids have enjoyed making their own “Homemade Instant Oatmeal”, a recipe featured in the winter issue of ChopChop magazine. It’s simple, less expensive and better for you than store bought. It just takes a few minutes to whip up a week’s worth. Make additions or changes to suit your families tastes.


Measuring Cup
Measuring Spoons
Food Processor or Blender (Adult Needed)
Airtight Container
Heatproof Bowl


  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1⁄4 cup dates or date pieces
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (if you like)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt


Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your kitchen gear and ingredients and put them on a clean counter.

  1. Put 1 cup oats, the dates, brown sugar (if you like), cinnamon, and salt in the blender or food processor. Turn the blender to medium, and blend until the oats are powdered. Make sure the top is on tight, so you don’t spray the powder all over the kitchen!
  2. Add the rest of the oats and then turn the blender or food processor on and off (this is called “pulsing”) until the oats are mostly broken down. You may need to stop and shake up the blender jar if the oat powder at the bottom is stopping the blade from moving.
  3. Store the mixture in an airtight container or plastic bag up to 3 months.
  4. For each bowl:
    ½ cup oatmeal mixture
    ¾ cup boiling water (adult needed)
    Milk or plain low-fat yogurt (if you like)
  5. Put ½ cup oatmeal mixture in a heatproof bowl.
  6. Pour the boiling water over it, stir, and let stand for a minute. Stir again, add a few spoonfuls of milk or plain low-fat yogurt, and serve right away.


For extra goodness, add dried fruit, cut-up fresh fruit, or nuts.