This week in the Kids Kitchen, we made Vegetable Flower Pots with Homemade Ranch Dip! This fun and creative snack is a great way to encourage kids to eat nutritiously while developing a deeper appreciation for veggies. Great for a large family or play-date activity!
During this completely hands-on, no-heat recipe; Kids Kitchen students actively participated in each step. We also used this activity to teach students the parts of a plant, what plants need to survive, natural growing cycles, the importance of plant life in our environment, as well as the benefits of consuming plant based foods.
To make our Vegetable Flower Pots, each student personalized a paper cup by decorating it with crayon, color, pencil, and/or markers. This cup acted as our ‘Flower Pot’. Then we laid down a deep layer of ‘dirt’ or in this case dried, raw pinto beans. (In this case, we made it very clear to our students that this material was only acting as our base to hold our flowers in place and should not be consumed. You can always substitute raw beans for cooked beans to make entire recipe edible.) Now it was time to build our garden! Kids Kitchen students were encouraged to get creative as they cut veggies into various shapes and sizes and built their flowers using toothpicks. We used a wide variety of vegetables to make our flowers including: cucumbers, red, yellow, and dark red cherry tomatoes, petite bell peppers, carrots, and radishes. For our ‘grass’ we used the radish leaves and parsley sprigs. Once the kids were finished building their flower pots, it was time to water the garden! A mixture of water and fresh squeezed lemon juice went into a spray bottle and each student had the opportunity to ‘water’ their flowers with the lemon juice mixture. This an extra step that kids were very excited about! Many of the students became more open to trying new vegetables after they ‘watered’ their garden because knew they liked the flavor of lemon juice.
For our ranch dip, the students chopped fresh parsley then added it to a mixture of Plain Greek Yogurt and buttermilk. Each student took a turn seasoning our ranch dip using various dry seasonings including salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill weed, and dried Oregano leaves. Our students raved about how delicious their ranch dressing and many mentioned that they preferred it over the store bought brand! A lot of kids couldn’t wait to go home and build flower pots with their brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends!
The Vegetable Flower Pot with Homemade Ranch Dip recipe is such a great recipe and easily creates a fun learning environment while introducing healthy eating/living skills.
- Flower Pot
- Cucumber, round slices
- Carrot, round slices, can buy this way
- Celery sticks
- Cherry tomatoes
- Tiny Clay Pots or 2 oz Cups
- Additional vegetables for flowers: Radishes, cauliflower, zucchini, bell pepper (optional)
- Optional: Fruit – Cantaloupe, honeydew, or watermelon for flower
- Homemade Ranch
- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
- ½ cup milk (or buttermilk)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (don’t need if using buttermilk)
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp dried dill
- Flower Pots
- 1. Cut your fruit or vegetables to size and shape as needed. Create cut outs in carrot round or melon to create a flower shape (tulip.) Make cutouts on the cucumber slice to create the look of leaves.
- 2. Use celery sticks for some of them as the stem and stick a toothpick on top, then place cherry tomatoes, carrot flower, or cauliflower head on top.
- 3. Repeat with different combinations, using celery or cucumber plant base (leaves) and adding a colorful top for the flowers.
- 4. Place flowers in your pot or cup and serve up individual flower pots!
- 5. Dip in Ranch if you want.
- Homemade Ranch
- 1. Stir together milk and lemon juice and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
- 2. Stir milk and yogurt (or sour cream) and mix in medium sized bowl, whisk until smooth.
- 3. Add dry ingredients including all herbs and whisk until combined.
- 4. Store dressing in an airtight jar and refrigerate.
- You can substitute raw beans for cooked beans to make entire recipe edible as well as substitute fruits and vegetables to suite you and your child's preference.