Monday, January 25, 2010

Jammies School: Power Foods Lab for Our Lady of Altagracia -- Oranges and Clementines

We continued our Power Foods Lab last week Eggs.  The kids enjoyed helping me crack and store them as we made some baked goods, waffles and baked omelets.

This week, we focused on Oranges and Clementines , juicing them, baking with them, making waffles with them, etc. Four recipes enjoyed were as follows. (My apologies, I did not type these in a good form for printing and sharing with children this time, but the basic recipes are there for you to work from!)

Orange/Clementine Juice – a big hit with the kids
Simply made by squeezing oranges and clementines over a juicer.

Truly, if the kids and I were not so eager for our juice the first time we made our fresh-squeezed juice, I would have done a formal Montessori juice presentation, such as the one on Shu-chen Jenny Yen’s free online Montessori albums,  but, instead, we did a simplified version, more akin to the one at Planning With Kids. Then, more often than not, we simply took an orange or clementine, sliced a small puncture in it, squeezed and turned it over the juicer and, then, poured the results into cups to gulp down before grabbing the next piece of fruit!

Orange Muffins – The kids were  involved from start to finish in malking this recipe, adapted from one at Holy Cow! Recipes from a Vegan Kitchen.

 In one bowl, mix 1 cup of fresh-squeezed orange and clementine juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, ½ cup brown sugar and 1 tsp vanilla.

 In another, mix ¾ cups whole wheat flour and ¾ cup while wheat pastry flour, 2 tsp. baking powder and ½ tsp. salt.

 Pour the ingredients from the first bowl into the second and mix until all are just wet and combined. Do not overmix.

 Divide batter into 12 greased muffin cups and bake for 35-40 minutes at 350°F. (We always bake our muffins a bit longer than the usual 20-30 minutes recipes usually call for since we put our muffin pan on a baking stone, which seems to prevent the muffins from burning at the bottoms.)

 Cool and enjoy!

 Orange Glaze – The kids helped with juicing the fruit.

 Mix the juice of a freshly juiced clementine and an orange with enough (organic) powdered sugar to reach a consistency you like.

Orange Snowball Cookies – In full disclosure, I must admit these were mostly Mommy-made simply due to time constraints but were thoroughly enjoyed by Mommy, Daddy, Grammy and the kids.  They were inspired by the ideas at a post on By Sun and Candlelight  and adapted from a recipe at

 Cream together 2 sticks butter and ½ - 1/3 cup natural brown sugar.

 Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and the juice of one small orange or clementine (about 1-2 tablespoons)

 Mix in 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour.

 Roll into 1” balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 350°F, or a bit longer at the same temperature if baking on stone cooking sheets like us.

 While cookies are warm, roll them in a bowl of (organic) confectioner’s sugar or coat them with Orange Glaze (recipe above).

 And, with these recipes in mind, a quick run-down of some of our Power Labs pre-K learning this past week is as follows:
  • Developed knowledge of print, letters and words through reading the recipes and searching for ingredients at the store.
  • Expanded vocabulary and language through reviewing the recipes together and talking about the words in them, such as “juicing”, “clementine”, and “ingredients”.
  • Developed small muscle control and eye-hand coordination through measuring out ingredients, juicing oranges and clementines, etc.
  • Encouraged social and emotional well being through working cooperatively to make the recipes and taking a sense of pride in the independence of making one’s own breakfast juice!
  •  Increased practical life skills through juicing, measuring, mixing, washing up, setting the table, etc.
  • Made comparisons of “big” oranges and “little” clementines.
  • Reinforced number literacy as we counted spoonfuls, cupfuls, bowlfuls, cookies, muffins, etc.
  • Introduced arithmetic as we discussed how many orange treats we had out on our serving plates, how many would be fair to give to each person, how many were left on out plates after eating some, etc.
  • Practiced one-to-one correspondence through having the children set out as many plates or cups for juice or baked goods as we had people enjoying them.
  • Formed healthier eating habits that we hope will last a lifetime as we talked about how the oranges contribute to our health and well-being by giving us lots of vitamins.
  • Practiced the virtues of patience (as we waited for orange delights to bake and as the kids tried not to cave into the temptation of blowing out the candle too many times during our special tea) and fairness (as we divided orange treats and saved ones for Daddy).
  • Practiced social skills by hosting Grammy at our tea and using table manners while we ate.

Not a bad set of learning outcomes from a simple  $10 starter of on-sale clementines and oranges and a week sprinkled with orange delights!

Next Power Food Labs focus:  Almonds!


Honey said...

Are you vegan?! We are!!! ;) So nice to see other vegan families homeschooling & following the child. :)


Martianne said...

Nope. Not vegan. I'm vegetarian. Dad is not. The kids are mostly. But, I do believe in the importance of whole and lcoal whenever possible and would like to move toward a more vegan diet as time for planning it and the will to get my kdis to eat more foods comes along... Nice to know there are children like yours to model after! :)


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