Welcome to Taste Test Day!

The Taste Test Day program is a program for elementary school students.  Once a month during the lunch period students are offered the opportunity to sample and learn about a vegetable or fruit.  Local, seasonal produce is used from Land’s Sake Farm as much as possible.  In addition to providing a chance to taste a new item, we offer a variety of preparations to expand the student’s expectations of the ingredient.  This also allows the Foodservice Department a chance to test new menu ideas.  We have added kale pesto, Three Sisters Soup and white bean hummus to our menu as the result of student feedback during taste tests.  Does your child already love vegetables? How do you prepare them? Does your family have a favorite dish? Let us know! Your recipe could be featured for our Taste Test Days program or even on our menu! Please send ideas and recipes to Kelly Shaw!

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Kindergarten Art students helped graph the results from our kale pesto taste test. It was a hit!

Taste Test Days

Taste Test Day Recap

April: This month we had an epic Battle of the Cauliflowers!    Roasted cauliflower was up against raw cauliflower.  We spiced up the voting by using stamp pens to create a graph on the wall for students to see the results in real time.  Roasted cauliflower was preferred by the majority of students who tasted both samples.  At a certain point, students were chanting “Roa-sted, Roa-sted!” and were eager to see which type won.

March: We tasted Roasted Plantains in March.  Students enjoyed the sweet flavor of these “cooking bananas”, many stated that they have seen them in the store but thought they were just green bananas.  Plantains have been added to the menu at the High School in celebration of World Language Week as they are a staple food in many countries.

February: For a new “twist” on an old favorite, we tried Butternut Squash Noodles this month.  While the labor involved in making the noodles doesn’t make sense for high volume food production, the students enjoyed the shape of the squash and were readily willing to try the noodles.  Sauted with garlic and oil, these noodles were a hit!

January: This month we will tasted Pumpkin Seed Butter and Maple Roasted Sunflower Butter from 88 Acres Farm!  These seed butters are high in protein, heart-healthy fat, and fiber.  They are produced locally in a nut-free, gluten-free facility.  Students will be able to try each butter on an apple slice, carrot or celery stick.

December: Taste Test Days was very well-received this month!  We celebrated carrots as the Massachusetts Harvest of the Month by tasting Apple Carrot Muffins.  The recipe was adapted from 100 Days of Real Food and was requested numerous times.  They are sweetened with honey and the amount has been decreased to limit the amount of added sugar.  These muffins make a great snack and this simple recipe is a great way to get students involved in the kitchen!

“These brownies taste like brownies!”  “I don’t like black beans, but I like these.”  The Flourless Fudge Surprise Brownies  were also popular with students.  They are gluten-free and are made with a secret ingredient (black beans).  To meet the nutrition standards of the National School Lunch Program, we offer beans or legumes once per week.  This offering is not well-received by most students in elementary school.  We are always looking for recipes that include beans or legumes that are more palatable for students.  One student proclaimed herself “not a fan” of black beans, but was surprised that she enjoyed the brownie.  The recipe was adapted from SugarFreeMom.com.  The brownies were sweetened with chocolate chips, no other sweetener was added.  At Woodland School the brownies were made without egg and while they were more crumbly, they were still delicious.   Students enjoyed trying black beans in a different way and are looking forward to trying something new each month!

Allergy Information:

Students with food allergies are welcome to participate in Taste Test Days!  Ingredient information about the upcoming tastings will be posted here as well as provided to nurses in all schools participating.  We will make every effort to accommodate food allergies by modifying (or omitting) ingredients or offering substitutes.  During the tasting, all staff and volunteers are instructed to ensure that student’s with food allergies are served safely.  As a reminder, this program is voluntary.  Any student may refuse a sample at any time for any reason.  If you have questions or need more information, please contact Kelly Shaw.

May:

Banana “Nice” Cream: Bananas

Pineapple Frozen Yogurt: Banana, pineapple chunks, plain yogurt, lime