WORKING TOGETHER BY DEB GLASSER, MS, RD
As part of the Culinary Institute of America’s (CIA) Healthy Kids Collaborative, SNP partnered with Northarvest Bean Grower Association to create school recipes using dried and canned beans.
Students had the opportunity to sample our black bean hummus with green pepper triangles, sweet potato and red kidney bean chili, and chicken chili verde with Great Northern white beans. The chicken chili verde knocked it out of the park- students requested seconds and even selected it over a chicken sandwich.
For years, SNP has been creating and refining recipes that highlight beans while working to educate students on the importance of including legumes in their diet. We’ve focused on beans for their nutritional value as a powerhouse plant protein and high fiber content as well as the impact beans can have on our environment (i.e. the improvement to atmospheric nitrogen).
Our relationships with organizations who share our goals strengthen our collective mission.
The Northarvest Bean Grower Association strives to bring beans to our nation’s schools in delicious and innovative ways. Outside of the framework of the Collaborative, their mission is to “better the industry through promotion, research, market development, and education of consumers and monitoring of governmental policy.”
The CIA’s Healthy Kids Collaborative is an initiative that was born to combine the expertise of school lunch professionals, chefs and suppliers “tocreate and advance culinary driven, healthier foods for kids.” The Collaborative shares their vast knowledge and brings ideas on how to elevate school food and increase acceptance of healthier alternatives.
The nutrition events we bring to our schools showcase unfamiliar foods (I.e. urad beans, fennel, arugula) or more recognizable ones used in innovative ways (strawberry tomatillo salsa). We hope to impact our students in a way that inspires them and ultimately leads to healthier habits.