Children need to know where our food and drink comes from. They need to be conscious of sustainability. Naturally, the younger they are, the more natural and inclusive this process is. And fresh cooking and benefits their ‘tomorrow’ directly!
Over the last couple of years, our twins have kept us away from our little summer garden. And so, we were thrilled when we saw the opportunity to send our older son to a summer camp at a garden.
Children these days are keen to know where their food comes from. Food becomes a lot more real to them once they’re able to trace its path from the farm to their plates. The appreciation for fresh ingredients becomes an integral part of healthy eating, and cooking takes on a new meaning for them. Teach them how to cook right, and you’ve gifted them a lifetime of good health!
The Gesellschaft für Schülergärten Zürich provides the children from grades 2-4 (in coordination with interested schools) with a garden bed (across different locations in the city) for a reasonable price which students manage during their free time under trained guides and learn to grow seasonal organic produce.
Garten am Grenzsteig is a cooperative garden association that was formed in 2013. It is located in Zurich, Wollishofen. It’s accessible to all the people in the neighborhood and currently has almost 70 members. Here gardening and environmental knowledge is acquired and exchanged in a practical way. Some pictures of the garden have been shared in the video below. As part of the summer camp, the kids were taught to identify various herbs, fruits and trees, feed the hens on the farm, learn from the members of the association and cook the organically grown seasonal produce.
Talking about seasonal produce, with autumn approaching soon, it’s time to celebrate the apple season.
One of the biggest folk festivals taking place in autumn, in the month of September each year is the Knabenschiessen. The festival and funfair attracts about 800,000 visitors each year. For me, memories of this festival have always been associated with munching on or “Apfelküchlein” or “Opfelchüechli”, a popular Swiss snack made with apples. I am excited to share the recipe for this below:
- 4 or 5 sourish apples e.g. Boskop or Jonathan (Since I couldn’t find these, I used Gravenstein apples)
- 120 g white flour
- 40 g ground hazelnuts (given nut allergies, if one wants to skip this, just use more flour instead)
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 4 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar
- 150 ml of apple juice
- Yellow of 2 eggs
- White of 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of oil
- Juice of a lemon
- About 0.5 – 0.7 litre of oil for deep-frying
- Some confectioner’s or cinnamon sugar
- Add flour, ground hazelnuts, salt, one tablespoon of sugar and vanilla sugar to a bowl and mix well.
- Stir in the apple juice.
- Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Refrigerate the egg whites. Add yellow of 2 eggs and one teaspoon of oil to the above mixture and whisk well.
- Leave the batter to rest for approximately 30 minutes.
- Peel and core the apples. Cut them in rings, each about 1 cm thick.
- Arrange the apple slices in a place and sweep them with a mix of 3 tablespoons of sugar and lemon juice and let them rest for about 30 minutes.
- Add a pinch of salt to the white of two eggs and whisk until they are stiff. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter.
- Heat the oil in a frying-pan to 190°C. Dip one apple ring at a time into the dough and fry it until it turns a golden brown.
- The fried rings need to be placed on a kitchen tissue for a few minutes to soak up the excess oil. Sprinkle these with confectioner’s or cinnamon sugar evenly and they are ready to serve.
- These taste good cold as well, especially if you have with some warm vanilla sauce.
This autumn, be sure to treat yourselves to some Opfelchüechli!
Disclaimer: Opinions and methods expressed are solely of the writer. Namaste Switzerland does not undertake any obligation or liability which may arise from the content.