Welcome to week 24 of Kitchen Classroom 2021, where America’s Test Kitchen Kids is sharing a weekly kid-tested and kid-approved recipe, hands-on experiment, or activity paired with a Learning Moment that brings learning to life in the kitchen.
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In this week’s Kitchen Classroom, kids will head into the Kitchen STEAM Lab for a simple science experiment. In Awesome Avocados & Amazing Acids, kids will explore why certain fruits turn brown after you cut them (yes, an avocado is a fruit!), and how to use the power of acid to stop oxidation in its tracks. As they wait for the results of their experiment, kids and family members can test their avocado knowledge with the fun trivia questions in Take It Further, and, afterwards, kid can use their leftover avocado to make Avocado Toast with Fried Eggs, Avocado Sauce, or a Veggie Wrap with Hummus.
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Here’s what’s cooking for the week of June 14th through 20th, 2021.
Kitchen STEAM Lab: Awesome Avocados & Amazing Acids
How do you keep a cut avocado fresh and bright green (and not sad and brown)? Kids can find out for themselves in this simple science experiment. A butter knife won’t make as smooth a cut in the avocado flesh, which makes the avocado more prone to browning. If possible, have kids use a chef’s knife in this experiment (with adult supervision, as needed). Note that this experiment includes 8 to 24 hours of (hands-off!) waiting time, so be sure to plan ahead.
[GET THE EXPERIMENT]
What You’ll Need
1 lemon (or 3 tablespoons bottled lemon juice)
1 ripe avocado
Butter knife or chef’s knife
Physical Science (Chemical Reactions):
Before starting this experiment, ask kids: Have you ever noticed that some fruits turn brown after you cut them? Ask them to give you any examples they’ve experienced, such as apple slices turning brown in a lunch box, or banana slices turning brown on top of cereal. Ask kids: Why do you think this happens? Do you think there’s a way to stop it from happening?
During the experiment, kids will submerge one avocado half in water mixed with an acid (lemon juice), and leave the remaining half exposed to the air. In step 5, ask kids to share their predictions with you: What do they think each avocado half will look like after 8 hours? Will they look the same? Different? How so?
After completing the experiment, have kids read the Food For Thought section at the bottom of the page to understand their results. Ask kids: How did the results compare to your predictions? Did anything surprise you when learning about oxidation? If they like, kids can try tasting both samples of avocado—do they taste the same or different? Do kids have a preference? Kids can then use their leftover avocado samples to make Avocado Toast with Fried Eggs, Avocado Sauce, or a Veggie Wrap with Hummus (they can scrape off any brown parts from the oxidized avocado half before cooking--there will be green flesh underneath!).
Take It Further
General Knowledge (Trivia):
As kids wait for the results of their experiment, put their avocado knowledge to the test with some avocado trivia! Kids can choose to answer the questions below, or be the Quiz Master and challenge other family members to answer them.
- What is the best way to tell when an avocado is ripe?
a) Ask it to tell you
b) Give it a gentle squeeze, it should be a little soft
c) When its skin turns dark
- How can you speed up the ripening of an avocado?
a) Place it in the freezer
b) Place it in a paper bag
c) Bake it in the oven for 15 minutes
- Another way to keep avocado flesh from turning brown is to:
a) Place it upside-down in a mixture of lime juice and water
b) Chop the flesh into small pieces and place in a container
c) Slather it with sunscreen
- Avocados are a type of:
- The two types of avocados seen in most in United States supermarkets are:
a) Skinny and tall
b) Hass and skinny
c) Hass and boss
- Aztecs discovered the avocado around 500 BC in the area that is now South Central Mexico. The Aztec word for avocado is:
a) Guacamole [gwa-kah-MOH-lay]
b) Avicado [A-vee-KA-doe]
c) Ahuacatl [A-WA-ka-ll]
- The country that produces the most avocados is:
- In one year, how many avocados does the average avocado tree produce?
- What is another name for an avocado?
a) alligator pear
b) prickly pear
c) alligator apple
Answer key: 1B; 2B; 3A; 4C; 5B; 6C; 7A; 8C; 9A
On sale June 2021 Food Art Box
The July edition of the Young Chefs’ Club celebrates the artistic side of cooking. Kids create art on their plates using a set of seven recipes (and the squeeze bottles included in their box): Simple Seared Chicken Breasts, Fish in Foil, Smoky Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, and Scallion-Parsley Sauce, plus Double-Chocolate Sheet Cake, White Chocolate Sauce, and Raspberry-Lime Coulis. Use our techniques for turning food into wow-worthy edible art! Plus, kids will explore the magic of tie-dye using edible ingredients. This box is on sale throughout June and arrives in July.