After learning about fruits and vegetables all last month I wanted to do a cooking activity related to my theme. We had so much fun making hummus and ranch dip to eat with lots of different vegetables. It was a perfect end to our fruit and vegetable unit.
I created both a hummus dip recipe and a ranch dip recipe. Both dip recipes come with a visual recipe and a written recipe along with visual and written follow-up questions.
The hummus recipe has more ingredients and steps so it is a little more challenging. I had a couple groups of student make both the hummus and ranch dip recipe but other groups just made one or the other depending on my students’ skill level.
The hummus recipe has several ingredients which were new and unfamiliar to my students. The recipe calls for you to use a food processor but the special education teacher I work with had a magic bullet so we used that instead. It worked out perfectly. You might even be able to use a blender too. The hummus dip has eight different ingredients the students had to add to the food processor blending it all together. First, my students had to strain the chick peas and add them to the food processor.
Next we added tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and water to the blender. This is a good time to work on measuring skills!
Then the students added garlic, salt, and cumin to the food processor. We smelled the garlic and the cumin which was interesting for the students. We practiced measuring the salt and cumin over the food processor so we didn’t make a big mess!
Finally we blended all 8 ingredients together. At the end you can sprinkle on some olive oil and paprika to make it look nice! When we finished the hummus we set it aside and either made the ranch dip or chopped veggies before we could eat the humus.
The ranch dip is super simple but most of my kids liked it. For the ranch dip you just mix sour cream and the ranch dressing mix together. This is a great recipe if you want to have more time to focus on chopping the vegetables or describing how the vegetables look and taste. You can have the students sort the vegetables by color or texture (crunchy vs soft). They can sort the vegetables by how they grow (underground vs on a plant). There are many different activities you can do with the vegetables before you eat them.
I had washed and prepped some of the veggies but I really wanted my older student to practice cutting and serving the vegetables. I had the students take turns cutting the different vegetables into pieces. We talked about which vegetables you need to cut out the seeds such as peppers and which ones you can eat the seeds like cucumbers. We also discussed how you need to cut the ends off the carrots and celery and not eat those pieces.
After we had all the vegetables cut I gave the students different directions on how many of each vegetable to take. For example, “put 4 carrots and 2 pieces of cucumber on your plate.” “Put 3 pieces of broccoli and 2 pieces of cauliflower on your plate”. I picked up 8 different vegetables but we did not cut all the vegetables depending on time.
I really liked doing this cooking lesson because I had several of my students try different vegetables they had never had tasted before this. I had a few students try cauliflower for the first time and I was glad they got that experience.
Most of my students like at least one of the dips and tried some of the vegetables. I also had several students finish everything on their plate! The other good thing about making hummus with veggies is it is healthy and I don’t have any student with food allergies for these ingredients.