ZeMarvelous Miraculous Magic of Dr. Seuss

Scrambled Eggs & Blueberry Bumplings!

Like a lot of humans, zebras begin to discover the pleasures of reading and cooking when we’re very young.

And even before we have close encounters with books and words and kitchens and ingredients, we’ve explored deep within that special place where both reading and cooking come from.

It’s a magical world called Imagination.

Cat-in-the-Hat Witch Pumpkin

One human who knew everything there is to know about magic and imagination was the legendary Dr. Seuss.

Reading any book is pure magic – and reading a Dr. Seuss book is marvelous, miraculous Mega-Magic.

Just think of this: Dr. Seuss used his imagination to write stories, creating wondrous, whimsical worlds where absolutely anything can happen – and actually does.

When you read a Dr. Seuss book, your eyes look at letters on a page and your brain changes all those squiggly lines into words and sentences and ideas.

Dr. Seuss On the Loose with Zebras
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ZePerfect Mardi Gras Celebration

ZeBot New Orleans Mardi Gras

If there’s one thing zebras love, it’s a celebration!

And when it’s Mardi Gras, which is all about local traditions, food, family and friends–well, that makes us so happy that our stripes start to turn colors.

Purple, green and gold, to be exact.
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ZeBig Chill: A Zebra Investigates Freeze-Dried Fruit

ZeBot & ZeBig Chill Snowman in Snow with White Frame

One thing zebras know is that when we don’t know something we want to know, it’s time to start asking lots of questions.

Case in point: the other day, I overheard some scientific humans discussing “freeze-drying” as a good way to preserve fresh fruit. Supposedly, when you freeze-dry fruit, it will keep its great taste and color for years and years!

Frosty Life Around the Fruit Bowl

How do we transform our favorite fresh fruits into freeze-dried fruits?

Well, I’m a huge fan of fruit, so that sounded totally cool to me (pun totally intended)! But how the heck would a zebra go about freeze-drying?

My zebra buddies and I decided to get some frosty advice from our coolest friends: the SnowDudes and the Penguin Brothers. They said they were pretty sure they’d seen a polar bear freezing-drying his own food, so how hard could it be?

Apples, Polar Bear Style

I get the feeling this guy does not read cookbooks — or science books!

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ZeHoliday Tradition: A Christmas Angel’s Recipe for Happiness

Caitlin the Christmas Angel

A heartfelt holiday story about my favorite little angel’s first heavenly Christmas — and ZeRecipe for her magical Angel Cloud cookies!

I hope you’ll share Caitlin’s magic (and cookies) with your family and friends, celebrating the happiness of holidays and everydays.

Because love is forever – and every moment is a gift.

Read the story and find the recipe here!

 

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ZePossibilities of Pumpkins

ZeBot's Pumpkin Patch Buddies

I just made ZeGreatest discovery! You know those orange spheres that are piling up in farmers’ markets and grocery stores? They’re pumpkins! Okay, you probably already knew this, but pumpkins are totally new to me. (Give me a break: I’m a zebra!)

I always figure the best way to find out about something you never knew existed is to do a little detective work. My favorite farmers, food historians and librarians were happy to help out. I even asked a couple of dogs, since if they like something, you KNOW it’s going to be cool.

My buddies Spot and Rover give pumpkins a BIG paws up!

My buddies Spot and Rover give pumpkins a BIG paws up!

I found out that pumpkins are members of the squash-and-gourd family (it’s always fun to have family, don’t you think?). Some people think pumpkins are vegetables, but they’re actually fruits. You can tell because fruits almost always have seeds on the inside (although berries like to be different and have them on the outside). If you’ve ever scooped the squishy guts out of a pumpkin, you know they have LOTS of seeds.

You might think from their bright orange color that pumpkins give you tons of energy — and you’d be right. They’re loaded with natural sweetness and awesome nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Crunchy roasted pumpkin seeds are packed with good-for-you stuff like protein, B vitamins, iron and vitamin E.

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George Washington, ZeFarmer: Exploring ZeCulinary Gardens of Mount Vernon

ZeBot Poses at Mount Vernon

What do kids, zebras and George Washington have in common?

Lots of things!

Vision. Imagination. Ingenuity.

The joyful desire to explore new ideas and discover innovative ways to do things. The belief that anything is possible—and that you can have fun making it happen.

If you’re an American kid, you already know that George Washington was the very first president of the United States.

But did you know he was also called America’s “foremost farmer”?

ZeBot Visionary Farmer

It makes sense, because both being president and a farmer have a lot to do with planting, growing and harvesting—whether you’re talking about seeds or ideas.

George Washington was as innovative and visionary at farming and horticulture as he was at helping to create a country. When he wasn’t busy being president, his primary occupation was being a farmer.

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Chuck Williams Teaches a Zebra ZeWay to Cook!

Chuck & ZeBot-framed“The way to be a good cook? Just cook!” –Chuck Williams

When my friend Chuck Williams told me that being a good cook is something that happens by just cooking, I nodded my head so hard my stripes got all squiggly.

If anyone knows about cooking, it’s Chuck. He’s 100 years old—and cooking is something he’s done ever since he was a kid. Today, Chuck is the author of lots of cookbooks and the founder of a very cool kitchenware store called Williams-Sonoma.

Chuck first started learning to cook back in the early 1900s, when he spent lots of time in the kitchen with his grandmother. In those days, people didn’t have microwave ovens or electric mixers or even many real cookbooks. So how did kids learn to cook?

“I learned to cook by watching my grandmother and listening carefully to everything she said,” Chuck told me .

“I helped her in the kitchen every day. I watched and I listened and I asked questions. One of my favorite things was making pies with her. After she finished trimming the crust, she would give me the scraps and let me try to make my own pie.”

Chuck at Age 12 -ZeBlog

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ZeHunger Challenge

ZeBot Hunger Challenge 2015

Zebras love challenges (including learning to cook and write without the benefit of opposable thumbs). And we’re always hungry for new things—new foods, new friends, new ideas.

So when I heard about the Hunger Challenge, I knew I wanted to give it a try—but in a ZeZillion years, I could never have imagined how powerfully it would help me learn about the world around me.

The Hunger Challenge is a five-day journey initiated by the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, whose executive director Paul Ash describes it as a special way to “become an advocate for the hungry.”

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Healthy Snacks for ZeBest of Friends

Miles & ZeBotOne of the most wonderful things about great food is that it’s so much fun to share with friends.

I’ve noticed that a love for cooking and eating together seems to be true across lots of different species, including zebras, dogs and humans.

One of my best friends is a super cool dog named Miles (which perfectly describes how far he can run—especially when he’s chasing a coyote).

Miles and I have lots in common, but a love for fun food is one of ZeStrongest.

Miles Having A Ball

In fact, Miles loves food so much that he occasionally tries to eat me (I realize I’m a bedraggled little zebra who looks a bit like a dog toy—but food, really?).

Miles & Shredded Doggy

Miles and I figured this issue could cause problems in our friendship, so we decided that real friends know how to compromise.

So here’s our compromise: I agree to help Miles whip up yummy, healthy snacks—and he agrees not to eat me.

Zebra-Canine Detente

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ZeCaptiva Coconut Caper

Zebra Beach Picnic on Captiva Golf Course

When it comes to exploring, zebras (like kids) really know how to earn their stripes!

My Uncle Zep (also known as ZeGreat Chef Zepicure) and I got together to spend a whole month exploring a magical island called Captiva, which is just off the west coast of Florida in ZeGulf of Mexico.

The place where we’ve had our ZHQ (zebra headquarters) is called South Seas Island — which was once a big plantation. In the early 1900s, it was one of the world’s largest growers of Key limes!

ZeScoutAbout at Beach

We’ve been roaming ZeBeaches and mangrove forests in search of adventure—and an island fruit that could keep us going strong through all our explorations, which tend to make us super hungry and thirsty. Continue reading

ZeMystery of ZeShoe Pastry

ZeBot and the Shoe Pastries

When my friend Holly told me she was writing a book about Shoe Pastry, I was totally intrigued.

“What kind of shoes would make the best pastry?” I wondered. “And wouldn’t putting shoes in your mouth instead of wearing them on your feet (or in my case, hooves) make you kind of—well, sick?”

How the heck am I going to mix these ingredients?

How the heck am I going to mix these ingredients?

Since I am a zebra who is supposed to know at least a little about human food by now, I didn’t want to ask those questions right away. After all, Holly Herrick is a famous cookbook author.

Instead, I had a great idea!I have another friend named Holly, who happens to be a super-smart Golden Retriever—and spends a lot of time in the kitchen.

I asked her about Shoe Pastry. Holly the Golden Retriever said she’d never tried it, but she’d eaten lots of shoes (including some pretty expensive ones) and they were very tasty.

Meet Holly -- a Golden Retriever with great taste in shoes!

Meet Holly — a Golden Retriever with great taste in shoes!

Still, I wasn’t sure—it just didn’t seem like you could (or even should) turn a shoe into a pastry.

So I had an even better idea: I asked Holly the Famous Cookbook Author if I could interview her about shoe pastry. That way, it would make sense to ask lots of questions (even really silly ones)—so that’s what I did!

Fortunately, right before I interviewed Holly, my friend ZoeBot (who’s super-brainy) suggested we try looking up “choux pastry” (which is French and sounds just like “shoe pastry”).

Shoe Pastry = Choux Pastry (And guess what: they do kind of look like cabbages, but they DON'T taste like them!)

Shoe Pastry = Choux Pastry
(Even though these pastries kind of look like cabbages, they DON’T taste like them!)

Guess what? She was right! It turns out that choux pastry gets its name from the French word for cabbage (choux), which is what the pastry sort of looks like when it’s baked.

Unlike most pastries, choux pastry is made using its own special technique. You start by mixing flour, butter and boiling water, then beating in eggs until you get a sticky, paste-like dough.

When you bake it, the oven’s heat turns the water into steam that puffs the dough into hollow golden pastries that taste AMAZING!

Want to see how it’s done (with hooves)? Watch this video!

Well, now that I knew a little more about the whole mysterious matter, I was ready to interview Holly Herrick, whose brilliant new book is called  “The French Cook: Cream Puffs & Eclairs.”

I'm not really in Holly's super-cool book -- but a zebra can always dream!

I’m not really in Holly’s super-cool book — but a zebra can always dream!

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ZeFamily Legacy of Brioche Pasquier

ZeBot & ZoeBot Have Breakfast at Brioche Pasquier“When someone shares a special family recipe with you, you become part of their family.”

That’s what my friend Hugues Pasquier told me when we shared a breakfast made with the brioche his family has been baking from the same recipe since 1936.

It was true: as my cousin ZoeBot and I savored each buttery golden bite, we felt the Pasquier family’s culinary heritage deep in our stripes.

If you’re an average American kid (or zebra), you may not have ever tried brioche. But in France, kids (and a few lucky zebras) have been eating brioche their whole lives.

Brioche (pronounced bree-oshe) is a French bakery specialty that looks and tastes like a magical cross between a bread and a cake.

Brioche by Chardin, 1763

Food historians say that’s it been a tradition since medieval times, with the recipe becoming richer with butter and eggs as the centuries passed.

Hugues told us that his grandfather Gabriel Pasquier was legendary for the brioche he crafted at his bakery in the tiny village of Les Cerqueux in France’s Loire River Valley.

Gabriel's Bakery

Gabriel’s recipe was unique because he always used two very special ingredients.

One was the family’s own levain, which is a natural sourdough starter that makes brioche (and other baked goods) rise. A starter works pretty much the same way modern yeast does, but it’s an older and more traditional way to leaven baked goods. Continue reading

ZeAmazing Magical Spice Detectives & ZeScience of Taste

ZeGreat Spice Detectives!Do you believe in magic?

That’s what some of my favorite kids and I asking were asking each other the first time we blended our own spices.

When we sprinkled our spices on hot, buttery baked sweet potatoes, the only way we could describe what happened inside our mouths was MAGIC!

But I’m kind of getting ahead of my own stripes by starting in ZeMiddle of my story.

ZeBot Spices for Whole Spice

It all began when I asked my friends Ronit and Shuli Madmone: “What are spices? And why do humans like them so much?”

I thought, considering that they’re experts who own a really cool company called Whole Spice and I’m a just a simple zebra who’s only beginning to explore the world of food, they would have given me a super-simple answer.

But they looked at each other and laughed, “If you really want to understand spices, ZeBot, come to our house.”

It turned out that my questions were the first steps on a journey that would take me into deliciously exciting new worlds.

For a taste of our adventure, please check out the video (below) — then read on!


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ZeGreat Heirloom Tomato Cake

ZeBot Heirloom Tomato CakeSummer is ZePerfect time for celebrations – and all the fresh colors and flavors at ZeFarmer’s Markets make it more fun than ever!

So you can imagine how excited I was to be invited to help host a Farmer’s Market Supper Party with some of the Bay Area’s coolest food bloggers and cookbook authors (links to all ZeRecipes are at the end of this post).

Our mission: to showcase the season’s bounty with a creative vegetarian supper. Everyone was very understanding about my being a novice cook/baker who’s all hooves (and no opposable thumbs) and told me it would be fine if I made up a zebra-friendly dessert.

I figured I’d do what ZeGrandma and ZeMom always taught me: don’t go to a farmer’s market with your stripes totally set on making something in particular.

ZeBot Tomatoes Napa

Instead, have fun wandering around and discovering the day’s freshly harvested treasures, then create a recipe based on what you find.
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Cooking Up ZeComfort in Elle’s Kitchen

ZeBot & Zebras wGrilled Cheese + Tomato Soup

The kitchen is the heart of your home – and home is where your heart is.

My friend Elle taught me this: just the way you can create a home inside your heart for everyone and everything, you can create a kitchen anywhere you want it to be.

In today’s super-fast-paced world, the endless barrage of technology can sometimes make folks feel a little crazy.

But Elle cooked up a special way for technology to bring us together.

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DIY Kids in ZeKitchen

3 Zebras + 2 Kids

When I first started thinking about cooking, I wondered if a zebra would really be able do it. I mean, having four hooves with no opposable thumbs definitely has its challenges, so I was feeling a tiny bit discouraged.

But then a wise kid named Max told me this, “Just because you’re not cooking now doesn’t mean you CAN’T – it only means you don’t know how yet. After you learn, you can do it yourself. As in: DIY, zebra dude!”

Max Slices Fruit

I realized he was absolutely right! If you want to do something, you just need to learn how to do it – and then you need to actually do it.

At our IACP Kids-in-the-Kitchen event at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, that’s exactly what we did!
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A Christmas Angel’s Recipe for Happiness

Caitlin the Christmas Angel

Giving is something that zebras do as naturally as having stripes: it’s just part of who we are.

This year, I was looking for the most special gift ever: a present for Caitlin, a little girl who is spending her first Christmas as a real live angel.

For almost ten years, Caitlin was a magical kid who lived happily with her family and friends in Pennsylvania.

Caitlin & Family

Caitlin loved to laugh and sing and play and dance.

Sporty Caitlin Collage

She also loved to cook and bake, nourishing all the people she loved with the wonderful treats she created.

Caitlin Bakes Cookies

One of her favorite things to do was bring joy to everyone who knew her. Sharing joy was as natural to Caitlin as stripes are to zebras.

Caitlin, Jakob & the Florida Beach Snowman

Caitlin cheerfully shared her love, laughter, strength and wisdom, even when things got really challenging.

Caitlin Survivor Collage

When she was five years old, Caitlin’s doctors found out that she had brain cancer.

She had to spend a lot of time in hospitals having surgery and treatments to help her tumor go away.

Caitlin & Jakob Collage

When Caitlin grew up, she wanted to be two very special things: a mom and an astronaut. She wanted to make children feel happy, loved and full of energy — and she wanted to fly through shining stars to faraway galaxies.

Tinkerbell & Caitlin

Caitlin loved the colorful magic of fairies and rainbows.

Caitlin's Flowers & Butterflies

She especially loved butterflies, because they had the miraculous power to transform from playful, crawly caterpillars into graceful, majestic creatures who soared among blooming flowers into all the sunlit places where “now” dances into “always” and “forever.”

Butterfly Collage

Last spring, Caitlin transformed from a little girl into a heavenly butterfly angel.

So this Christmas, I got together with my most imaginative friends to come up with the perfect gift for our favorite angel. Since kids and zebras love cookies, we were pretty sure angels would, too.

ZeBot's Magic Baking Buddies

We set out to create the ultimate recipe. The first ingredient was easy: lots of love!

We knew angels and butterflies really like sunny skies, so we decided to make cookies that looked like billowy white clouds.

As we searched through our zillions of cookbooks, we discovered recipes for heavenly cookies called meringues (a French word that’s pronounced “merANGS”).

Meringue cookies start with eggs – perfect for a beginning angel, because eggs are a symbol of bright beginnings and new life. Eggs are also filled with protein, which helps make our muscles strong and minds alert.

ZeBot's Slippery Egg Whites

We also liked the way meringues start with slippery egg whites that transform into fluffy clouds.

ZeBot with fluffy Whipped Egg Whites

What makes them fluffy? Something invisible and essential: air!

Like hope, the invisible air puffs up the egg whites until they almost float right out of the mixing bowl.

ZeBot & The Snowman Measure Sugar

Next, we added sparkly white sugar, which reminded us of shimmering snowflakes and shining crystals of fairy dust.

This would enrich the cookies with all the sweetness of Caitlin – and give everyone who ate our meringues the joyful energy of children and angels.

Now we needed something everyone treasures: imagination.

ZeBot & the Hedgehog Twins Measure Sugar

To make our cookies creative, we switched up our basic recipe to include fun ingredients that reminded us of Caitlin.

ZeBot Scoops Up Coconut

We added vanilla for the creamy sweetness of daydreams. Cocoa for the deep, chocolaty richness of laughter.

Coconut for the balmy happiness of tropical sunshine. Scarlet berries and a few drops of raspberry juice for the swirly pink magic of fairytales.

And tiny chocolate chips because every kid knows that life is better with chocolate!

ZeBot & Snowmen Shape Their Clouds

Using our hooves and paws and hands, we carefully dropped our cookie clouds onto baking sheets, where the warmth of the oven would transform them into light, airy bites of goodness that melted in our mouths like a sweet combination of Christmas snowflakes and summer sunshine.

ZeBot Bakes Clouds

Like all the best wishes, our cookies came true: they were  every bit as heavenly as we hoped they would be.

To celebrate the forever magic of Caitlin, we had a party – inviting everyone who loves cookies and joy and laughter.

Cookie Party!

And when we looked up at the glowing sunset sky, we saw the colors and light that let us know Caitlin loved her cookies, too!

We hope you’ll share Caitlin’s magic (and cookies) with your family and friends, celebrating the happiness of holidays and everydays.

Because love is forever – and every moment is a gift.

Want to see how much fun it is to make Angel Cloud Cookies?

Watch the video!

RECIPE: Caitlin’s Magical Angel Cloud Cookies

Cloud cookies are super-easy to make – and they bring happiness to everyone who makes (and eats) them! They’re also pretty healthy, since they’re made with egg whites (and just enough sugar to make them perfectly sweet). This is a flexible recipe, so feel free to play around with the extra ingredients (including imagination). If you’re a kid, please be sure to get an adult’s help – especially with using the mixer and the oven.

WHAT YOU NEED:

Basics

Lots of love

4 egg whites (click these links for tips on how to separate eggs and how to beat egg whites )

1 cup of granulated white sugar

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar (optional – it makes it a little easier to whip the egg whites, but it’s not absolutely necessary)

Extras:

Vanilla Clouds: 1 extra tsp. vanilla extract

Chocolate Clouds: 1/2 cup cocoa

Chocolate Chip Clouds: 2 cups mini chocolate chips

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Clouds: 1/2 cup cocoa + 2 cups mini chocolate chips

Pink Berry Clouds: 2 cups dried berries (cranberries or cherries) + about 1 Tbsp. pure berry juice for pinkness

Coconut Clouds: 2 cups of dried shredded or flaked  coconut (I like unsweetened, but sweetened is fine too)

WHAT YOU DO:

Read through the whole recipe, then get out all your ingredients and measuring tools.

Make sure your oven racks are evenly spaced (dividing the oven into thirds),  then preheat the oven to 225°F.

Grease (or put some nonstick cooking spray on) two baking sheets – or if you have silicone baking mats (Silpats) or baking parchment, you can use either of those.

IF YOU’RE USING A MIXER:

ZeBot Uses the Mixer

Put the egg whites (and cream of tartar, if you’re using it) in the bowl of an electric mixer that’s fitted with a whisk attachment.

Start by beating the egg whites on low speed, then bring it up to medium speed until the eggs whites get foamy.

Now crank it up to a high speed until the eggs turn white and billowy (soft peaks).

Turn the mixer to medium speed, then add sugar a little at a time until the egg whites are shiny and hold stiff peaks.

IF YOU’RE USING A BOWL & WHISK:

ZeBot's Whisk

Gather up all your energy – whipping egg whites is super-fun, but you’ll need to put plenty of hand/hoof power into it!

Put the egg whites (and cream of tartar, if you’re using it) into a mixing bowl (copper is best, but stainless steel, ceramic, sturdy glass or plastic/melamine are A-OK too). Use your whisk to beat the egg whites until they’re white and billowy (soft peaks).

Keep beating (I TOLD you that you’d need lots of energy), adding sugar a little at a time until the egg whites are shiny and hold stiff peaks.

FOR EITHER OF THE ABOVE METHODS, THE NEXT THING YOU DO IS:

Use a rubber spatula to carefully fold in vanilla and any other extras. Be super-gentle and patient, softly mixing in your ingredients until everything’s all blended together.

Spoon the sweet fluffiness inside your bowl onto the baking sheets, spacing your cookie clouds a couple of inches apart.

ZeBot's Baked Cookies

Bake your cloud cookies for one hour, then turn off the oven and let them cool and get crispy in there for up to one more hour (if you can stand it – if not, you can eat them a few minutes after they’re done baking. I know I always do!).

ZeBot & Santa with Cookies

After the cookies are cool, you can store them in an airtight container until you’re ready to enjoy them. Zebras like to eat them as soon as possible, sharing them with all the humans and other creatures we love most!

ZeBot & Cookie Jars

Please help cure childhood cancer!

To learn more, visit the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.

ZeAmazing DIY Cracker Caper

ZeBot @ CUESA

Have you ever noticed that food tastes better than ever when you make it yourself? I learned this from some really savvy 5th graders the other day, when I was invited to a supercool DIY class with CUESA’s Foodwise Kids at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market in San Francisco.

Our kitchen mission: learn to make our own fresh-baked crackers with seasonal market toppings. I was kind of worried about attempting all this with four clumsy hooves, but the kids told me that if they could DIY, then I could DIZ (which means: “Do It, Zebra!).

Sound like fun? If you can’t wait for a taste, you can watch our movie starring the super-chefs at Longfellow Elementary School right NOW!

And now, back to ZeBlog!
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Hail to ZeKale Chips!

No-Fail KaleIf you know anything about zebras, you’ve probably figured out that we love to graze, especially on green stuff. The other day, my cousin ZoeBot and I were trying to figure out if there was a green snack we’d never tasted AND that was possible for zebras to make without totally messing up the kitchen.

Zoe was a little nervous, since she just got here from Planet DooF, where we have no food at all (unless you count Gloop, which I certainly do not).

“I feel like I’m all hooves, ZeBot – I don’t want to try and fail,” she kept saying to me. “But I’m so hungry I think I could eat a whole hay bale – my appetite’s as big as a whale. I really have a taste for something yummy and fresh. You know: definitely not stale.”

Since Zoe obviously had a taste for rhymes, I yelled out the only thing I could think of: “KALE! Let’s make something with kale!”

We weren't sure what we'd make yet -- but we knew we'd need a little salt.

We weren’t sure what we’d make yet — but we knew we’d need a little salt.

What the heck is kale, you ask? Good question! In fact, it’s what Zoe asked, too! Kale is a kind of cabbage with really cool-looking curly green leaves. If you like technical stuff, you can call kale by its scientific name: Brassica oleracea. Or you can just call it “kale” (which is what zebras usually do).

Humans say kale originated in the Mediterranean part of Europe some time before the Middle Ages. Its strong leaves resisted frost damage, so kale was especially great for winter when most vegetables wouldn’t grow. And guess what? It’s also great for summer!

Zebras love snacks with a little zip – so we thought pepper would be good, too!

Zebras love snacks with a little zip – so we thought pepper would be good, too!

Kale is a real nutritional powerhouse! It’s naturally packed with Vitamins A, C and K (makes sense: it’s KALE, right?). These great-tasting leaves are also a good source of beta-carotene, lutein, calcium, potassium, fiber – and lots of other good-for-you stuff.

If you cook kale with a little olive oil, the nutrients are more bioavailable (that means they’re easier for your body to absorb). Olive oil also makes the kale taste better than ever.

We're SuperZebras, so used olive oil to get every last superpower from our kale!

We’re SuperZebras, so used olive oil to get every last superpower from our kale!

Zoe and I love superfoods, and we’re also crazy about healthy chips: so we decided to make kale chips. They tasted AMAZING: light and crispy with just the right amount of savory salty, peppery flavor.

We’re putting them in our Zebra Snack Hall of Fame and making them every chance we get – we hope you will, too. Hail to the Kale Chips!

Just a little while in the oven worked a delicious magic. Presto: kale chips!

Just a little while in the oven worked a delicious magic. Presto: kale chips!

Recipe:  SuperZebras’ Favorite Kale Chips

Ingredients:

A big bunch of kale or a bag of pre-washed & cut-up kale

Extra-virgin olive oil – about 2 tablespoons (you’re just going to drizzle it on)

Salt (just a sprinkling)

Fresh-ground black pepper (only if you like it)

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (if you’re a kid, make sure you have an adult around to help with hot stuff!)

2. If your kale isn’t pre-washed, now’s the time to wash it. Rinse the leaves really well, then drain them in a colander (those are kitchen tools that kind of look like bowls with holes – and that rhymes!).

3. Zebras love stems, but if you don’t, just tear the leaves off the stems. You can save the stems to make vegetable broth, put them in your compost bin or feed them to your favorite zebra (hint, hint!).

4. Put the kale leaves on a baking sheet. You can spray the sheet with a little cooking oil spray, line it with baking parchment  or use a silicone baking mat called a silpat (that’s what ZoeBot and I did).

5. Drizzle a bit of olive oil onto the leaves and toss them around with your hooves or hands, so that they all have a very thin coating. Make sure that they’re all in one layer and not stuck on top each other.

6. Sprinkle the kale leaves with salt (if you want, you can also add a little ground black pepper).

7. Ask an adult to put the kale leaves in the oven. If you’re old enough, you can do this yourself. How do you know if you’re old enough? Ask your parent or another adult in charge of you!

8. Bake the kale leaves for about 12-15 minutes or until they’re crispy. You need to watch them really carefully as you get to the end of baking so they don’t burn.

9. Put your kale chips in a bowl, yell “Hail to the Kale Chips,” and eat them. If you’re at all like a zebra, you’ll eat the whole batch!

As you can see, kale chips are super-simple to make – and a blast to eat! You can find lots more great recipes online (most of them are pretty much like the ones we made).

Photos and Text: Intergalactic © 2013 Laura Martin Bacon