Busy day at Feilding Farmers’ Market and at FIS

Our food technology extension class made and enjoyed almond milk with toasted muesli – after agreeing upon the best recipe of our almond milk from the previous week. The rest of the class split into 3 groups, and with some help from Mr Google investigated into how our homemade almond milk compares with shop-bought almond milk. We compared the nutrients (fats, carbs, proteins, vitamins and minerals), the ingredients (and what all the e-numbers stand for) and the cost. Then we compared the taste!

Conclusions: our homemade almond milk has 5 times the amount of almonds in it, 5 times the protein, and is much creamier and yummier than the shop-bought almond milk, which was declared quite watery and tasteless. Our research revealed that our homemade almond milk has good levels of calcium and magnesium in it. To make 1 litre uses 1 cup of almonds – which are quite expensive, but we all decided the end result was worth it. And the left-over almond pulp is yummy in cookies, muffins, pancakes or waffles. In comparison we saw that shop-bought almond milk is quite pricey considering how much water is in it! Next week we will try our hand at making oat milk.

We headed off to the Feilding Farmers’ Market with our anti-cranky spread and our two trial flavours of protein bar – vanilla and orange. The students quickly prepared tasters of the spread on stone oven seed bread to offer prospective customers – which were enjoyed by customers and students alike! They also carefully cut some protein bars into tasters and offered them enthusiastically to market-goers. The students got pretty good at reciting the healthy ingredient list, remembering to mention the nut content. They memorised the composition of each bar – 9g protein, only 5g natural sugars (from dates) and no refined sugars. Many bars were bought for lunch-box fillers.

Back at school we shared feedback we’d received from customers, and brainstormed ways to improve our bars. Many great ideas were tabled and recorded. We tasted 7 store-bought protein and raw-food bars, comparing ingredients and sugar content. They all had significantly higher sugar content than our product, and none of them tasted as good as ours! We split into 5 groups and tried 5 different tweaks on our recipe to see if we could improve it – extra orange zest, extra vanilla, a pinch of sea salt, psyllium husk to increase fibre and help the texture, extra carob powder for a richer flavour. We popped them in the freezer to firm up quickly, then tasted each of them. By the end of the day everyone felt pretty full – and nobody was lacking protein J.  A mistake 1 group made led to discovering a better texture – adding protein powder afterwards produced a more fudge-like texture. Now to come up with appealing packaging and labelling …

Tino pai everyone.

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