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27 Tasty Garden-to-Table Summer Recipes for Families

While some kids genuinely dig their veggies, some kids need a little convincing. These recipes are for veggie-lovers and veggie-doubters alike!

Erica Silverstein · about 2 months ago

  • cooking
Kid Friendly Summer Veggie Recipes

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Mistress-Mary-quite-contrary may love to dig in the dirt and watch her garden grow — but she isn't always keen to eat the vegetables and herbs from her garden. Sound like someone you know? Garden-fresh (or farmer’s market-fresh) veggies are a tasty summer treat, but sometimes a solid recipe will win over the skeptics when a bite of raw produce won’t. Try these garden-to-table recipes for dinners from the backyard your family is sure to love.

Kid-Friendly Tomato Recipes

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I Heart Naptime

Tomato sauce and ketchup are beloved staples of most kid diets, even if whole tomatoes can sometimes intimidate the most devoted ketchup-lover. Tempt the family to taste the cherry tomatoes you just picked with a biscuit-topped cobbler that’s a savory take on a favorite summer dessert (after all, tomatoes are technically fruit). Throw the tomatoes into a pasta salad — use fun noodle shapes, like bowties, for a higher success rate — or blend the tomatoes into a soup and serve with a side of grilled cheese sandwiches. If you want to branch out from your weekly pizza dinner, replace pizza dough with grilled polenta and top with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella.

Kid-Friendly Cucumber Recipes

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Healthy Little Foodies

You can always slice up your garden’s cucumber haul and dunk the sticks in your favorite dips, like hummus or ranch. But c'mon, you can get more creative than that! Pair that cuke with fan-favorite watermelon and feta for a salad everyone will gobble up. Carve out cuke rounds to make kid-friendly cucumber sushi for camp lunches, or blend your farmer’s market purchase with honeydew melon for a dreamy, creamy smoothie. For a fahncy picnic, grab your tea set and make cucumber sandwiches for an upper-crust play date with no crusts allowed. 

Family-Friendly Zucchini Recipes

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HummuSapien

Zucchini: Garden MVP, or the evil alter-ego of cucumber? Discuss. Though it’s not always easy eating green, your family can find several ways to make this veggie a hit at home. Frying helps a lot; try zucchini bites or zucchini fries for an appealing appetizer. Dust off the spiralizer and make zoodles — zucchini noodles you can trick toddlers into thinking is simply green spaghetti. If all else fails, target everyone’s sweet tooth with double chocolate zucchini bread for a healthier take on dessert. 

Kid-Friendly Bell Pepper Recipes

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Super Healthy Kids

You might be surprised to learn that bell peppers come in a rainbow of colors, from red to purple. You can make a pretty plate when you buy up the rainbow at the farmer's market! Fajitas are an obvious place to start, and can be mixed and matched with your favorite proteins and veggies, like portobello mushrooms and red onions. Pop a peppy pepper snack if your crew can’t take the heat of a jalapeno. Or try a new take on Tex-Mex with peppers stuffed with your favorite taco ingredients.

Perfect Pepper Recipes to Try

Kid-Friendly Mint Recipes

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Yes to Yolks

Even apartment dwellers and brown-thumbed gardeners can entice a few herbs to grow in a pot. Mint can be a good intro to edible plants, and its leaves will tang up more than toothpaste. Drink it down in a refreshing glass of watermelon-mint lemonade or scoop it up with fresh chocolate-mint gelato. When dinner rolls around, top your grilled chicken with strawberry-mint salsa and your family will feel like they’re dining on a tropical island.

Kid-Friendly Basil Recipes

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Darn Good Veggies

What’s basil best known for? Pesto, of course! Try this shortcut pesto recipe for a summery spaghetti sauce that will make weeknight dinners sing. If the kids love to dip their veggies, combine basil with feta and Greek yogurt for a ranch dressing alternative. If you’re looking for a snack that feels sophisticated (but is really just bread with cheese), work your basil into a goat cheese and strawberry topped bruschetta that’s a cross between an appetizer and a dessert.

Kid-Friendly Radish Recipes

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Summer Yule

Plant a radish, get radish. There’s never any doubt about that, but you might be doubtful about whether your family will actually eat those radishes. If they find raw radishes too strong, cook them for a subtler taste. Radishes are the ultimate faux-tato; you can roast them into radish chips or load them up with sour cream and bacon. For a sweeter snack, drizzle them with honey before you pop them in the oven, then serve on toast with mashed avocado or cream cheese.

Kid-Friendly Eggplant Recipes

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Aleka's Get Together

Pro: Eggplants are alluringly purple. Con: The wrong recipe will make your farmer’s market find taste rubbery. Luckily, eggplants are versatile and can be incorporated into all kinds of yummy dishes. Turn them into cheesy fries and serve with dipping sauce for a crispy snack. Roast them then roll them into a vegetarian version of a meatball, perfect for sitting on top of spaghetti. If you’re really daring, you can even transform this healthy vegetable into a cinnamon-sugar donut. Think your family can taste the difference?