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Recipe: White House Kitchen Garden “Terrarium”

The White House Chefs wowed the crowds at the 2013 Easter Egg Roll with this demonstration of a healthy and easy cooking project for kids that's as much fun to make as it is to eat. The first step in creating an edible garden is making black bean hummus for the "ground", which is then sprinkled with pumpernickle "dirt" -- the final step is "planting" your family's favorite veggies, then gather around and dig in!

Serves 6

For the Hummus


  • 1      lb black beans, soaked overnight
  • 4      lemons, for juicing
  • 4      limes, for juicing
  • 2      garlic gloves, minced
  • 3      tbsp Tahini
  • 2      tsp Harissa, or your favorite hot sauce (optional)
  • 1/2   cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • 2       tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook the black beans in salted water until tender.   
  • Drain the black beans and reserve a cup of the liquid. 
  • Add the beans and the rest of the ingredients including the reserve liquid into a food processor and blend until smooth. Note: It is best to blend the beans while they are still warm. 
  • Season with salt and pepper.

For the “Dirt”


  • 1      loaf pumpernickel bread,  sliced
  • 2      tbsp butter, melted
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a preheated oven (350degrees), dry the pumpernickel slices for about 12 minutes or fully dry.
  • Process in a food processor until crumbly. Add the butter and season with salt and pepper.
  • Set aside until ready for use.

For the vegetables:

Any seasonal favorites such as baby carrots with tops,  radishes,  cucumber slices,  cherry tomatoes,  fennel, baby celery, lettuce leaves etc.

To assemble:

Using a clear glass bowl or baking dish, layer the hummus and top it with the pumpernickel “dirt”. “Plant” the veggies into the “dirt”  to create your garden.