4-H Competition Promotes Iowa Grown Foods

“Best of Class” in the 2013 4-H Dish This! competition at the Franklin County Fair are from left to right: Madi Vanness, Ellie Latham, Lindsay Jones, Ben Fahrmann, Jillisa Moore and Collin Meints

Bacon wrapped smokies.  Bacon cheeseburger soupSlow-cooked pulled pork.  Smoked beef brisket.  Individual fruit pizzas. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles.

All of these dishes and more were entered yesterday in the all new Dish This! competition at the Franklin County Fair.  4-H members could enter one dish in each of these five categories:  Appetizer, Snack or Salad, Side Dish, Main Dish, Bread and Desserts.

Entries were scored based on presentation, taste and use of Iowa-grown food products.  When selecting their recipes, participating 4-H members really had to think about which of the ingredients were made in Iowa.  For example, Iowa-made Cookie’s Barbecue Sauce was used to top some of the pork and beef dishes.  Blue Bunny® ice cream was featured in several desserts.  An award-winning taco salad was made using every ingredient fresh from the backyard garden.

4-H’ers also were asked how they could promote Iowa-grown products.  Our son said social media is a great tool to share recipes and educate others where their food comes from. (His answer did his mama proud. #agvocate!)  Our daughter shares soyfoods with at Girl Scout troop meetings.  Because soybeans are such an important part of our business, our daughter chose to bake Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with tofu.  And, yes, these cookies passed the taste test at a Girl Scout meeting this past spring.

Ellie has been a fan of this recipe ever since she took the Iowa Soybean Association’s Cookie Challenge at the Latham Country Fair.  Today we’re featuring the recipe for these award-winning Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with tofu.  These cookies are moist, delicious and oh “soy” delicious!  Serve up some fun at home this weekend!

“Soy Good” Chocolate Chip Cookies



  • 2½ cups oatmeal
  • 1¾ cups flour
  • ¼ cup soy flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ lb. soft tofu, drained
  • 12 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips



  1. Sift together oatmeal, flour, baking soda and baking powder.  Set aside.
  2. In large bowl combine butter, sugars and vanilla until smooth.  In a food processor or blender, process tofu until smooth.  Stir into sugar mixture.
  3. Stir in flour mixture, 1 cup at a time, until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Drop by rounded teaspoons on ungreased cookie sheet, two inches apart.  Bake in a 375 degree oven 8 to 10 minutes or until golden around edges.