For the next few weeks, let’s beat summer boredom by getting the kids in the kitchen to create recipes and learn skills that will come in handy for the rest of their lives. I’ll share my favorite kids-in-the-kitchen tips and my favorite kid-friendly recipes. Today’s I’m sharing my favorite no-bake options, perfect for quick results and no unnecessary heat!
Teach kids how to read a recipe. Before you begin preparing food, read the recipe from beginning to end together. Explain any terms that are unfamiliar, and talk through individual steps.
Mise en place. This French term means to gather and measure all ingredients and equipment before you begin. (Hey, it’s a French lesson, too!) This is an especially important idea for kids because it ensures accuracy and speeds up the actual cooking or baking process, creating a more satisfying experience.
Teach safety one recipe at a time. Kids can learn to properly handle knives, heat and other dangers as they practice with your supervision. They’ll feel empowered as they learn to master safety in the kitchen.
Keep them involved. Maintain their interest and involvement in the kitchen by inviting them to choose recipes and shop for ingredients. This is a great idea for picky eaters who are more likely to try new things when they’re involved in the process.
Aim for fun, not perfection. Resist micro-managing and let them learn through experience.
NO FAIL, NO-BAKE RECIPES
No-Bake Rocky Road Cookies
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (one stick) butter
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup chopped cashews
1 cup chocolate chips
In a heavy saucepan, bring the sugar, butter, cocoa, and milk to a boil. Allow it to boil for one minute, then add peanut butter and vanilla and stir until combined. Remove from heat. Stir in the oatmeal, marshmallows, nuts, and chocolate chips. With an ice cream scoop, form balls of dough and set on wax or parchment paper until cool.
4 c. graham cracker cold cereal
4 c. chocolate puff cold cereal
1 10-ounce package marshmallows
5 T. butter
Melt butter in large pot over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and add both cereals. Stir with a large spoon until thoroughly mixed. Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 pan and allow to cool. Cut into squares and enjoy!
No-Bake Energy Bites
(from Smashed Peas & Carrots)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then using a cookie dough scoop or melon baller, divide and roll into bite-sized balls. Store in an air-tight container and keep refrigerated for up to one week.
HINT: Substitute peanut butter for your favorite nut butter (almond, cashew, etc.). Nutella also works great for a chocolate-y twist.