Kids in the Kitchen: No Fail, No-Bake Recipes

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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!

TODAY’S TIPS

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

Directions
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.

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S’more Bars

4 c. graham cracker cold cereal
4 c. chocolate puff cold cereal
1 10-ounce package marshmallows
5 T. butter

Directions
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

Directions
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.

Tortilla Snowflakes

MF Tortilla Snowflakes Final

Remember when you used to stand outside in the snow and catch snowflakes on your tongue? Well, these beautiful snowflakes are just as fun to savor in your mouth, and a great activity to do with the kids on a snowy day. No two snowflakes are alike, but every one is delicious!

MF Tortilla Snowflakes

Tortilla Snowflakes

Large flour tortillas
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Sharp, clean kitchen scissors

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix sugar and cinnamon together and set aside. Fold a tortilla in half, then in thirds. (If the tortilla is stiff, try microwaving it for 10 seconds to make it pliable.) Use kitchen scissors to cut shapes into the tortilla, then carefully unfold it to reveal a snowflake. Place it on a baking sheet, then brush it lightly with butter, then sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature.

HINT: This isn’t just a fun activity for kids. I love to serve these to guests with a large scoop of cinnamon ice cream on top, with a drizzle of caramel and chocolate. It makes a fantastic dessert display!

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