Tips and Recipes for Cooking with Kids–and Silky Bean Fudge Recipe

Dairy Free Fudge Bean Fudge

I’ve always loved cooking.

If you’re like me, however, you often find yourself cooking, making a mess, and then cleaning up while your kids are absorbed doing something else.

Most of the time, I feel a little distant from my children and wish we were able to do more in the kitchen together.

Recently I’ve been inviting my kids to get involved with me in the kitchen again and it’s resulted in some sweet–and fun–times together.

But getting your kids involved with you in the kitchen takes some preparation.

Not much, but if you take a few moments to do a few small things, your time together will be much more fruitful–and less stressful.

Tips for Cooking with Kids

1.  Prepare Your Stuff

  • Get out your aprons.  It makes the mess more tolerable.
  • get out extra measuring spoons, cups, and spatulas.  Kids want to do what you’re doing so you’ll want extras available.
  • I’ve found having a simple hand mixer is a great tool for kids.  This is the one that I have.  They love using it and I don’t have to plug in the electric beaters.

2. Prepare Your Space

If you’re cooking with tiny ones, of course you’ll want to work in a carpet free area.  Or throw a bed sheet down if you can’t avoid it.  Toss in the washer afterwards for fast cleaning.

3.  Prepare Your Mind

  • Lower your expectations.
  • Expect messes, delays and for the kids to get bored.
  • Enjoy whatever fun you have.

4.  Learn while you go!

You can, of course, talk about the chemistry behind cooking (if you’re like me, you’ll have some real studying to do first), but the obvious lesson for cooking is math.

Eights, quarters, thirds, and halves.  All of them can encourage your kids’ math skills to blossom.

And when you bake or cook in bulk, their multiplication tables get a workout as well!

One of our favorite recipes that the kids love to help with is Silky Bean Fudge (inspired by Affairs for Living).

Of course, sometimes, having kids in the kitchen can get a little too crazy.

Face Paint with Food Bean Fudge

If you’d like to whip up some yummy face paint Silky Bean Fudge, here’s the recipe for you!

Silky Bean Fudge

Ingredients

3 1/2 cups cooked beans (or 2 cans.  See my post on How to De-Gas Beans.) (Note:  You can use any kind of bean, but black beans make a more “chocolately” presentation.)
3/4 cup coconut oil (use coconut oil w/o coconut flavor or taste (i.e. expeller pressed) to avoid excessive coconut flavor)
3/4 cup carob or cocoa powder (or more, to taste)
1/2 cup sweetener, to taste (granulated or liquid)
6 scoops stevia extract (3/16 teaspoon total**), or additional sweetener (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup) to taste.  One good stevia brand is NuNaturals.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

Optional Add Ins:  coconut, nuts, or chips like my Homemade Chocolate Chips.
*NOTES:

  • These mini measuring spoons would be very handy for measuring the stevia.
  •  If you use cocoa you might need to add more sweetener as carob ads a natural sweetness.
Method
1.  Melt coconut oil in a small pan.
2.  Place all ingredients in a food processor.
3.  Blend ’til smooth.
4.  Add optional add-ins, if using and blend ’til mixed.
5.  Place in an 8×8 pan (any size pan will work, but fudge will be either thinner or thicker.)
6.   Chill in fridge (or freezer for faster results).
7.  Cut into squares and store in the refrigerator.

Other Great Recipes Your Kids Can Help with (all with special diet options):

Almond Butter Truffles – Just measure and mix

Homemade “Jello” – Parents should heat the water.   Otherwise, kids can do it all.

Homemade Lemonade – just pour and stir!

Baked Oatmeal / Oatmeal Cake – Two Ways.  So simple, you won’t believe it!

Focaccia Flax Bread – my son loves spreading out this thick “dough” before baking.  Then he gets to cut some of it up for us.  Let’s just say we get some interesting shapes this way.

Baked Cinnamon Doughnuts – Kids can make any shape they like with this simple dough and enjoy topping the doughnuts with the sweet cinnamon topping!

What recipes do you enjoy making with your kids?

39 Responses to Tips and Recipes for Cooking with Kids–and Silky Bean Fudge Recipe

  • Ricki says:

    I have a very similar fudge on my blog that I make ALL the time. It’s such a great recipe when you want something sweet and don’t want to raise your blood sugar. And I bet readers will be surprised by how satisfying this is! I don’t have kids, but I still enjoy my black bean fudge. :D

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Urban Reply:

    @Ricki, Hi Ricki! Yes, I’d for sure make this even without the kiddos! In fact, I tend to eat more than my fair share! Take care!!!

    [Reply]

  • I LOVE having my kids in the kitchen with me! I like giving them the chance to create! My oldest starts high school this next school year and I talked to him the other day about how the next four years is going to change from me cooking for him, to him learning to cook more for him. So strange to see that change! The fudge sounds delicious!

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Urban Reply:

    @Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen), Oh me. I’m not at the stage yet, but it’s coming fast!! Hope it goes well!

    [Reply]

  • Penny says:

    Does this work for any type of bean or do you use a particular bean in your recipe?

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Urban Reply:

    @Penny, You can use any type of bean, but black will make it the darkest. We’ve used pinto and red kidney with success.

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Urban Reply:

    @Penny, Thanks for the question, by the way. I just made an update to my post.

    [Reply]

  • jill says:

    I’m confused about the sweetener.Is it 1/2 c and 6 scoops of stevia? Or is it 1/2 cup total sweetener in the recipe?

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Urban Reply:

    @jill, It’s both. Each scoop is just 1/32 of a tsp. I’ll try to make it more clear.

    [Reply]

  • Kim says:

    I love your photo! I cook with my kids, too, and you are so right about accepting the mess :) I’m messy on my own, but my kids can take it to a whole new level. Thanks for all of the great cooking with kids ideas!

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Urban Reply:

    @Kim, :-) . I am such a messy cook too. Glad that I’m not alone. My mom used to comment that I love to cook and not to clean up.

    [Reply]

  • Turq says:

    I’d really like to try this recipe, but I remain confused about the sweetener. I don’t have any 1/16 tsp measuring spoons to begin with; never seen them sold. When you say “scoops” are we talking droppers-ful? If it’s an extract, it’s a liquid, right?

    I’m sorry, I just need a fuller description of that measurement step so that I can enjoy yummy fudge!

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Urban Reply:

    @Turq, This scoop thing is very confusing. The stevia that I used to use had a little 1/32 tsp scoop in it. The new stevia that I am using doesn’t so I purchased some little soap making scoops that are perfect. You could also use a 1/8 tsp and use 1 1/2 of that. This set of scoops would be perfect and I just might have to buy them: Norpro 3080 Mini Measuring Spoons, 5 Piece Set

    [Reply]

  • You have some wonderful ideas for cooking with kids! When my boys were little we had lots of fun doing that, too — makes great memories.

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Urban Reply:

    @Pat @ Elegantly, Gluten-Free, It does. Too often I’m in a rush and really need to remember to slow down and do it with them. Thanks for sharing.

    [Reply]

  • Travel Spot says:

    Yum! I just made some garbanzo brownies which were delicious, but I will have to try this fudge next!

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Urban Reply:

    @Travel Spot, I’d love to try those…..would you care to share the recipe please? Wholenewmom at gmail dot com.

    [Reply]

  • silky bean fudge — yummmmm! your boys are adorable! haha that’s a great shot of the two of them! thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  • pamela says:

    Hi!
    This looks like a great recipe to try. Something important to note- I clicked on your how to degas beans and it opens and loaded a virus on my computer. It starts a weird virus scan that you can’t stop. Please check this.
    On other hand, can you please post how to degas here for me? Thanks so much.

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Urban Reply:

    @pamela, Hi Pamela. This is strange. I’ve had several readers comment about strange virus things, but my host keeps telling me that my site is clean. I will forward this to her. Her response has been that it is something on your site. Please check back w/ me after you try again. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Urban Reply:

    @pamela, Hi again, Pamela. Just got off the phone w/ my blog host and she said that my site is totally clean. She said that if you get something on your own computer (a virus) , then random clicks will cause it to ‘rear it’s ugly head’ and you will think that the virus is on my (or another) site but really it’s on your computer. So it would really behoove you to run a good scan on your computer. Mine site is clean. Thanks for alerting me though!

    [Reply]

  • 4 of my 5 kids love to help me cook! As they’ve gotten older, they help more with dinner preparation plus my canning and freezing in the summer. I think my 8 year old may end up being a fantastic cook like his dad. He’s already experimenting with mixing spices together in his tunafish.

    I have a similar black bean brownie recipe that we absolutely love. It freezes well, too.

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Urban Reply:

    @Barb @ Frugal Local Kitchen, I wish my oldest was still keen on cooking. My youngest is getting into it now.

    I would LOVE your brownie recipe if you care to share…wholenewmom at gmail. I haven’t found a winner yet. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Urban Reply:

    @Barb @ Frugal Local Kitchen, Hi again, Barb. I just checked out your site and see you are from Philly burbs. Me too….which one? You can feel free to email :-) .

    [Reply]

  • amber says:

    Love this, Adrienne. I need to make this recipe. So easy and looks so amazing. :-)

    I’m working on a SCD fudge that incorporates black beans. They are so versatile.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Have a great weekend.

    Hugs,
    –Amber

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Urban Reply:

    @amber, I so hope you like it! I am now drooling over your lemon ginger cookies! Thanks! I am not so good w/ SCD limitations. What in this recipe is not OK for you? Take care.

    [Reply]

  • I have never seen a recipe for fudge made from beans. I definite recipe to try and I’m sure my children, even though they are teenagers, would enjoy participating. I invite you to link in to my recipe hop this week. It will be open until midnight on Wed. Hope to see you there ☺

    [Reply]

  • You have shared some wonderful tips here. Cooking with your kids is so rewarding, but you definitely need to be organised to avoid chaos! I have really fond memories of cooking with my son when he was growing up and now that he is 19 not only does he know his way around the kitchen but he genuinely enjoys cooking. Your healthy fudge recipe looks and sounds delicious too!

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Urban Reply:

    @April @ The 21st Century Housewife, I hope we have the same thing when my boys are older. I need to for sure work harder at it :-) .

    [Reply]

  • Awesome post! Would love for you to come link up with us at Kids in the Kitchen! Such a perfect post to share: http://younglivingoillady.com/home/kids-in-the-kitchen-link-up-week-16/ Thanks so much! Hope to see you there :)

    [Reply]

  • Jodi says:

    I love getting kids in the kitchen and just wanted to thank you for getting this message out too. So much love goes on in the kitchen.

    [Reply]

    Adrienne Urban Reply:

    @Jodi, Yes, it’s true. But really I was “preaching” to myself as well. I need to keep working in this area now that our lives are busier. Thanks for the encouragement!

    [Reply]

  • Becky says:

    I am going to try these–we are gf, hubby has Celiacs. Thanks for linking up to Beyond the Picket Fence.

    [Reply]

  • Miz Helen says:

    Hi Adrienne,
    Who could resist a recipe like this with those two adorable faces of chocolate. This is a great post. Hope you have a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

    [Reply]

  • Hi Adrienne, I love this recipe and the tips for getting the family involved are great. Thanks for sharing it with us at Whole Food Wednesdays.
    http://www.beyondthepeel.net

    [Reply]

  • LOL! What a FUN post. I just LOVED it! Thankyou!

    [Reply]

  • Adrienne,

    Great tips. My kids love joining me in the kitchen! I definitely have to be strategic sometimes when I invite them to make something with me- we have a smaller kitchen, so turn-taking with me is essential, and I like to select a recipe that won’t frustrate me, so that I can be calm and make those good memories.

    I followed you over from the Tip Junkie linky party. I would love if you stopped by my blog.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Laura

    [Reply]

  • Thanks Adrienne, what a great post and recipe! I was craving a healthy fudge goodie for myself and now I’m going to share the fun with my Great nieces!! hugs, Ali

    [Reply]

  • Babette says:

    Hi! Thanks for posting this recipe. It looks oh so yummy and I’m looking forward to trying it. Can you suggest some specific sweeteners? What do you like to use?

    [Reply]

  • Babette says:

    Hi! Thanks for posting this recipe. It looks oh so yummy and I’m looking forward to trying it. Can you suggest some specific sweeteners? What do you like to use?

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

BundleoftheWeek.com, 5 eBooks for $7.40!
Recent Comments

+ Get code for this badge


Enter your email address to subscribe to TBP's blog feed:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Real Time Analytics