Tips and Recipes for Cooking with Kids–and Silky Bean Fudge Recipe
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.
If you’d like to whip up some yummy
face paint Silky Bean Fudge, here’s the recipe for you!
Silky Bean Fudge
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.
- 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.Method1. 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!