4 Family Day Recipes to Get Kids Cooking!
Family Day is approaching and this welcome day off is the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with your kids in everyone's favourite room of the house – the kitchen!
Getting kids involved in cooking is a great way for them to learn skills and try out new foods and flavours. Especially for the more picky eaters in the house, getting your kids involved in choosing the ingredients or the dish you will make and having them help to prepare it can open them up, even get them excited, about dishes they might have been a bit resistant to otherwise.
Depending on how old your kids are you can start by giving them small tasks and focusing on recipes where assembly is a main component. This way they can be involved in many aspects of putting the dish together – leaving the more complicated tasks or things that require knives and hot cooking vessels to the adults to handle.
A favourite grocery shopping trick that can even get adults excited is to buy a new and interesting ingredient every week to incorporate into a meal. Whether it's a seasonal veggie or a new spice or grain, why not peruse Fresh City's Online Market with your kids and pick a new produce or pantry item that you can cook with together.
Or take an item you (and the kids) love and re-imagine it in a new way. Have a look through the Fresh City recipe collection to get the inspiration flowing and then try putting together a Pinterest board of recipe ideas that the kids can look through to decide what they want to make.
As they say, team work makes the dream work – and a family-made, family meal will taste all the better for it!
Here are 4 simple recipes to get you started and inspired for your Family Day cook-a-thon.
Orange Spice Granola
Yield: 4 cups
A simple granola recipe that is easy to throw together, using only wholesome ingredients with a kick of warming winter spice.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
- Grated zest of 1 small orange
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 300 F and prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine the oats, almonds and coconut together in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, mix together the coconut oil, honey or maple syrup, orange zest, salt and cinnamon and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour the wet mix into the dry and stir until everything is well coated. Place the finished mixture on the baking sheet and spread out so that it covers the pan in a thin layer.
3. Bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the granola is toasted and golden in colour. Remove the pan from the oven and press down over the mixture with a spatula. This will help create crispy chunks of granola once it cools. If you prefer a less chunky granola you can skip this step. Let the mixture cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Mason Jar Yogurt Parfaits
Yield: 1 serving
A tasty update to your morning cereal routine, and a super simple recipe to put together with the kids. These yogurt parfaits take just a few (usually on-hand) ingredients and a batch of homemade granola to put together. And, bonus, it looks extra attractive served in a small mason jar so that you can see all of the delicious layers. Don't worry to much about measurements here, just assemble and enjoy.
- Plain or vanilla flavoured yogurt – about a 1/2 cup per serving
- Assorted seasonal fruit – in winter diced apple, pomegranate seeds and orange segments are a nice combination
- Granola – especially delicious when made with homemade Winter Spice Granola
- An 8 oz mason jar
Layer 1-2 spoonfuls of yogurt on the bottom of your mason jar – enough to cover the bottom and create a good base. Place a layer of fruit over top, in this case about a spoonful each of apple and pomegranate seed and 1-2 orange segments. Sprinkle a layer of granola over top, about 1-2 spoonfuls to cover. Repeat these steps once more until your jar almost full. Finish with a small dollop of yogurt and garnish with a few pieces of fruit. You can serve this right away at home, or put a lid on it and take it to work or school for an easy breakfast on the go.
Apple Dessert Nachos
Yield: serves 3-4 as a snack or dessert
A delicious update on the snack time staple of apples and nut butter, these dessert apple nachos will be a surefire hit with the kids. Let them get involved in dressing their own “nachos” for an easily customizable and fun to prepare treat.
- 2 small crisp apples, cored, quartered and sliced approx. 1/4” thick
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- Date Caramel Dipping Sauce
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt, plus extra to garnish
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Nut Butter Drizzle
- 1/4 cup nut butter of choice
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- pinch of salt
To make the Date Caramel Dipping Sauce:
Soak the dates in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes to help them soften. Drain and reserve the liquid for later use. Put the dates in a food processor along with the coconut oil, vanilla, salt and lemon juice. Pulse until the mixture forms a smooth, thick paste. If the mixture is too thick add some of the reserved soaking liquid, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach a dip-able consistency. If your paste is very grainy from the date skins (this can happen if you use smaller honey dates), press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve before serving. Serve in a small bowl and garnish with a sprinkle of sea salt. Leftover sauce can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
To make the Nut Butter Drizzle:
Warm the nut butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, or in the microwave for about 30 seconds on high. Add the melted coconut butter and salt and stir until combined. Mixture should be runny and easy to drizzle.
Arrange the apple slices on a plate and drizzle the nut butter over top. Sprinkle with coconut, almonds and chocolate chips. Serve with the Date Caramel Sauce and any extra nut butter mix on the side.
Home Made Veggie Dumplings and Dipping Sauce
Yield: 30-35 dumplings
Making your own dumplings is a fun, DIY activity that the whole family can participate in. It's also a great way to use up the veggies you have in your fridge and sneak a few greens in for good measure. Bulked up with some quinoa and edamame and served with a super simple dipping sauce these are great as a quick savoury snack or can be turned into a meal served with a side of crudite or steamed veggies.
- 1 pack of dumpling wrappers
- 1/2 cup onion, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup savoy or white cabbage, roughly chopped
- 1 medium size carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup broccoli florets, roughly chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup shelled edamame beans, thawed
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- Scallion – to garnish (optional)
- Lime wedges – to garnish (optional)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1. Prepare the dipping sauce first by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and whisking until well combined and the sugar is dissolved. Set aside until serving.
2. Place the onion, cabbage, carrot, broccoli and garlic in a food processor and pulse until mixture is chopped up quite fine. It's ok to have a mix of some slightly bigger pieces and small pieces of vegetables.
3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat saute the veggie mix in the vegetable oil until everything softens, about 5-6 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add in the quinoa and edamame as well as the soy sauce and sesame oil to season. Mix well and transfer to a bowl.
4. Set up a clean surface and work station with your veggie mix, dumpling wrappers and a small bowl of warm water. To prepare the dumplings take a wrapper and dip your finger or a brush in the water and liberally wet the edges. Spoon a small amount of the mixture in the centre of the wrapper. Depending on the size of the wrapper you can use between one heaping teaspoon to one tablespoon of veggie mix, but it will be easier to fold the dumplings if there is less filling – a good tip if kids are helping out here. Bring the edges of the wrapper together and pinch to seal. Go over the edges a few times pressing firmly to make sure they fully bond. You can also press down on the edges with a fork for additional security (and a pretty design). Repeat this until you have used up the mixture.
5. To cook the dumplings you can steam them, setting up a steamer tray in a pot of shallow simmering water. Lay some extra cabbage leaves over the bottom of the tray to keep the dumplings from sticking and allow them to cook for 7-10 minutes until the shell is tender. You can also boil them, cooking them in a medium size pot of boiling water for 5 minutes until they float to the surface and the shell is tender.
6. Serve with the dipping sauce and if you like a sprinkling of sliced scallions and lime wedges. Enjoy!