Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kid-Friendly Recipe of the Day

Who doesn't like banana bread? It's delicious.

Sadly, most recipes for it are no better than a birthday cake. Kara saves the day again on this one. Her multi-grain banana bread is fabulous. It is one of the things that the kids (and adults, of course) gobble up the fastest at my cooking classes.

If you don't have the flours she uses, you can make them easily with a wheat grinder or very good blender. Otherwise you can buy them at a store. If you only have one or two of them, you can just use those as well. I recommend reading Kara's blog for more information on how to substitute whole grains.
Multi-Grain Banana Bread

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup of white sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons
kefir or buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

3 medium bananas

2/3 cup barley flour
2/3 cup oat flour

2/3 cup soft white wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 5x9 inch loaf pan. Cut a 5x9 inch piece of parchment and place in the bottom of the pan.In blender place syrup, sugar and egg. Blend on low for 45 seconds. Add oil, kefir, vanilla and bananas. Blend again for 30 seconds. Place the remaining ingredients on top of mixture. Pulse until mostly combined, finish mixing with a spatula and pour into loaf pan. Bake for about 45 minutes.

Be sure to check the bread a couple times in the last 10 minutes for doneness. Press gently on the middle of the loaf, firm is done. When you remove loaf from the oven, let cool 5-10 minutes in the pan, then turn out on a wire rack and peel the parchment from the bottom.

*For a treat, I put chocolate chips or nuts or fruit in as add-ins.

**Another great way to do these, especially if different members of your family have different add-in likes, is to make the into muffins and add in whatever you want to each muffin. Simply grease or line with baking cups your muffin tin and bake them for about 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Keep an eye on them the first time and see what time works best for you.

Getting Kids to Eat It...

...or ourselves, for that matter. My niece has been known to say, "This tastes like green. I don't like green!" We (the people) have tried giving our kids peas and spinach, but they won't eat it. Why should they, anyhow? They have many other choices, and we think it's not a huge deal. After all, kids just don't like vegetables, right? A daily vitamin will do the trick, especially if it looks and tastes like a gummy bear.


Not if we really want to have health, anyway. You can eat to survive or you can eat to thrive! As I said in an earlier post, we have to learn about why it's important to eat well. The same goes for our kids. TEACH them the why's and involve them in the preparation. When they learn and then experience the benefits firsthand, the food battles will likely diminish and then fade away completely. Green Smoothie Girl has some good thoughts about this in her 12 Steps Program, which I highly recommend. Also, she has a YouTube video on this topic. Check it out.

Other ideas:

Make the food look fun and attractive. Use lots of color (color=antioxidants)!

Anitra Kerr of SimplyLivingSmart.com makes what she calls an Incredible Edible Veggie Bowl that is fun. You can watch that video (and others) when you sign up for a free membership on that site.

Don't label things so much before your kids can develop their own opinions. I have met people who assume that because something is green that their kids won't like it. I brought some green smoothie to my morning workout and my little boy was drinking some. I was loaded with greens, and it was really good too. Some of the other kids wanted a taste, so I let them try it. They liked it. When I told their mom, the moment I said green smoothie, her face crinkled. Gross! was her response. Her kids liked it though.

Keep trying. Sometimes it takes a lot of tries (more than 20, for sure) for kids to gain a taste for something.

Know this: What you serve is what they will eat. I went to an Armenian cooking class once and a lady came with her kids. When her daughter tried the new things, she spat them out (she was about 10 years old) right in front of the teacher. Then she went through the teacher's cupboards looking for candy and eating it. Her mother was embarrassed, of course. But as time went on, that same mother asked the teacher if she intended to feed her kids Armenian food. The teacher (being Armenian) responded that of course she would. The mom couldn't believe that any kid would eat non-sugared, vegetable filled foods. Kids eat the foods we have in our homes. They eat what we give them. They develop tastes for what they eat at home.

Try it a new way. My mantra for trying things has become: If I didn't like it last time I tried it, I haven't had it prepared the right way.

Know that changes take time and practice. Keep it up.

Any other ideas? Please share!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Granola Bars Recipe

As requested, here is one version of the Kitchen Stewardship Granola Bars. The recipe can also be found on that site.

© 2010 Katie Kimball | Kitchen Stewardship
The most popular recipe at Kitchen Stewardship, this granola bar method is as easy as mixing up a batch of homemade cookies. The amount of honey makes them both slightly indulgent and slightly expensive, but it’s worth it!

4 1/2 c. rolled oats 1 c. whole wheat or spelt flour
1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. vanilla 1 c. butter, softened 1 c. honey
2 cups of add-ins: mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, coconut, other nuts…

Lightly butter a 9”×13” glass pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and honey first and mix well. Tip: If your butter isn’t softened, use a rolling pin and roll it between two sheets of wax paper. Then add all ingredients except add-ins. Beat well until combined. Stir in add-ins by hand. Press mixture hard into pan. (You can use your hands!) Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. They do not have to look or feel “done” but will be quite moist – remember that there aren’t any eggs in the recipe. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing and serving. Store at room temperature or freeze for longer freshness.

NEW: Stickier, Chewier Granola Bars: The one drawback of this original recipe is that it tends to be a bit crumbly, especially if you overbake the bars even slightly. You can avoid that by melting the butter, honey and vanilla in a saucepan and cooking on low for 5 minutes after the butter melts, then mixing the liquid ingredients into the dry. You can choose to bake them or skip the baking powder and not bake them (see Soaked Granola Bars, next recipe in booklet). Of course, this takes longer and dirties an extra pot. Works both ways!

Other Flavors:
Add ¼ c. cocoa powder to the dry ingredients; no chocolate chips needed
Use ½ c. natural peanut butter in place of ½ c. of the butter

Makes at least 20 bars, equivalent to about 3 boxes processed bars
Cost: $3.50, varies widely based on honey and butter prices