This post was developed, cooked, styled, photographed and written by Kari as part of her monthly contribution to Gourmet magazine. It was published in the June issue. Much thanks to our beautiful, fun and discerning young foodie models Samuel, Chloe, Junessa and Noel and their lovely parents for sharing them with us.
There is something absolutely magical about cooking with kids. Maybe it is their sharp sense of humour or wide-eyed enthusiasm about mundane tasks but having children help to prepare food is anything but ordinary.
Food preparation is a bit of everything that kids love all rolled up into one. They get to get their hands dirty touching different textures and trying new things, see things transform from one state to the next and if you actually engage then along the way, they have lots of fun. The absolute best part is that they get to eat the fruits of their labour and be praised about how great they were. Good luck with the clean up.
These recipes are very kid-friendly and are perfectly suited for grown ups just the same.
Cooking with kids should be fun and light hearted while practical, budget and time-friendly. By the time they are done making these dishes they will be excited to conduct a little kitchen experimentation any time you need help or need to rescue them from boredom. Before you know it, you will have teens who will be able to make you breakfast in bed. Now that is every parent’s dream.
If you have any concerns about the amount of sugar in the packaged variety, this Homemade Nutella is for you. It is simple, easy, superbly tasty and well worth the effort. By the end of our photo shoot the kids were sneaking and eating it by the spoonful! All you need is a good quality food processor. I used my top quality Magimix the original food processor, which made for a smooth consistency with a tad more texture than the store-bought version. A Vitamix blender would make it even smoother. The fun part of this recipe is that children love gadgets and they get to see how they can reinvent all their favourite treats from scratch. It also helps to give them the extra bricks of white chocolate leftover from the 100g you will buy for this recipe.
The classic flavour combinations in this recipe are:
Nutella + Banana
Chocolate + Strawberries
2 cups raw hazelnuts
1/2 cup +2 tablespoons powdered sugar
85g melted white chocolate
1/2 cup of really good cocoa powder
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
*(substitute with hazelnut oil or walnut oil)
Roast hazelnuts on a sheet pan for about 10 minutes in a oven pre-heated to 190C, rotating pan and tossing around nuts half way through. Keep an eye on them as they can burn very quickly.
Once cooled, allow kids to rub a few nuts together in their hands until skins come off.
Put the shelled nuts in a food processor and grind until a smooth, liquid , runny texture for about 5-8 minutes depending on your food processor. The kids get to press the buttons. Add other ingredients and grind for another 3-5 minutes.
Spread two tablespoons on top of a crepe and top with sliced bananas, fold in half then quarter and enjoy. You could also use as a dip for fresh fruit to encourage more healthier dessert options.
Transfer excess to a sterilised jam jar and you can store for up to 4 weeks refrigerated.