Spending time with my kids in the kitchen is one of my favorite stressful activities!
The potential for disaster is great when you mix messy ingredients, heating elements, and excited little people on step stools wielding blunt objects.
But the potential for fantastic memories, not to mention the little self-esteem boost your little one will get from having made something? Those are most definitely greater.
One of my favorite recipes to make with my kids is this banana bread recipe, adapted from one found on my all-time favorite recipe blog, Smitten Kitchen. Her recipe is just lovely and delicious so feel free to just follow it. Our adaptations below have come about through dozens upon dozens of trials and errors and ultimately aim to make it just a tad healthier.
The brilliance of this recipe is that my four-year old can more or less make it with very little help from me. It requires just one bowl and no mixer; everything is hand mixed right into the same bowl.
Your Kid Can Do It Banana Bread!
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Jacked Up Banana Bread
3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted salted butter
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup of soy flour (if you don’t have soy flour, you can just do the full 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour)
¼ cup mini chocolate chips (if you’re feeling fancy, or if you aren’t planning on this for breakfast)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Hand your child your 3 to 4 spotted, nearly past their prime, bananas along with a wooden spoon. Instruct him or her to peel the bananas, drop them into the mixing bowl, and begin smashing. Kids are great at smashing.
While the smashing is going on, melt 1/3 cup of salted butter. Make sure it’s completely melted.
Take a look at the smashed bananas and, if necessary to work out any bigger lumps, take a smashing turn yourself.
Pour the melted butter into the bowl and let your child mix it in with the bananas (caution her to do so a bit more gently).
Measure out in the sugar, egg, vanilla and bourbon, then the spices. Let your child pour these ingredients in, continuing to mix in between. This is a great time to start talking about fractions (e.g. how many ½ teaspoons of cinnamon would I need to get to the right amount for this recipe?)
Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
Add the flour last.
Pour mixture into a mini muffin tin. You might need 2 tins or to do 2 rounds of baking. We’ll usually use what doesn’t fit in the mini muffin tin to make a couple of larger muffins or a couple of smaller loafs.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.