More Kids in the Kitchen (with Organic Recipes)

From Lisa Barnes

When engaging kids in kitchen and cooking activities you may want to serve them something special like a festive hot drink or a snack of granola or trail mix.  It’s one more reason to stay and help, and also won’t tempt them to eat or “sample” too much of what you’re making.  The drink recipe below is great for all ages and takes the chill out of a cold and rainy afternoon.

Of course there’s the usual helping decorate cookies (see last week’s Little Helpers in the Holiday Kitchen) which kids are always up for.  But there are also other tasks that don’t involve desserts.  Below is a recipe for a unique way to prepare and enjoy brussels sprouts that my kids love to make and eat.

Organic Calientito
Calientito means little hot one and this drink is a spiced cider made with spices and fruit. You can use just about any fruit and fruit juice combination here. This is good for the kids at a party when serving adults mulled wine. The name sounds appropriate for my feisty daughter.

Makes 5 cups; 5 servings

2 cups organic unfiltered apple juice
2 cups organic pomegranate juice
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
½ cup orange segments
½ cup chopped pear
1 tablespoon organic raisins
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick, Serve hot or wait to cool for younger, sensitive mouths. If serving to younger children, strain before serving to prevent choking.

Leaf Us Alone Brussels Sprouts
Although they are one of my favorites, I realize Brussels sprouts are not welcome by many. I think they get a bad rap because they are usually boiled, bland, and still rock hard in the center. Peeling the leaves and discarding the center core, makes for an entirely different taste and texture. And yes, you and your kids may even have a new green favorite. Note this takes time and patience, but little hands make great peelers.

Makes 6 servings

1 pound organic Brussels sprouts
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil.

Cut off bottom stem or core of each sprout. Carefully peel away the leaves until it becomes too hard to peel. Cut off bottom core again and peel more layers. Continue cutting and peeling until it is too difficult to peel apart.

Place leaves in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and stir until all leaves are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir again.

Spread leaves onto prepared baking pan in a single layer. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes, until leaves are cooked and start to crisp with golden edges.

Kids Korner
I brought these to the table to peel while my children were having a snack. It must have looked interesting as both my four year old and 18 month old starting peeling, too. I told them they were Brussels Buddies. My son just kept telling his dad “We’re only eating the skins.”
See also Lisa’s Why Organic For Kids?
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler, Williams-Sonoma: Cooking For Baby, and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: © Reno12 | |

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