Baking with Children

MINI BLUEBERRY BAKES

It’s only been since Omi turned two, that he has shown an interest in cooking himself. Up until then, he had spent countless hours by my side in the kitchen, emptying cupboards, banging wooden spoons on the floor, or (mostly) in my arms watching carefully as I tried my best to prepare and cook our family meals with one hand. I have always loved to cook. It’s in my blood I’m sure. My Grandmother was a fabulous chef and my Mum is the same, as well as an expert baker. When we get together, we always make a cake as a way of unwinding, a chance to chat and catch up, and of course – to share the food afterwards. So, a few months back, when Omi asked if we could make cookies together, I was especially delighted. Since then, Omi and I regularly bake together on slow afternoons, mostly when his baby brother is napping, or when it’s too rainy to get out into the garden. I like to keep our recipes simple, and refined sugar free. We often use wheat-free flour and dairy-free alternatives, because it’s nice to try new things, and also my youngest son, Orion, has always had problems with his digestion. My top tips for baking with young children are….keep the recipes simple (5-6 ingredients is perfect), do the preparation first (weigh out ingredients, zest lemons etc, so that they can do the throwing in the bowl and mixing), use a low table, let them be messy and give them loads of praise along the way. I feel that spending time together in the kitchen with our chlidren allows them to develop a good relationship towards food and eating, to understand and appreciate the love and effort that goes into creating a good meal and also helps to develop their motor skills, math skills and general creativity. This recipe for mini blueberry bakes is super easy, quick, and healthy too. Omi had a great time mixing and pouring, greasing the tin, counting the blueberries and…..eating! (He ate three in a row, I was quite taken aback!)

For mini blueberry bakes you will need….
A 6 hole muffin tin
Vegetable oil, for greasing
1 free range egg
100ml milk (or dairy free alternative)
1 tablespoon of runny honey, or natural sweetener (we use agave nectar)
Zest of ½ a lemon
45g self-raising flour (or wheat free alternative + ½ tsp of baking powder)
30 blueberries

Preheat your oven to 220°C/450F/Gas7. Grease your muffin tin using a pastry brush or some kitchen towel. Beat together the egg, milk, sweetener and lemon zest. Put the flour in to a mixing bowl, and add the wet mixture, whisking together to form a runny batter. Divide the blueberries between the 6 holes in the muffin tray and evenly share the mixture out on top (about 3 spoons per hole). Place the muffin tray in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the mini cakes are puffed up and golden brown. Leave them to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack. They are delicious eaten warm – and trust me, they won’t last long!

For more recipes, photos, parenting chatter and lifestyle ideas – you can find me over at my blog, here.


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