Hi everyone. Welcome back to Theera’s blog. This month we will take a break from talking about allergen-free ingredients and talk about an easy baking recipe to do with your kids during the school break instead.
As a pastry chef, I would recommend a sweet snack recipe that is easy for you and the kids to make, tastes great, and is healthier than typical snacks you can get from shops or supermarkets.
Focus on the benefits – not the mess!
First of all, you might be thinking, why let my kids loose in the kitchen? It will just be messy!
Actually, there are a lot of benefits to baking with them. They will get a chance to practice skills like:
- Math – measuring and weighing are great life skills
- Language – you could speak with them in your first language but teach them certain words of ingredients, cooking methods, or kitchen equipment in English or other languages they are learning at school
- Reading – following instructions is another important skill
- Through different baking steps, such as mixing, kneading, whisking, rolling, or cutting, their fine motor skills can be improved.
If they are a bit older or are into baking, you can introduce them to simple scientific concepts behind baking. For example, you can discuss the role of wet, dry, or binding ingredients in each recipe. You can talk about the effect of high or low temperature on the texture or the rise of baked goods.
Cooking with your kids is also an opportunity for you to teach them about healthy eating. You can pick a healthy recipe and discuss with them why this recipe is good. Baking yourself at home, you can control the amount and the type of each ingredient better than buying from a shop.
Finally, it increases self-confidence in your kids and improves family bonding.
No-bake oat and fruit bar
No-bake oat and fruit bar shared today is one of the easiest recipes to make. You can adjust the ingredients based on your liking which helps to promote creativity. You don’t even need an oven, and you can find all the ingredients from the local supermarkets, whether it’s Tesco Lotus, Big C, Tops, or even Villa.
This bar keeps well in a fridge for 2 weeks and in a freezer for 2 months. It’s best for a quick breakfast or snack.
We like cashews, macadamia, and almonds, but if you prefer to keep it nut-free you can use pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or even watermelon seeds.
Try to choose a sweetener with thicker consistency such as honey, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, or coconut nectar.
For dry fruits, there are so many local dry fruits to choose from in Thailand. This is a good chance to talk about different kinds of local fruits, their health benefits, and also extra vocabulary boosting! We like to use mango, banana, ginger, and strawberry, and our go to brand is Doi Kham. It’s a bit pricey but it is clean and it offers so many choices to choose from, both fruits and vegetables.
You can also use something easier to find in all supermarkets like raisins, dry cranberries, and dry apricots. Chop dry fruits of your choice into small cubes. If you want to make it more appealing for the kids, you can remove some parts of dry fruits and replace them with choc-chips in the mix-in.
A square baking tray, or any square or rectangle shaped container, with the size around 7” x 7” and baking paper.
Quick cooking oats 110 grams
Any kind of nuts or seeds (see above) 105 grams
Chia seeds 10 grams
Rice puff cereal 50 grams
Flax seeds (grinded) 10 grams
Liquid sweeteners (see above) 70 grams
Brown sugar or coconut sugar 40 grams
Butter 46 grams
Vanilla essence 5 grams
Any kind of dry fruits (see above) 120 grams
Cooking steps: It’s time to get a little bit messy (yet fun!):
- First of all, line a tray with the baking paper, leaving the side of the paper higher than the rim of the tray so it’s easy to remove afterwards.
- Once you have prepared all the ingredients, start by toasting the nuts or seeds of your choice (make sure to chop them up a bit into smaller pieces so they can be pressed in together easily). Put all the nuts (or seeds) on a pan and toast them on medium heat until they turn a bit golden brown and fragrant. If you have an oven, bake them at 170c for 10 minutes. Leave on a cooling rack until cooled down.
- Once they are cooled down, add the dry ingredients including oats, roasted nuts, chia seeds, rice puff cereal, flax seeds, and salt in a big bowl (this is a good time to discuss dry vs wet ingredients) and mix with a spatula. Set aside.
- Add liquid sweetener of your choice, sugar, and butter in a saucepan and put on low heat until all melted.
- Add in vanilla and stir to combine.
- Turn off the heat and leave on the side until cooled down.
- Once everything is ready, add the wet ingredients from the saucepan into the bowl of dry ingredients, mix with a spatula until almost fully combined.
- Add in dry fruits (and choc-chips) and mix again until fully combined.
- Transfer the mixture into the prepared tin and press with a spatula (or a clean hand to make it more fun!) until firmly packed with a smooth surface.
- Leave in a fridge overnight or in a freezer for 2 hours and cut into any size you want.