One thing I love about my mom is that she always made us, umm I mean let us, help her when we were growing up. No matter what she was doing, there was always a way for us to give her a hand. Oh I despised having to wash dishes back then, especially during the time when we didn't have a dishwasher. But cooking? Well that was so much fun we never fussed about it. And to this day, my mom always lets her grandkids help her in the kitchen. She just scoots over and makes a little space for them, and gives them some of the easier and more fun jobs, like dumping the ingredients into the bowl, stirring the batter, or spreading butter on the rolls.
I don't know about you, dear mama friends, but my girls can't stay out of the kitchen if I'm in it. Lila used to ask, "Can I help make?" and now Charlotte just drags over her chair and informs me: "I wanna hay-ulp." And I usually let them. Even though it takes me eleventy-billion times longer.
But let's be honest. Baking with kids is crazy photogenic and such a fun memory to document.
So you know those tried-and-true recipes that are your saving graces? The ones that never fail you in a pinch, the ones that please the masses (read: the picky kids) every single time? A recipe that's simple enough for the kids to help without making a huge mess. One that is nourishing and healthy, and makes you feel like you are all of a sudden back in contention for Mother of the Year?
This is one of those recipes, friends.
There is no flour. No butter. No sugar. No eggs. So it easily satisfies the gluten-free, the dairy-free, the vegan, the sugar-shy and the nut-allergic. And it's especially satisfying to the kid who wants to eat chocolate for breakfast... he thinks he just pulled a fast one on his mama, who also thinks she's pulling a fast one on her kid by getting him to eat oats and bananas with a smile. It's a win-win.
We made Breakfast Cookies this weekend and enjoyed a brief, lazy morning before a soccer tournament finished up in perfect Florida weather. And I felt great knowing that my kid had healthy fruit and grains in his tummy instead of those oh-so-healthy Cocoa Pebbles he pours for himself before school during the week. Ha.
In case you didn't know this about us: we give plenty of grace in the Woods house and we don't judge tired parents for the Cocoa Pebbles. ;)
Anyway, I wanted to come share these with you because I know that you're all busy mamas like I am, and maybe these cookies can come to your rescue on a frenzied morning.
3 large ripe bananas
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed just a little so it isn't solid
(not a problem in Florida summers)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal (or all purpose gf flour if you're out of almond meal)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup crumbled, unsweetened coconut chips
1/2 to 3/4 cup chocolate chips or 6-7 ounces chopped dark chocolate
(or, if you're me, just a great big double-handful)
In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork (Charlotte is great at this part), then add in coconut oil and vanilla.
Add the oats, almond meal, salt and baking powder, and stir until combined. Add the coconut and chocolate chips and stir again.
Drop heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for about 14-16 minutes. They will be ever-so-slightly golden brown on the very edges and very moist and soft inside.
Makes about 12-16 beautifully guilt-free cookies.
Shauna adds 1/2 cup chopped walnuts to hers, but my kids don't like nuts so I never add them.
The original recipe calls for cinnamon, so I add a sprinkle or two if I think about it.
You could also substitute dried berries and almonds and a drizzle of maple syrup if you wanted.
So now let's talk... do you let your kids help you in the kitchen? What are your favorite ways to let them contribute? Have any go-to recipes to share? Want to book an at-home session so you can cook with your little ones and have it documented beautifully for you? (wink, wink)
I'd love to continue the conversation in the comments!