Raise your hand if baking with your kids is on the To-Do List this summer? Me! It is something that can fully engaged kids of almost any age and the pay off is pretty quick to keep them interested. It doesnt require travel (beyond the grocery store) or slopping on sunscreen to kids that can’t comprehend the concept of standing still! But baking at home doesnt mean you need to go off the health reservation.
Making simple substitutions for classic recipes like the Blondie can make baking with kids fun and teach them the benefits if choosing healthier ingredients like gluten-free, higher fiber flours and lower blood sugar response, less inflammatory sweeteners. (Yay!) This recipe was a trial-by-fire one. We wanted to make a healthified sweet treat but I didn't feel like following a recipe so we made up our own and I have to say it was quite satisfying and Makayla begged for more! (and when she wasn't looking the next day I may have finished off the pan...shhh! Don't judge!).
The almond flour is a lot less inflammatory than a gluten-based or refined flour. It boasts 3g fiber and only 5 (which means only 2 net carbs!) per half a cup. Using this slower digesting flour as a base and limited added sugars will help your kiddos enjoy a treat without suffering the consequences of a sugar rush and insulin surge. While we may tend to think "Hey they run it off "or "They are young and have great metabolisms", that isn't the point.
Right now your kids are learning life long habits AS THEY GROW and mature and if they are eating poorly during childhood; meaning it is filled with sugar, gluten and processed junk and not enough fresh, whole foods to include vegetables and healthy fats, then they create a less than optimal adult body. It changes their insulin response and makes them more susceptible to diabetes and inflammatory diseases.
It also negatively impacts their gut health which can lead to:
food intolerances and allergies
mood and learning disorders
constipation, gas, bloating
These symptoms are just a few of the serious issues that can result from years of mis-fueling their little bodies. Learning to make substitutions around the house with your recipes can save your kids from a whole host of problems both immediately and as they age.
If you are looking to learn better eating habits for yourself and then can teach your family them, join my online nutrition program called F...The Diet (get details here!).
ALMOND FLOUR BLONDIE
3/4 cup almond flour (blanched)
*1 pouch organic broccoli apple baby food (I used Plum organics, or you can sub applesauce, but I liked the idea of at least a little broccoli puree)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 whole organic egg
1/4 cup potato starch
1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
3 Tbsp chocolate chunks (I used Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweet almond milk)
1/4 tsp baking powder
Optional: 1 Tbsp maple syrup OR 1 Tbsp xylitol for more sweetness depending on what you are used to.
* Surprise ingredient! We snuck in a smidge bit of veggies into the recipe!
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (except chocolate chunks/chips) then mix in wet ingredients. Grease an 8x8 glass baking dish. Pour batter into the dish and smooth out (I made them thin, but you can use a smaller dish our double up on the ingredients). Press in chocolate chunks throughout (this part Makayla had fun "designing" the blondies - get kids involved!) Bake for about 20 -24 minutes - keep a close eye on them depending on thickness. Use the fork test and when it comes out clean you are good to go! Edges will be golden and starting to brown if you made them thin, so careful not to burn the bottom.
Happy Baking! xo- Briana (get more recipes by following my Instagram here)