In a recent article in the NY Times, Six Food Mistakes Parents Make , the first mistake listed was not involving kids in food preparation. Researchers at Teachers College at Columbia University found that the more kids are allowed to participate in cooking, the more likely they are to try new foods. Add harvesting food from a garden or going along to the farmers market and suddenly meals take on a whole new meaning. Relationships between a child and their food can be tricky but helping them become part of the process can extend beyond sitting in the grocery cart.
When looking through old cookbooks the other day, a recipe card fell out for zucchini bread I used to make when Krista was a little girl. This recipe was useful in many ways — using up some of the prolific zucchini from the garden, introducing a new vegetable in a non-threatening way and a simple recipe that requires lots of stirring and no chopping. I tried a new version of the recipe with Lily and she was as enthralled as her mother had been.
One of the best parts of cooking with kids is letting them see and handle the whole foods. In this case, you might not even know this bread has zucchini in it without looking carefully. So I always take a few minutes to show and talk about the ingredients. In preparation, I try to get everything out and ready to go, but the measuring and in this case, pushing the button on the food processor to grate the zucchini is all part of the fun.
I added chocolate to my bread to appease the chocoholics in the family. Even without it, this is a wonderfully moist and wholesome quick bread. But don’t forget that dark chocolate has numerous health benefits and there are several local sources for it.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
1 ounce melted dark chocolate
1 cup sugar (ouch!)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 cup flour (I used Whole Grain Hard Red Bread Flour from Bluebird Grain Farm)
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, grated zucchini, vanilla and chocolate. Stir well. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into loaf pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
This recipe was adapted from allrecipes.com