Healthy Snacks from Chef Michael Kingsley


We recently visited the Chicago Botanic Gardens to experience the fruit and vegetable garden’s drop-in activities and try the new cafe menu.  While there, he shared two of his healthy snack options, perfect for after-school snacks!

Healthy Snacks from Chef Michael Kingsley

First Chef Michael and the kids made fruit pizzas. These are fun for the kids to make and are totally customizable to your family’s dietary restrictions and tastes.

You start with a flatbread, at the event we used whole wheat pitas. Instead of pizza sauce you use something that goes well with fruit, Chef Michael used peanut butter but you can also use Nutella, Yogurt, or any other nut butter.  After that, the fun begins! Give kids all access to fruits and toppings to make their own pizzas. Mine topped theirs with berries, apples, and peach slices. Shredded coconut is a fun way to make it look like a pizza and you can mix in some dried fruits when berries aren’t in season. My kids love making these and you can make them for a crowd by using a Boboli or other pre-made crust or flatbread.

stall of zucchini on the market

The other recipe we got to try was Chef Michael Kingsley’s Zucchini Bread with Dark Chocolate Chips.

My daughter is an exceptionally picky eater. She won’t eat anything that is green. Trying new things is always a battle. She not only devoured this bread and asked for more, she ate it even after her brother told her there was zucchini in it.

Chef Michael Kingsley’s Zucchini Bread with Dark Chocolate Chips

Makes 2 loaves

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini, drained
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbs lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Whisk together the eggs, oil, sour cream, and vanilla. Whisk until light in color. Add in drained zucchini and whisk together.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together all dry ingredients.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until the batter just comes together. Be careful not to over mix them.
  4. Lightly oil two loaf pans and coat with sugar mixture (directions below) and divides batter evenly between pans.
  5. Bake 35-46 minutes at 350 until a toothpick comes out clean.

Sugar mixture for pans:

  • 3 tbs cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tbs nutmeg
  • 1/2 tbs cloves

Mix together and use to coat pans, as directed above.

Do you have a favorite zucchini recipe? What’s your favorite healthy snack to make with the kids?

Want more easy and fun recipes? Find all our favorite recipes here.

Disclosure: Recipe provided by the head chef of the Chicago Botanic Garden – Michael Kingsley.


Healthy Snacks from Chef Michael Kingsley
About Melissa Haak 626 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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