We recently visited the Chicago Botanic Gardens to experience the drop-in activities a the fruit and vegetable garden and to try to the new cafe menu. While there he shared two of his healthy snack options, perfect for after-school snacks!
First Chef Michael and the kids made fruit pizzas. These are fun for the kids to make and are totally customizable to your families dietary restrictions and tastes.
You start with a flat bread, 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 butters. After that the fun begins! Give kids all access to fruits and toppings to make their own pizzas. Mine topped theirs with berries, apple 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 flat bread.
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 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 tbl lemon zest
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- Whisk together the eggs, oil, sour cream and vanilla. Whisk until light in color. Add in drained zucchini and whisk together.
- In a separate bowl whisk together all dry ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until the batter just comes together. Be careful not to over mix them.
- Lightly oil two loaf pans and coat with sugar mixture (directions below) and divide batter evenly between pans.
- Bake 35-46 minutes at 350 until a toothpick comes out clean.
Sugar mixture for pans:
3 tbl cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tbl nutmeg
1/2 tbl 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?
Recipe provided by the head chef of the Chicago Botanic Garden – Michael Kingsley.