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Cooking with kids: crunchy carrot pittas

Cooking with kids: crunchy carrot pittas


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Food Revolution Day 2014 was all about getting kids excited about food. We wanted everyone to get cooking, sharing their love of food and inspiring others to get excited too.

Food Revolution Day was a global day of action to highlight the importance of teaching our children where their food comes from, how to cook it and how it affects their bodies. But it wasn’t just about one day; it was also about ensuring our kids learn good eating habits for life, by getting them cooking at home. The Food Revolution Day recipes were all specially designed to be cooked with young ones, and one of our favourites is the Crunchy carrot pittas recipe.

It’s easy to think of carrots as a bit boring – usually just boiled or steamed with a Sunday roast – but kids love them, and with a bit of imagination they can be really versatile. This recipe is a perfect example of how you can create a delicious and nutritious meal from a few simple ingredients – with the carrot being the star!

Get your kids to scrub the carrots until they are nice and clean, then peel them carefully using a Y-shaped peeler. There are lots of fun facts you can tell them about carrots while they are preparing them: did you know that when carrots were first grown they were purple, not orange? You can also find yellow, pink, white, red and even black carrots too! Or, did you know that carrots are high in vitamin A, which helps us to see in the dark? Our favourite fact is that wild carrots are called “Queen Anne’s Lace”, because they produce beautiful flowers that look like the intricate lace she would have sewn!

Being careful of little fingers, help children to grate the carrots coarsely using a box grater –one with a nice firm grip at the top and a non-slip base is best for kids so they can hold it firm and avoid it slipping. Meanwhile, you can toast the seeds and put the pittas into an oven to warm up.

The citrus dressing is great fun for kids to get involved with too; squeezing oranges and lemons to get as much juice out of them as possible, and carefully measuring out the oil. Sometimes children find it difficult to hold a spoon and pour into it at the same time, so help them out by holding the spoon for them. Mix the dressing up with the carrots, coriander and seeds, and voila your delicious salad is ready. Make sure an adult takes the pitta breads out of the oven and cuts them open because they can release really hot steam when cut into. You can serve your carrot pittas as a light lunch with some homemade hummus, or make it a more substantial meal but adding some grilled chicken and feta cheese. Either way, have a go with your kids and keep the revolution going!


Recipes To Cook With Kids!

We’ve got some fantastic recipes that are great to cook with kids. We’ve included baking recipes, but we’ve also listed some family main meals and savoury snacks to make too.

Cooking with kids is a great activity for the following reasons:


Tips for making kids’ sandwiches

What kind of fillings to try

  • You can introduce all sorts of veg and flavours to sandwiches more easily than just putting them on a child’s plate. Try watercress or rocket chopped up instead of cress in an egg sandwich herbs and spring onion can be whizzed into hummus and finely chopped celery can be stirred into tuna mayo.
  • Grated carrot makes a nice sweet addition – add a little vinaigrette or a pinch or cumin for a more sophisticated flavour.
  • You can add texture via crunchy veg like red or yellow peppers chopped into small cubes, sliced radishes, or cucumber.

Pick and mix fillings

  • Children love to choose fillings, pile a plate with different options and let everyone fill their own sandwiches or rolls.
  • For older children who might be getting their own lunch on a school day, fill a large box or the veg drawer of your fridge with portions of different proteins (ham, tuna, hard boiled egg, cheese, bean dips, etc) and ready sliced veg and salad, this way you’ll have control of how much is being eaten without lunch being a free-for-all of the ingredients you need for dinner – or were hoping to make last all week.

What fillings to avoid

  • Steer away from anything too wet – there’s nothing worse than a soggy sandwich.
  • Keep extra strong flavours to a minimum otherwise you may overpower other fillings. A small amount of chopped olives or capers or a spoonful of piccalilly can really lift a sandwich if your child likes that kind of thing, but too much can be downright unpleasant.

Which bread to choose

  • You’ll know what kind of bread your children like, and while it’s tempting to try and make them eat different varieties, perhaps test new breads as a slice of toast rather than wasting a sandwich filling.
  • Think about the type of bread you are using in relation to the filling. Some fillings such as egg mayo are quite soft so you’ll need a reasonably soft bread, otherwise as you bite down all the filling will squish out. A delicate sliced cucumber sandwich tastes better on a mild white bread that allows the flavour to shine through. Stiffer filling such as slices of ham or hard cheese or slippery avocado slices can be used in more robust breads like sourdough, and smoked fish or beetroot hummus pair well with rye, especially as open sandwiches.
  • The same goes for rolls. A soft roll suits a soft filling like prawn mayonnaise and a crusty roll goes well with slices of salami.
  • Chunks of baguette are often a halfway house, the softer inside holds fillings like tuna mayonnaise, salads and mozzarella and tomato well while the crunchy crust won’t go soft quickly .
  • Split pitta breads also make good sandwiches and as long as you don’t make a hole in the bottom, they make a good carrier for a potentially messy filling like a fried egg or halved and cooked sausages. A breakfast sandwich is a good thing on the weekend.

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MUNG DAL, COCONUT & CILANTRO KITCHARI (PITTA REDUCING)

Ayurvedic kitchari's are India's chicken soup and the congee equivalent of Chinese medicine. This kitchari includes cilantro and coconut and is adapted from Dr. Lad's book Ayurvedic Cooking for Self Healing.

SWEET POTATO WITH KALE & GINGER

Orange like the rising sun, wrapped in bitter green crispness, sweet potatoes with kale make you feel brightly alive. Sweet potatoes give this meal substance, while kale's lightness bring this dish into a perfect balance. Ginger adds its pungent.

ROASTED RICE WITH DATES, CINNAMON & CARDAMOM

KALE & CARROT SOUP WITH GINGER, FENNEL & LIME

This soup was developed primarily to relieve acid reflux. Kale and bitters reduce stagnation in the digestive tract and clear heat. Carrot and vegetables with beta-carotene reduce Pitta. Fennel improves digestion without increasing Pitta. Fresh ginger.

ALMOND DATE SHAKE WITH CINNAMON

Frothy Almond Date Shake nurtures and comforts your whole body, making it a the perfect addition to an Ayurvedic diet. Dates add charm and sweetness to the shake, while a slice of fiery ginger and a dash of spicy cinnamon heat up this elegant blend.

GINGER BASIL LIMEADE

Sour lime mixes with spicy-sweet fresh ginger in this chilled beverage that will wake up your mind as it delights your palate. A refreshing glass of this Ginger Basil Limeade will help you feel as light and bright as the summer day. Pour yourself a.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH FENNEL, GINGER & GARLIC

Butternut Squash Soup with Garlic, Fennel, and Ginger offers warmth & satisfaction for the season. After a summer of absorbing the sun's energy, farm-fresh Butternut Squash is ripe, sweet, and ready for autumn consumption. It is no wonder that the.

POTATO LATKES

Crispy and hot around the edges, sizzling Potato Latkes will be devoured as soon as they leave the frying pan. As this fun & hearty treat sizzles in the pan, it will warms your heart in the cold winter. Bright green scallions sprinkled on top add a.

ENZYME DEFICIENCIESFREE PRESENTATION

CREAM OF RICE SOUP WITH CILANTRO, GINGER, GARLIC & GHEE

Experiment with cream of rice soups. Called "Congee" in Chinese Medicine, cream of rice soups are the "chicken soup" of China. A warm breakfast for the winter season. Discovered in Pune, India while thinking about Southern Grits from Asheville, North.


Cooking with kids: crunchy carrot pittas - Recipes

Prep Time:2 mins

Cooking Time:5 mins

Serves:1 Adult

This crunchy Pitta Quesadilla is quick and easy to put together making it the perfect lunchbox filler!

About this recipe

A refreshing lunch for those hot summer months!

For the pitta

  • 1 pitta bread (75g / 2½oz.)
  • 30g / 1oz. of low-fat cheddar, grated
  • 1 scallion, finely sliced
  • ¼ medium red pepper, de-seeded and finely sliced
  • Pinch of chilli
  • ½ tablespoon of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  1. Mix the cheese, prepared vegetables, coriander and chili.
  2. Cut the pitta in half and carefully open with a knife.
  3. Fill each pitta half with the cheese mixture and toast in a sandwich toaster for about 4 minutes. Alternatively, place under the grill at a medium heat until the cheese is melted.

What you will need

Serving suggestions

All our recipes are nutritionally analysed by our team of experts.

1.5 of your 5 a day

Kitchen hygiene and food safety

Good food safety means not giving bacteria a chance to get comfortable. Proper cleaning requires hot soapy water and a good scrub.

When it comes to preventing constipation and maintaining your gut health, fibre is the way to go, along with plenty of fluid intake. However many of us don’t eat enough each day.

Why not choose wholegrain pitta pockets instead of white pitta pockets? Wholegrain versions are higher in fibre!


Prepping Ahead

Pitta Pizzas are best eaten straight away and it is not recommended to assemble or cook in advance. However, you can prepare all the toppings in advance (make pizza sauce, chop vegetables, grate the cheese etc) to make assembly quick and easy.

Love Pizza? You may also like…

Have you tried this recipe? I love receiving your feedback. Please rate and leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram @healthylittlefoodies

Looking for more healthy kid recipes? Sign up for my free recipe newsletter to get new family friendly recipes in your inbox each week! Find me sharing more kind-friendly inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram.


Crispy Baked Carrot Chips: 2 Ways

If you follow me on Facebook you might&rsquove already heard about this, but Saturday afternoon I found myself knee deep in my pantry scrubbing 4 day old sticky &ldquolight syrup&rdquo from an exploded can of mandarin oranges off the walls, shelves, door and other food items it attacked.

Now, I don&rsquot actually eat canned fruit (especially the kind with &ldquolight syrup&rdquo) so that gives you an idea of how old this thing was.

And yes, it was expired, but only by 2 months.

Last Wednesday we were getting slammed with rain & wind overnight. The kind that wakes you up and keeps you up.

There were flood warnings posted and when I was awoken at 4:33am by it all, I sat there in bed freaking out about our basement which has the tendency to flood and thinking about how I have no idea how Ulysses rigged the last sump pump we installed after the first one burnt out and what the hell I was going to do if that all happened again while he was gone.

So, I finally got the courage to go check on it around 4:45am and trekked down to the basement to luckily find it dry as a bone.

On the way back up the stairs though I heard this ridiculously loud &ldquoPOP&rdquo.

I had no idea where it came from, I was half asleep and the winds were so strong I just assumed it had to be something outside and went back to bed.

Fast forward 4 days later, I&rsquom opening my pantry to eat ALL THE CHOCOLATE since it&rsquos the day after the paleo challenge ended and I come face to face with a shriveled up mandarin orange sitting on top of a package of dates.

Then I look at the walls and notice weird orangey drips everywhere.

And then, about 3 seconds later it all comes together in my head.

Mandarin orange can = loud pop at 4:45am.

2. how did I not notice this for 4 days when I open my pantry approximately 27 times a day?

3. clearing out your entire pantry to clean mandarin orange syrupy walls has exactly 1 benefit&hellipfinding a stale bag of veggie chips and getting inspired.

Meet the result of that inspiration: Carrot chips.

And no worries of expiring in the pantry.

The trick to these carrot chips is slicing them super thin.

I don&rsquot own a mandolin so while it&rsquos not necessary, a very sharp knife is if you cut them into rounds.

If you&rsquore doing the peels approach you just need a good vegetable peeler.

And then you need to watch them like a hawk as they bake.

Seriously, the difference between crispy and burnt when it comes to these carrot chips can happen in a matter of 30 seconds. Stay vigilant and you&rsquoll have crispy, crunchy perfectly baked carrot chips!

You could also try them in an air fryer if you have one. Or, just make my air fryer carrots which are perfectly tender with crispy golden edges and an equally delicious way to enjoy this vegetable.

They&rsquore a fun snack alternative to potato chips when you&rsquore craving a savory crunch and just a tad healthier. Enjoy!


The Picky Eaters Project: Playing the Texture Game with Kids

In Episode 1 of The Picky Eaters Project, I talk about creating "The List." Anything I want to improve on, I believe in measuring The List is one of those tools. It consists of all the foods your picky eaters eat, plus variations.

Kids are very texture-sensitive, which is why looking at The List is a good place to start. Let’s be honest, kids are sensitive to a variety of weird things: textures, visuals (color), temperature, taste. What's smart about going with The List is you're branching out from textures and flavors that they already like.

Let's take raw carrots for instance. Ask yourself, "What would be a great thing to serve someone who loves raw carrots?" Factoring in textures, I would go with raw cucumber sticks. One might think it would be interesting to try roasted carrots because they get sweeter, but that changes the texture.

Starting with texture and getting foods similar in that category is a better way to start than flavor profiles. So look at your list and find ways to branch out, focusing on textures. Do your kids like their chicken nuggets microwaved or toasted to a crisp in the oven? All of these things make a difference.

Watch all eight episodes and find out more about Melissa's Picky Eaters Project.


The ingredients you'll need

You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make these tasty carrot chips. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:

Carrots: Thinly slices, about ¼-inch thick. I'm lazy, so I often use store-bought pre-sliced carrots. Obviously, you could simply slice the carrots yourself. The advantage of slicing them yourself is that you can slice them thinner. The store-bought ones are relatively thick.

Olive oil: This is by far my favorite oil to cook with! It's so delicious. But if you're unsure about cooking with it, you can use avocado oil instead. It has a higher smoke point. Another tasty option is to use melted butter.

Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.

Garlic powder: Make sure it's fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish. I actually prefer garlic powder to fresh minced garlic. I feel that it coats the carrots more uniformly.


Getting your kids to eat more veg - Carrot Fritters recipe

My daughter, who hates vegetables, loves these Carrot Fritters. In fact she gave them a 10 out of 10. Yes, she only took little bites and mostly with a worried expression on her face. But she ate a whole fritter. And that&rsquos a big relief for me as last night was one of those nights I lay awake worrying about the state of her diet and feeling guilty about being a not-good-enough mum.

What kind of mum lets her children not eat vegetables? Me, that&rsquos who.

So, success! These have a lovely mildly curried flavour that you could up the ante on if you wanted to. You could also add just a dash of cayenne if there are any spice-loving kids in your family (I have one). But for the purposes of an easy lunch dish, I kept these simple.

I used coconut oil to fry these (the flavourless kind) because it has a high smoke point and is much more stable at higher temperatures than other oils &ndash in short, it doesn&rsquot tend to smoke easily and stink up the kitchen. But any good quality oil will do.

These are lovely served with pitta bread and a nice crunchy green salad.

Ingredients
For the fritters:
2 large carrots, peeled, trimmed and grated
2 eggs
125g plain flour
2 spring onions, minced or finely chopped
handful of coriander, finely chopped
juice and zest of ½ a lemon
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 - 2 Tbsp coconut oil for frying

For the yoghurt dip:
250ml of plain yoghurt
1 tsp curry powder
juice and zest of ½ lemon

Method
1. Set the oven on a low temp (140C/275F/Gas Mark 1 should do it)
2. First make the dip by combining the yoghurt, curry powder and zest and juice of the lemon. Mix well and pop in the fridge until you are ready to serve
3. To make the fritters, combine all fritter ingredients in a bowl and mix well. You will have quite a stiff "batter" by the end of mixing
4. Spoon the oil into a frying pan over a high heat and bring to sizzling point
5. When the oil is sizzling, spoon a heaped tablespoon of mixture into the pan and press down/ shape into a fritter with the back of a spatula.
6. Fry until golden brown on one side, flip over gently and fry on the other.
7. When done, transfer the fritters onto a paper towel to blot any excess oil and then put onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pop in the oven to keep warm while you make up the others
8. For the yoghurt dip, combine the yoghurt with the curry powder and juice and zest of the lemon. Stir well and serve with the fritters.


Tuna pepper pitta pockets recipe

A straw poll of favourite sarnies around friends and family with offspring produced a clear winner. Tuna (dolphin-friendly of course) was the number one base for kids, cunningly mixed here with cream cheese (which came in at number three, and makes for a better binder than mayo). Unsurprisingly, crunchy veg bits didn't feature in any child's top-five lunchbox list, but sometimes we just know better than them.

120g (½ a tin) chickpeas or kidney beans
120g (1 tin) tuna
3 heaped tbsp cream cheese
A handful of olives, sliced (optional)
Leftover bits of veg – eg peppers (red and yellow – good for colour), cucumber, tomato, grated carrot, lettuce etc
4 small or 2 large pittas (if you're using big ones, cut them in half)

1. Tip the chickpeas or kidney beans into a mixing bowl and mash well.

2. Add the tuna and cream cheese and mix well. If you're using olives, stir them in now too.

3. Warm the pittas just a little bit, so that they are easier to open up, but not so much that they go hard once cooled.

4. Line the pittas with a few pieces of whatever kinds of veg your kids like, then stuff with the tuna mixture.


Watch the video: Crunchy Carrot Pita. Cook With Amber (December 2022).