Cooking with your little scientists
Cooking with your kids is great family fun, but it also offers valuable learning opportunities.
Getting kids into the kitchen is also one of the best ways to get them engaged in cooking and food preparation. Often kids may be more open to trying something they had a hand in making.
Baking, cooking or getting experimental in the kitchen is also a great way to encourage your child’s interests in science. It is an opportunity to explore a very wide range of science concepts like transformation, state change, conduction, density and more.
Baking is an experimental process that is often guided by trial and error. A good cook needs to be able to make predictions, make and record observations, and then draw conclusions … just like any good scientist.
These banana cookies are a great thing to make with the kids because you can talk to them about the science involved in the rising process, which is a little different to other cookies. In this recipe, the baking soda reacts with the acid in the bananas to make the cookies rise — exciting for little scientists! Be sure to let the baking soda and banana sit for at least two minutes though.
Banana choc-nut cookies
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 egg, at room temperature
• 1 cup mashed bananas (about 21/2 large bananas)
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 2 cups plain flour
• pinch of salt
• 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2 cup walnuts, optional
• 1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional
1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and continue to beat until the mixture is again light and fluffy.
3. In a bowl, mix the mashed bananas and baking soda together. Let sit for 2 minutes, then stir into the butter mixture.
4. Mix together the flour, salt and cinnamon, then sift into the banana mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in the nuts and/or chocolate chips, if using.
5. Drop in dollops onto the prepared trays. Bake for 11–13 minutes or until golden brown.
Written by Michelle Kitney
Munch is an eco-friendly New Zealand company that makes and markets kitchen products and offers ideas and recipes to feed the family. “Useful, beautiful and green.”