Cooking with Kids: Apple “Donuts”

Apple Donuts
When I initially started Nourishing Foundations, I had these great aspirations of cooking with kids: birthday parties, small group cooking classes at play spaces, friends coming over to cook with us, preschool fundraisers, family parties… I thought it would be great! And then I dove in and started experimenting with these ideas and quickly realized it takes A LOT of patience to cook with kids. I also found that, for me, it’s truly a labor of love to lay my Type A proclivities aside and allow kids to enter fully into the cooking process. It’s fun, but it’s definitely a discipline for me to let go of my ideas of how things should go (especially around areas such as mess, germs, attention spans etc.) and truly enjoy the experience. Welcome to parenthood, Jen!
Making “apple donuts” is one project that lends itself to incorporating kids into the cooking process in a way that is fun, healthy, allows their creativity to thrive and feels relatively manageable. I had seen a version of this idea on Pinterest a while back, but was a little disheartened by the idea of using frosting as a topping (I’ll pass on the sugar and hydrogenated oil, thanks). Even homemade frosting felt a little too laden with sugar for my idea of a healthy snack. (That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for sweets in our diets!) So I did a little tweaking and here’s what I came up with….

Wholesome Apple “Donuts”
Kid tested, mom approved

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned about cooking with kids, it’s that preparation REALLY helps the process run smoother. For this project, I had my son (who is almost 4) help me wash the apples: I plugged the sink and filled it with water/apples and about a 1/2 cup of white vinegar (to strip any pesticides as the apples we were using weren’t organic). I gave him aclean new pop-up sponge (which is fun in and of itself) and let him go to town. Once the apples were cleaned, I sliced them horizontally and used a small circular cookie cutter to cut out the seeds in the center (you can also do this with a knife), making our  apple “donuts”. If there will be a length of time between making the “donuts” and decorating them, consider putting apples in a ziplock bag with a little bit of orange juice or lemon juice so they won’t oxidize and look brown.

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The next step involves making your healthy “frosting”. I’d recommend having this ready BEFORE you start the project with your kids. You can store the frosting(s) in glass containers and reheat easily in the microwave at the time of the project.
If you are going nut free, use Sun Butter. If nuts aren’t a concern, any nut butter will do. If you don’t mind a little sugar, I’d recommend also making a dark chocolate topping. Here’s the easiest way to do this that I’ve found:
1. Make a double boiler by placing a glass jar (I used a small mason jar) in a pot of water.
2. In the glass jar place approx. 1/2 c. nut butter, sun butter or chocolate chips, 1/4 c. coconut oil and 2 TBSP maple syrup.
3. Heat over medium heat and mix until smooth.Finally, assemble your toppings. If you are going nut free, some suggestions are:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Mini choc chips
  • Raisins/Dried berries
  •  ​Unsweetened Coconut flakes
  • Hemp hearts/seeds
  • Cocoa nibs

If you are ok with nuts, consider adding almond slices and other chopped nuts.


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Now let the fun begin! For moms that are a little neurotic like me, a few thoughts:
1. Do it outside if the weather is nice! This makes clean up a lot easer.
2. Use parchment paper on a cookie sheet for apple “donuts” and “frosting”.
3. Give each kid his/her own plate on which to decorate the donut.
4. Depending on you kids’ age/ability, consider spooning the “frosting” on the apple donut for them and let them spread it with a knife.
5. If doing this project with multiple kids, let each child choose the toppings s/he wants to use and pour them directly on his/her plate. This will prevent spreading the germs that inevitably will come from licking hands, taste-testing toppings and then going back for more.

Let the fun begin! Kids will love mixing and matching toppings for their donuts. There will probably be a lot of simultaneous creating and taste testing. Let them enjoy and have fun!

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And once the donuts have been created, the mess continues… It’s all part of the process.

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If you give this a try, please post a comment and let me know how it goes! I’d especially love to hear about any other topping ideas that worked well for you.

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Wholesome Apple “Donuts”

A kid friendly, mama approved snack!

Source: nourishingfoundations.weebly.com

Serves: 1 Scale

Ingredients

  • 4-6 apples washed, sliced horizontally, centers cut out
  • 12 cup nut butter of choice or sun butter if nut free
  • 12 cup dark chocolate chips optional
  • 4 TBSP Pure maple syrup
  • 1412 cup coconut oil you will need 1/2 cup if making chocolate “frosting” in addition to nut butter frosting
  • 14 cup hulled hemp seeds
  • 14 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 14 cup raisins or other dried berries
  • 14 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 14 cup sunflower seeds
  • 14 cup raw almond slices omit if nut free
  • 14 cup chopped nuts of chioce omit if nut free

Directions

  1. Wash apples, slice horizontally and cut out centers to make apple “donuts”. If there will be a length of time between making the “donuts” and decorating them, consider putting apples in a ziplock bag with a little bit of orange juice or lemon juice so they won’t oxidize and look brown.
  2. Make a double boiler by placing a glass jar (in my case I used a small mason jar) in a pot of water. In the glass jar place approx. 1/2 c. nut butter, sun butter or chocolate chips, 1/4 c. coconut oil and 2 TBSP maple syrup. Heat over medium heat and mix until smooth.
  3. Assemble your toppings on a plate or in individual bowls/jars.
  4. To make:
  5. Spoon the “frosting” on the apple “donut” and spread.
  6. Decorate with toppings of choice.

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10 thoughts on “Cooking with Kids: Apple “Donuts”

  1. Rachel Ivers says:

    I can’t wait to have fun with these. I’m considering using a cookie cutter to make stars and other shapes. Could also sauté gently in melted coconut oil or melted butter and serve them warm with the same toppings (yum). Thanks so much for this cool idea.

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  2. AIMEE HOFFMAN says:

    My mouth is watering and smiling at the same time… this is a refreshing blog post! Jenn, your passion for what you are doing for families and with your own adorable son is clear. Thank you for sharing your valuable, nutritious insights, and for making me laugh as well! Cheers!

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  3. Anne says:

    Jen, this sounds so good I would even make them for myself (but I guess that defeats the purpose of cooking with the kids!) Thank you for your inspiration!

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  4. Whitney Otto says:

    What a great idea especially since the “donut on a string” game is so fun but I am not a fan of the kids eating lots of real donuts. Thanks for a healthy twist on donuts!

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  5. Kristin says:

    Doing this outside is a great idea! I don’t know why I’ve never thought about doing cooking projects outside! Totally cut down on stress & clean up!

    Like

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