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
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.
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.
1. Use as granola. Eat with milk of choice or mix with yogurt.
2. Use as a trail mix/snack
3. Mix with almond flour, coconut oil, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice for a simple fruit crisp topping. Place on top of any combination of fruit (including, but no limited to the half eaten pieces of fruit my son leaves around the house that I “redeem” in breakfast crisps. Bake at 350 for approx. 15-20 minutes.
A few things to note:
- If you’re going grain free, it’s great to have just nuts/seeds/dried fruit in the mixture.
- If you want to stretch the mixture (after all, nuts can be expensive!), add more items such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc. You can also add oatmeal.
- To make a sweeter mixture, add dark chocolate chips!
- The most economical and convenient source I’ve found for nuts is us Trader Joe’s, however, Aldi and Costco/BJ’s are also great options if you live near any of those locations.
2. While rolling the ball back and forth did keep these toddlers occupied for a good fifteen minutes, they soon lost interest and I was unwilling to pick up their slack.
3. Coconut milk and maple syrup simply aren’t good substitutes for cream and sugar.
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Any thoughts on ways to improve? Please leave a comment! We will definitely continue to experiment with this and the ice cream ball will be coming with us on our upcoming family camping trip. Yum!
Cooking with kids can be an absolute blast! The trick is to pick SIMPLE recipes that involve lots of opportunities for hands-on engagement. Flourless Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars are an all-time favorite simple dessert in our household. Detoxinista hits the nail on the head with the following recipe. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Total Time: 35 min
Serves: 16 Scale
- 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter Or any nut butter
- 1⁄3 cup honey Or maple syrup
- 1 whole egg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt (*if using unsalted peanut butter)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8″ square pan with butter or coconut oil.
- In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter, honey, egg, salt and baking soda until well combined, then fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the greased pan, and use a spatula to smooth the top.
- Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is a light golden brown. (it only took 20 minutes in my oven)
- Let cool, then cut into squares and serve!