It’s a great idea to bake with your kids. Not only does it teach them how to follow instructions, help to develop their hand eye coordination and motor skills and teach them about problem solving it is also a way to sneak some basic maths in under the radar. Lets not forget you get to spend quality time with them too.
There are limitless recipes you can try, complete with books from top chefs and TV cooks, but with money being an issue for many of us these days we can’t always stretch to a lot of fancy ingredients.
So what can we make with the bits and bobs we usually have kicking around in our cupboards? You may need to liven your store cupboard up with a few of the basics to start with but you can buy your local supermarket’s own brand to keep the cost down and then use them for multiple recipes. Remember too that the internet is a vast resource of recipes that are free.
Hopefully the recipes I have chosen cover family favourites, easy beginner ideas and a few tea time winners that you can make with the kids or for the kids …
Easy Three Ingredient Biscuits from Frugal Family
I’ll start with a quick and easy biscuit recipe which is a great basic for you to experiment with.
Don’t forget you are not forced to make a full batch of any recipe and this particular one is a cinch to divide in half which keeps the cost down.
A huge part of the fun here is choosing your cutter and deciding how to decorate your biscuits but these are also yummy left completely plain.
If your kids are old enough to bake on their play dates these biscuits would be ideal to make, cool and ice in the time you have available.
We have to bake milk free in our house and this recipe is easy to convert using a dairy free spread instead of butter or margarine. If you are new to substituting dairy free spread in to your makes remember that some can be wetter than regular margarine and can alter the balance of the recipe so start with the amount that is stated and if you end up with biscuits that are not quite right you can tweak it next time.
Visit Frugal Family for the recipe.
Banana Bread from Inspired Taste
We love bananas in our house and they are the ultimate convenient snack already packaged for you to pick up and go. What we don’t like is over ripe bananas but you can guarantee there will be one lurking in the fruit bowl at the end of the week.
This is where banana bread comes in because just at the point where you think “Yuck” your banana is perfect to make this tasty cake in fact if your banana isn’t ripe then you won’t get that scrummy banana flavour you are looking for.
This is one of the recipes which might mean your store cupboard needs a bit of a boost. Baking is a little bit about science and some ingredients in a recipe are necessary for it to work so don’t leave out things like flour, eggs and baking soda (which is bicarbonate of soda in the UK). However if you don’t have cinnamon or vanilla extract it’s no big deal.
Don’t be put off when you see “All Purpose Flour” in the ingredients list as this is simply pain flour. A huge selling point for me is that I can slice this, cut it in to sticks and freeze it ready for packed lunches.
Visit Inspired Taste for the recipe.
Brownies from Olive Magazine
Chocolate … mmm!
I’m going to hold my hands up straight away and say this is not the healthiest of recipes but when it comes to chocolate you’ve just got to be decadent.
This recipe from Olive Magazine gives you the method to make basic brownies and then four ideas for variations which is something the kids will love and they might even want to experiment with their own variation … just substitute the 100g of added yumminess for your own choices.
Visit Olive Magazine for the recipe.
Ginger Cake from Fuss Free Flavours (Dairy Free, Vegan and Egg Free)
If you are vegan or need to stay dairy free then this traditional style ginger cake is perfect for you. If however these things aren’t a concern for you then don’t be put off because this cake is still a winner. It’s perfect to cut in to mini squares for packed lunches or to give to the kids when they need an after school snack.
I love ginger cake, it reminds me of Sunday tea at my grandma’s house when we were growing up, but I’ve never tried putting chilli in it and there’s a variation which uses just that so I must give it a try. I wonder what grandma would think.
Visit Fuss Free Flavours for the recipe.
Two (Well Three Really) Ingredient Banana Oatmeal Cookies from Kirbie Cravings
What if you’ve got that dodgy over ripe banana in your fruit bowl but you don’t have time, or the ingredients, to go full on for a loaf cake? These cookies are the answer.
I’ve been meaning to try this recipe for ages. The first thing to say is this is not a crunchie cookie but don’t let that put you off.
The second thing is that this recipe uses quick oats and I have regular Quaker Oats in my storecupboard so what is the difference? Quick oats have been pre cooked and so they give you a softer texture. You can still use regular oats though just give them a quick pulse in your processor to break them up. If you don’t have a food processor briefly pre soak the oats in a tiny amount of water or milk. Remember the liquid will have an impact on the recipe so don’t use too much.
To be honest the first time I try this I’m going to go rogue and just use my regular oats straight from the box after all it’s just banana and oats so it might be a bit chewier but nothing serious is going to happen.
The best part of this recipe is it’s tweaking potential as you can switch out the chocolate chips for dried fruit or nuts or seeds … or all three … and this is another one that would suit lunch boxes.
Visit Kirbie Cravings for the recipe.
Very Best Granola from Cookie And Kate
I don’t need to bang on about how important breakfast is when your kids have a day of school ahead of them but there’s so much choice on the supermarket shelves it can get a bit overwhelming trying to keep the whole family happy.
Why then would you make your own granola?
Lets start off with oats being a natural source of fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. Oats keep you feeling fuller for longer which means you are less likely to reach for that sugary snack mid morning.
Next you can whip this up with minimal effort and if the kids help then there’s more chance they will try it.
But here’s why I love homemade granola … everyone in the house can use the milk that suits them, whether it be cows milk or dairy free, and if you make it with out nuts and fruit then the family can add the things they like to their own bowl. I am the only one who likes nuts in our house but even then too many give me stomach ache so I don’t add them to my bowl every day.
Now obviously you can buy granola in the shops but it is expensive and many brands include a large amount of sugar. I definitely recommend having a go at making your own.
Visit Cookie And Kate for the recipe.
Granola Cookies from Mess For Less
Right … you’ve made your own granola and you’re converted so what next?
Why not take the granola that you have made to suit your family’s taste and make cookies for that extra treat factor?
What if you don’t want to make your own granola? No problem … shop bought will work just as well in this recipe.
Visit Mess For Less for the recipe.
Mini Baked Bean Muffins from Kidspot
It’s probably safe to say that most of us have at least one can of beans in our store cupboard. They are the ultimate in fast food and teamed up with a decent piece of nutty wholemeal toast they are good for you.
Remember that the companies that bring us this yummy little bean in a tin now also offer a low salt and low sugar version which will be ideal for this recipe as the beans are mixed with plenty of tasty extras to make the muffins. The bonus here is that the beans are an ingredient, not the main event, so a can of budget low sugar and low salt beans will still give you the beany yumminess you need.
If you have picky eaters in your house this might be a way of sneaking some veg under the radar … chop those red peppers nice and small.
We don’t tend to have spring onions to hand but we do usually have onions kicking around and I’ve even used pickled onions in recipes like this as they are basically just a mini onion. I usually give them a quick rinse under the cold tap first to wash off any excess vinegar.
In the end you could chop and use any veg you have to hand in these muffins and yes they would be fab in the kids lunch boxes. This recipes is going on my “Must Try” list.
Visit Kidspot for the recipe.
Soda Bread from Easy Peasy Foodie (Dairy Free)
This is half of the ultimate store cupboard combo in our house teamed up with soup made from what ever veg my husband brings back from the allotment. Both are fast and tasty.
I have included this recipe, which is dairy free, because I have used it and I know it works but you can just as easily use cow’s milk instead using the vinegar in the same way to convert it in to butter milk. I invested in a good quality bottle of apple cider vinegar which was costly however we have soda bread a lot and because you only need one tablespoon per loaf the bottle is lasting a long time.
I’m going to hold my hands up here and say I don’t use wholemeal flour because we found it a little heavy and so I use plain flour for the full 350 grams required.
Don’t tip the entire jug of homemade buttermilk in to your dry ingredients as each batch of flour will suck up different amounts of liquid. Some times I need all of it but other times I don’t. You need to be able to handle your dough so you don’t want a sticky mess. Having said that I have gone too far and made that mess but it’s not the end of the world … scoop it up with your big spoon, drop it on to the baking sheet and make a fairly reasonable round shape and it will still be lovely.
Soda bread has the bonus of being filling and gives you the opportunity to pimp it with dried herbs. We like chilli flakes in ours too.
To be honest there are never left overs when we have soda bread but hubby has taken it to work the following day with soup and reheated it in the microwave … it was a hit with him. Remember that you don’t have to make the full batch. I make half the quantity when there are just two of us.
I can whip this up and have it in the oven in minutes now. It’s also great with a stew or casserole and it means that at the end of the week when the big shop is due and you have run out of potatoes you can still fill the family with out that dangerous top up shop which always costs more than you want it to.
It might take a few tries to bake the soda bread to your liking as ovens do vary but it’s worth it and it is certainly a cheap and easy way to fill your family up. I like to make four individual loaves which take a little less time to cook and I turn them over five minutes before the baking time runs out.
Visit Easy Peasy Foodie for the recipe.
Scone Based Pizza from BBC Good Food
Scone based pizza … genius! It’s quick, there’s no yeast to mess about with and you can be fancy or use what ever you have in the fridge. The kids will enjoy picking toppings for their own pizza
You could consider making a big batch of your own sauce with tinned tomatoes and packed full of veg then blended smooth to hide the good stuff. This would freeze in portions so it’s ready to lift out and use on your pizzas and pasta.
You can visit Healthy Little Foodies to see a recipe for pizza/pasta sauce which will give you a great place to start if you fancy having a go at making your own. Tweak it to suit your budget and your available larder.
If you don’t want to make the sauce then the pizza recipe includes a method to make a speedy topping but you could also use a jar.
I am very rustic when I make scone pizza as I didn’t actually start with an official recipe I just use a plain scone recipe, usually with dried chives added, and then literally top it with what ever I have in. I don’t even roll the dough out as you can use your hands to shape and flatten it. I find that individual pizzas cook better than a giant one and the family can have different toppings if they want to.
We use dairy free cheese which used to be a bit of a gamble but recent advances in coconut based products mean the poor dog doesn’t have to put up with some of the cooking smells we used to inflict on her in the name of finding something that vaguely resembled cheese.
The added bonus here is that this is fab cold the next day in your lunch box.
Visit BBC Good Food for the recipe.
Breakfast Egg Cups from Delish
To be fair very few of us are going to go to this much trouble for breakfast however these look like a really fun weekend lunch treat or after school meal teamed up with beans.
The kids would get a real kick out of making their own … younger ones will need you to put the tray in the oven and remove it for them.
Visit Delish for the recipe.
Sweetcorn Fritters from The Petite Cook
Sweetcorn fritters are on my “Must try” list so I really should take this opportunity to make this recipe.
If, like me, you are using dairy free milk add it cautiously as I find you don’t need as much as the recipe states for regular cow’s milk.
If you don’t like chilli then leave it out. In the UK we call cilantro coriander and if you don’t like it, or you don’t have it, leave this out too.
Visit The Petite Cook for the recipe.
Tuna Fishcakes from Healthy Little Foodies
Opinion in our house is divided. I think that hot tuna is horrid however the rest fof the family will quite happily tuck in. If, like me, the idea of hot tuna makes you pull a funny face then you can substitute it out for a tin of salmon which is very tasty but obviously more expensive and to be fair we are more likely to find a tin of tuna lurking in our store cupboard than a tin of salmon.
I like to start mine off in the frying pan and then finish them in the oven as we like crispy bits but you can go for all oven or all stove top if you prefer.
I cook my potato in advance so it is cold when I make the cakes and if you have time to pop the formed cakes in to the fridge for a short chill this will help to stop them breaking up while you cook them.
Visit Tuna Fishcakes from Healthy Little Foodies for the recipe.