Cooking is a fantastic way to bond with your children as well as develop their knowledge and skills beyond the kitchen. Not only can they gain vital insight into nutrition and food safety, but they can also progress with their science, maths, literacy, and fine motor skills.
Sometimes it can get quite chaotic in the kitchen! If the dish you’re cooking is complex, you must work with multiple ingredients, manage several pots and pans, as well as keep an eye on your children to ensure that they’re doing everything correctly and safely.
What if we told you that there are some fantastic, easy recipes out there that only need three ingredients or less? Oh yes, we’re not fibbing! Let’s explore them here.
1) Chocolate hazelnut mug cakes
Mug cakes are the perfect sweet treat after a long day at work and school, and the simplistic process means that they’re ideal for making with your children. For two servings, all you need is:
- 300g hazelnut spread
- Two large eggs
- 30g all-purpose flour
Firstly, whisk together the two eggs and 225g of the hazelnut spread in a medium mixing bowl.
Next, fold in the 30g of flour and then divide the mixture across two mugs.
Pop them into the microwave for two minutes before allowing them to cool for five minutes.
Frost with the remaining hazelnut spread and serve warm. Tasty, effortless, and a really easy way to introduce your children to the art of baking.
2) Cheesy hot dog puffs
For a savoury dish that your children can get involved with, choose cheesy hot dog puffs. This effortless recipe makes 18 servings, meaning it can be a fantastic before-dinner snack for all the family or something delicious to serve at a party. You only need:
- One sheet puff pastry
- Six hot dogs
- Six slices of cheddar cheese
To begin, preheat your oven to 220˚ C. This could be the ideal opportunity to discuss with your kids the importance of kitchen safety.
While the oven is preheating, slice the puff pastry into six even rectangles before adding a slice of cheese to the top of each.
Next, place a hot dog on top of the cheese and roll it up. Slice each roll into three even pieces.
Once you’ve arranged each section on a baking tray (don’t forget to use parchment paper and leave gaps between the pieces), bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and flaky.
Ta-da! Making these should fill your children with a sense of accomplishment, and they’ll have a better idea of kitchen safety.
3) Peanut butter cups
There’s a reason why Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups is a top candy seller across the world; sweet and smooth, salty and crunchy, the combinations are divine! Good news, you and your children can make six of your very own using just three ingredients:
- Three tbsp powdered sugar (sifted first)
- 120g creamy peanut butter
- 170g melted chocolate
First, prepare a cupcake tin with six liners and then spread one to two tablespoons of chocolate in each.
Next, stir the peanut butter and powdered sugar until it reaches a smooth consistency and then drop one to two teaspoons of the mixture into the cupcake liners, on top of the chocolate.
Add more melted chocolate on top of the peanut butter.
Leave the cupcake liners in the fridge until the chocolate hardens (roughly one hour).
Take them out and remove the liners – there you have your homemade peanut butter cups. Move over, Reese, there’s a new candy crew in town!
4) Mac and cheese
Mac and cheese is a family favourite – gooey but never ew-y! If your children are fans of the dish, invite them into the kitchen to cook it with you so that they gather an understanding of the ingredients and process. To make four servings, you need:
- One and a quarter litre milk
- 455g dry macaroni
- 200g shredded cheddar cheese
To start, pour the milk into a large pot and bring to a boil.
Add the pasta and stir often for around 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.
Turn off the heat and add the shredded cheese, stirring until it’s completely melted and covering all the pasta shells. Done!
A classic, comforting dish that’s perfect for a cold autumn evening. Your children will enjoy indulging in this dish even more, knowing they played a key part in its creation.
5) Cookies and cream mousse
If your children have been ‘extra good’ this week, treat them to a pot of velvety cookies and cream mousse. Better yet, give them the honour of coming into the kitchen to make it with you! You only need three ingredients, which is a bonus, and more than enough to create mousse magic. Here’s what you need for two servings:
- Ten chocolate sandwich cookies (such as Oreos)
- 360ml heavy cream
- 80g powdered sugar
To begin, take eight sandwich cookies and separate the biscuit from the cream, placing the cream in a bowl and the biscuits in a plastic bag.
Use a firm, hard object (such as a rolling pin) to crush the biscuits until they’re finely ground, and then microwave your cream for around two minutes.
Pour the heavy cream into a mixing bowl and use a whisk to beat until it reaches a frothy, thick consistency.
Add the microwaved cream to the beaten cream, along with the sugar, and beat again until it forms a stiff peak.
Fold in the cookie crumbs (but leave some for the toppings!), and then spoon the mixture into a piping bag.
Once you’ve piped the mixture into your serving glasses or bowls, sprinkle the remaining cookie crumbs on top and add the last two cookies for tasty decoration.
Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until you’re ready to enjoy with your children. Lessons have been learnt, cookies crushed, and taste buds tantalised!
Eating is a necessity, cooking is an art
Regardless of how old your children are, it’s never too soon to show them the power and beauty behind cooking. Their involvement could span from something as simple as getting an ingredient out of the fridge to something more complex such as evenly distributing a mixture into cupcake liners.
Expose them to the processes early and watch how they flourish. Recipes with just three ingredients are a perfect place to start, you won’t have to get your purse out for this, so what are you waiting for? Don’t forget to share your mouth-watering creations with friends and family on Facebook!