You know how "kids are picky eaters" when it comes to eating healthier foods?
Well, Jennifer Robins of Predominantly Paleo is seeking to change that. With her latest cookbook, The Paleo Kids Cookbook, Robins has opened up a whole new world for kids with food allergies (or parents that just want to be more mindful!) This book has over 100 recipes that are kid-approved and will leave your little one just as happy and satisfied as their less-healthy counterparts.
Organized into 11 different sections, The Paleo Kids Cookbook includes all of the following:
- Good Morning, Sunshine
- Main Squeeze
- Healing Foods
- Snack Attack
- Superhero Smoothies
- Breads 'n' Such
- Sips 'n' Dips
- Lunch Bunch
- Cavebaby's First Foods
As you can probably tell, Robins did an excellent job coming up with as many components of a "normal" diet as she could to include in this book. There are some unique aspects to some of these sections, too. For instance, the "Lunch Bunch" category is a beautiful 7-page spread of huge labeled photo ideas for how to fill your little one's lunch box. "Breads 'n' Such" kicks off its section with Robins' arguably most-famous recipe, her Legit Sandwich Bread. And the best part is that Robins has really made sure to include recipes that use the "building blocks" of a meal, such as her "Sips 'n' Dips" section or her Legit Sandwich Bread, in as many of the main dishes and recipes as she could. So once you've made these batch-cooked items, you really have the rest of the book at your fingertips to just throw the other recipes together with ease. We could all use some more ease in our lives, yes?
I also really appreciate that Robins kicks off the book with a short introduction as to why her family chooses to eat the way they do, and why she thinks her recipes might help you. She does not claim to be a doctor and acknowledges the benefits of medicine, but also points out that a lot of healing and prevention can be done through what we eat. This is followed by a "Tips for Transitioning" note that includes major bullet points for how creating a healthier kitchen can be made smoother with kids in the house. Coming from a mom of 3, I think she has some street cred in that field!
One of these Tips that Robins includes is that you "get [the kids] involved" in the kitchen. In order to make following this advice easy, she has included a little blurb at the bottom of every recipe in this book called "For Little Hands," which gives suggestions on how your munchkins can get involved in making their food with you. How fun!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is trying to have healthier foods in their house, whether they have little kids or are just big kids themselves. I mean, come on, who doesn't want a Grilled "Cheese," Vanilla Wafers, or Funnel Cakes every now and then?
Oh, but of COURSE I snagged a recipe from the book to share with y'all! :)
Yield: 4 large or 8 small servings
Preheat oven to 425ºF (218ºC). Bring the water bath ingredients to a boil in a large pot.
Combine the cup (240 ml) of warm water, yeast and maple syrup in a mixing bowl. Allow the yeast to multiply, for about 5 to 10 minutes. If it doesn’t froth or foam, toss the mixture and begin again. Either the yeast was dead or it was killed by the temperature of the water.
Once your yeast mixture is frothy, add in the remaining pretzel ingredients, except the coarse salt and 2 tablespoons (30 g) of the cooking fat, and stir to combine. It now becomes easier to use your hands to combine the ingredients together more thoroughly. If making 4 large pretzels, divide the dough into 4 large pieces. If making smaller pretzels, divide the dough into 8 equal sized pieces.
Roll one of the dough pieces into a long snake about 18-inches (45-cm) long (shorter for the small pretzels) and then make a U shape. Twist the two ends of the “U” together, crossing once then twisting again and bring them to the base of the U where you can secure the twist by pressing it into the base. Transfer the pretzel to the boiling water bath and allow it to cook for about 3 minutes. Remove the pretzel with a skimmer and transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. You can just make straight pretzel twists without having them be a traditional pretzel shape.
Once all of the dough pieces have been boiled, baste them with the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 g) of ghee or cooking fat, sprinkle with the coarse sea salt bake them for 15 to 20 minutes. The longer you bake them, the crispier the exterior will become. The inside should be soft. These are best the same day or frozen and reheated in the toaster oven or conventional oven.
FOR LITTLE HANDS: Allow your child to help mix the pretzel ingredients and to help shape the dough. If pretzel shapes are difficult, allow your child to help roll out the snakes.
For the water bath
10 cups (2.5 L) water
1 Tbsp (15 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp (18 g) sea salt
For the Pretzels
1 cup (240 ml) warm water (around 110ºF [43ºC])
1 packet gluten-free wuick acting yeast
1 Tbsp (15 ml) 100% maple syrup
1 pastured egg
1/2 cup (64 g) potato starch
1/2 cup (64 g) cassava flour
2 Tbsp (18 g) psyllium husk flour
1 Tbsp (12 g) coconut flour
4 Tbsp (60 g) ghee, avocado oil, oliveo il, or preferred cooking fat, divided
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp (30 g) coarse sea salt