Kitchen “Mad” Scientist

Bringing science and learning to your children can be as close as your kitchen.  No goggles, test tubes or crazy hair needed..okay can you do the crazy hair if you like.

For children science is a way to understand their world by carefully thinking about it and testing their guesses.  In the kitchen it can be helpful to understand the science behind healthy food.  Why do ingredients work together?  How do they affect the body? Practical hands-on experiences can bring science to life.  Here are three of my favorite recipes that tie into a science experience and that children can help prepare:

Almond Acorns



  • 2 large Apples
  • 1/4 cup Almond Butter
  • 1/2 cup Sliced Almonds
  • Celery, thinly sliced
  • Pretzels

Wash the apples and slice vertically (to make acorn-like shapes).  Spread almond butter on each slice and top with a piece of pretzel.  Cover in sliced almonds and celery and enjoy!  Makes about 15-20 acorns.

Science Tie-in: Before making the recipe add lemon juice to some the apple slices and leave some without.  Check them in 30 minutes and then in an hour.  Does the lemon juice help prevent the apples from browning as fast?  Discuss how the acid in the juice interrupts and slows down the process of browning which is a chemical reaction happening between an enzyme in the apple and the oxygen in the air.


Banana Faux-Berry Smoothie



  • 3 RIPE Bananas, frozen
  • 2 tbsp Beet, Pealed & Shredded
  • 1/2 cup frozen Peaches
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cinnamon

Add all of the ingredients to a blender and whizz everything up till smooth and creamy. Pour into cups and serve with a straw (it’s more fun that way). This recipes makes about 10 small smoothies. Enjoy!!  Ps. beets are good for you

Science Tie-in: Before making the recipe discuss how we use our senses to determine what something is.  Often our vision is the most powerful of these.  The color of this smoothie looks like there is berry in it.  After making the recipe discuss how their tastebuds reacted.  Could they taste the “berry”?  Do they think they could fool someone else?

Oatmeal Chia Donuts



  • ¾ cup Oat Flour
  • ½ cup Chia Seeds
  • 1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
  • ½ cup pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/3 cup Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp pure Vanilla
  • Organic Powdered Sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Lightly grease a donut pan with coconut oil.  Combine dry ingredients; flour, chia, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg,  Whisk together the maple syrup, milk and vanilla.  Stir wet mixture into dry until combined.  Add the batter to the donut pan.  Immediently bake 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in to the donut comes out clean.  Sift a little powder sugar onto warm donuts, if desired.  A healthy, fun treat.

Science Tie-in: Before making the recipe discuss the reaction of baking powder when it combines with liquid and is activated, releasing carbon dioxide gas into the batter.  The bubbles cause the expanding and leavening of the dough.  Taste the light airiness in the completed donuts.

Tara is mom to two energetic daughters Bianca and Iyla. Passionate about inspiring others to cook healthy, delicious and allergy-friendly food, she owns Yummy Sprout, which provides healthy culinary adventures through classes and more. Check out Tara has been featured in the Wisconsin State Journal and on Channel 3 WISC-TV on topics including “making your own baby food”, “cooking with kids” and “packing healthy school lunches”. She adores living in Madison and all it has to offer family life. Her favorite ways to spend time include messing up her kitchen while recipe testing, running, yoga, writing, painting, traveling and reading books with her girls.



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