A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Healthy Cooking with Kids and Beer

To make bread of course! What were you thinking?

Our 7 year old niece, Ashlee, came over on Saturday to spend the night with us and see what we do on the weekend.  She got to go on a fun and informative trip to the local organic gardening center Kelley can’t get enough of, then help me make some good food in the kitchen.

It seems I’m always stuck in the kitchen! But it’s by choice and helps to let me forget about the world outside and just think about…..food…..and what to do with it!

Ashlee’s mom, Kelley’s sister, wanted her daughter to see what her aunt and uncle who hardly go out to eat or go out at all do on the weekend.  We keep busy; that’s for sure!  Kelley in yard and garden, is like me in the kitchen; very meticulous on how things are done and only we can do it right!

After spending time with Kelley on Saturday, I happened to have a warm bottle of Breckenridge Brewery Vanilla Porter just begging to be used in a recipe.  Just so happens I was craving some beer bread.

Ashlee readily agreed to help me make healthy (unless you count the alcohol part) and easy protein beer bread.  I used a Breckenridge Brewery Vanilla Porter, but don’t let the vanilla part fool you, this bread pairs well with sweet or savory applications.  I had a slice with strawberry chia jam and also used it to dip in a puree of red lentils and veggies I cooked; both were outstanding. See end of post for this easy, kid-friendly recipe.

My handy helper whisked the dry ingredients (just a minor spill of flour occurred) to mix everything; and then she slowly poured the beer while I stirred.  Too bad I don’t always have an extra hand, it was a lot easier to mix everything together with help. 

While mixing I explained to Ashlee how you don’t want to mix too long or the protein in the flour (gluten) will get tough and make for a hard to chew bread.  Of course, this is what’s needed for some breads, so I made sure to let her know that too.  Since this didn’t have too much wheat flour, we didn’t have to a worry a lot though.

She enjoyed eating what she helped make, and seemed proud of her accomplishment.  That night she helped again as I showed her the marvel of making a healthy Microwave Chocolate Cake.  I told her there is no sugar in my version, so she jumped up and said she’ll go brush her teeth now then; I had to explain it’s still good to brush after eating.

Helping to make the tasty batter. 
She gave the leftover batter the lick test (no eggs, so it's safe) and approved!

Reaping the benefits of making your own healthy dessert;
Kelley and I were willing and able to help finish.

The result?  Another success with Ashlee in the kitchen!  Before leaving Sunday morning, I whipped up some Peanut Protein Crepes to help get her day started right. I used a ripe banana that Ashlee mashed to mushy pulp (perfect!) for me and the end result was one happy child!  She said she never had crepes before, but loved Uncle R.C.’s healthy crepes with peanut flour.

"Patiently" waiting to be served....

....and still waiting as I delay.

She got the biggest crepe in the house for her patience!

She’s a great helper and we both enjoyed spending quality time with our niece.  I hope she learned some vital things on organic gardening and healthy cooking that she can share with her parents.

Kelley stuffed hers with creamy goat cheese;
I had to steal it from her since she couldn't wait to take a bite...

I enjoyed mine with a banana and Creamy PB Vanilla Dip 

I know those of you with kids and reading this are probably thinking, “Yeah, try spending every day with’em, then we’ll see how you feel!”  I can’t argue your case, though, since I’m not there yet, but Kelley and I will have one of our own eventually, and this one day was great practice.

If you have kids, do you have them help you with anything in the kitchen?  If you don’t have kids, did ever get the chance to cook with one or more?

Hearty Whole Grain Beer Bread


2 2/3 cups AP Flour
1 ¼ cup whole grain spelt flour (or regular whole wheat)
1 cup unflavored protein powder; I used whey
1/4 cup peanut flour; dry, non-fat milk powder or more spelt can be used too
1 tbs sea salt
1 1/2 T baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
12 oz. bottle of good tasting beer
Optional #1: Add 2 t sweetener (I used a packet of NuNaturals White Stevia, but brown sugar or honey would be good too)
Optional #2: Add herbs and spices like cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, rosemary, or dill to really make this bread stand out.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until everything is incorporated. Create a well in the center and have a kid pour beer slowly while mixing to combine. The mixture will be pretty wet and sticky, but don’t worry, it’s ok.
Prepare a loaf pan, glass square dish, or pie dish by spraying with a non-stick coating or lining with parchment paper.
Pour in the batter in and make sure it is level across the pan.
Bake uncovered for 55 minutes if using a loaf pan or 45 minutes for the shallower glass or pie dish until lightly brown. I had to cover the top with foil for the last 10 minutes to avoid the bread becoming too brown.


  1. I like how you let my daughter pour the beer!

  2. So what about the crepe recipe?