My Final Presentation: Cooking For Vegan Children

For my individual final project at Bauman College, I was required to choose a specific health conditions on which to write a report and give a cooking demonstration.  My report was supposed to include a “brief” description of the condition, a 5-day menu plan, a few recipes and recipe costs.  Then, we were to give a 45 minute demonstration, preparing two recipes and showing cooking techniques and presentation abilities, as well as providing nutritional information.  There weren’t any health conditions I was really interested in reporting on, so I asked the program coordinator if I could choose cooking for vegan children, and she approved.  I chose this topic because it’s something I really knew nothing about, and at the time there wasn’t much good, consolidated literature on it.  Of course, this was before The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Eating For Kids came out.  I haven’t read the book, but I imagine it holds a lot of the same information I came across in my research.  I can also recommend Raising Vegetarian Children as an excellent resource.  While the title says vegetarian, the book is really vegan and generally against dairy and eggs.

Because I really didn’t know anything about cooking for children, I dove into the research, using vegan, vegetarian, and non-vegetarian resources.  My report ended up being not-so-brief; it’s 22 pages including biography.  For how long I’ve been out of school and away from writing in an academic manner, I was pleased with how it turned out.  I feel that it was comprehensive enough to be a good basic guide including solid nutrition information, but not overly detailed.  I am still in no way an expert, but here is a link to my report if you would like to read it:  Cooking For Vegan Children

Edited to add:  A reader pointed out that the nutritional yeast is missing from the ingredients list of the soup recipe in the report.  If you make the soup, be sure to add about 3/4 cup nutritional yeast when you blend it! The recipe listed below is correct.

(Explaining to visitors that the stack of books on my desk about raising and feeding kids was just for research was interesting for a while!  I got some funny looks.)

My demonstration also went well.  My audience (my classmates) felt a little cold to the topic at first, as none of them were vegan and they probably don’t agree with the idea of raising a child on a vegan diet, but as I started to cook they asked some questions and opened up as I answered and offered my opinions.  Once I made sure that they knew I wasn’t trying to tell them that children should be vegan, but instead that they could, everyone was cool with the topic.  We were only required to prepare two recipes, but I chose simple recipe and went for three, just because I enjoy challenging myself.  I came in at 45 minutes exactly, including plenty of time for discussion.

It was fun choosing the menu plan and recipes for my report.  I think sometimes as chefs and foodies, we get so caught up with fancy stuff like reductions, infusions, ethnic cuisines, garnishes, etc., so it was fun to step back and think of food like a kid would.

Chocolate-Avocado-Chia Pudding
by Erin Weldon

2 Tbs chia seeds
1 Haas avocado
2 Tbs cocoa powder
1 cup unsweetened, fortified non-dairy milk
2 Tbs agave nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt

1. In a spice grinder, grind the chia seeds into a fine powder.
2. Place all other ingredients (avocado flesh through salt) in a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.  Add the ground chia seeds and pulse a few times to combine.
3. Transfer the mixture into four ramekins or small serving dishes.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and serve cold.

Servings: 4
Yield: 2 cups

Amount Per Serving
Calories 160.09
Calories From Fat (49%) 77.78
Total Fat 9.19g 14%
Saturated Fat 1.37g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 108.4mg 5%
Potassium 338.57mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 18.64g 6%
Fiber 5.54g 22%
Sugar 10.67g
Protein 3.92g 8%
Vitamin A 65.4IU 1%
Vitamin C 3.81mg 6%
|Calcium 46.73mg 5%
Iron 1.03mg 6%

picture from an old post

Full Meal Muffins
Adapted from Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann

1 cup spelt flour
1 cup quinoa flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 ripe bananas, peeled
3 Tbs blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup apple juice, plus more as  needed
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs ground flax seed
1-2 carrots, shredded, to make 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped or ground
1/2 cup raisins

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly oil a muffin tin and set aside.
2. Combine flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
3. Place the bananas, blackstrap molasses, apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and flax seed in a blender and blend until smooth.  Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, then fold in the shredded carrot, walnuts, and raisins.  Add a bit more apple juice if needed to wet all of the dough.
4. Divide the mixture evenly into the muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes or until the top springs back to the touch.  Remove muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
5. Store in an airtight container or freeze in individual freezer bags to eat as needed.

Yield: 12 muffins
Serving size: 1 muffin

Amount Per Serving
Calories 164.6
Calories From Fat (23%) 37.6
Total Fat 4.41g 7%
Saturated Fat 0.4g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 276.77mg 12%
Potassium 350.17mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 29.08g 10%
Fiber 3.51g 14%
Sugar 8.1g
Protein 4.06g 8%
Vitamin A 1140.22IU 23%
Vitamin C 6.64mg 11%
Calcium 111.54mg 11%
Iron 1.84mg 10%

Broccoli Cheez Soup
Adapted from The Uncheese Cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak

1 large potato, diced
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cup vegetable broth or water
2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 15.5 oz can
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 cup unsweetened, fortified non-dairy milk

1. Place the potato, carrot, onion, and vegetable broth in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, place the broccoli florets in a steamer basket and line a pot with water.  Cover, bring to a boil and steam for about 5 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.
3. Place the remaining ingredients (chickpeas through milk) in a blender and add the cooked vegetable mixture along with any remaining broth or water.  Puree until completely smooth.  Pour the blended mixture into a clean soup pot.  Stir in the steamed broccoli florets and warm the soup over low heat until hot.  Do not boil.  If the soup is too thick, add some additional milk or broth to achieve the desired consistency.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Serve warm.

Servings: 5
Serving size: 1 cup

Amount Per Serving
Calories 260.13
Calories From Fat (27%) 70.13
Total Fat 8.08g 12%
Saturated Fat 0.87g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 742.84mg 31%
Potassium 505.68mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 36.53g 12%
Fiber 9.35g 37%
Sugar 2.27g
Protein 14.36g 29%
Vitamin A 3673.92IU 73%
Vitamin C 42.05mg 70%
Calcium 92.64mg 9%
Iron 2.48mg 14%

The feedback on the recipes was generally good – the class LOVED the muffins.  Some people thought the soup was a little too nutritional yeasty, but what can I say?  I love me some nutritional yeast.

I’ve got one more post up my sleeve relating to Bauman, and then you won’t hear me talk about it any more!

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10 Comments »

  1. Dianne said

    Great presentation! It sounds like the class learned a lot about veganism’s flexibility to work for anyone. I’d love to try the broccoli cheese soup; how much nooch do you put in it?

    • veganhomemade said

      Oi! It seems I left a very important ingredient out of the soup recipe. I’ll fix it when I get home today.

  2. Good idea for your presentation. I downloaded the PDF and I’m sending it to my friend Stephanie (Poopie Bitch on the PPK) since just had a vegan baby.

  3. Jessica said

    Looks like you’ve got an A coming to you! Congratulations!

  4. Azzahar said

    You made a very good choice IMHO, I cannot imagine any kid refusing this pudding and if it comes to soup, I make it very often when people come up for a dinner end everybody was pleased, I never met a person who wouldn’t like it. Picky people, your classmates. Or maybe it’s beacuse my guest are unaware of existence of nutritional yeast?

  5. Melisser said

    Nice! I would eat all of these.

  6. Mandee said

    Congratulations on your presentation! Your three recipes look good and all seem really child friendly and nutritious! I’m glad your classmates were interested once you got going 😀

    I just shared your document on twitter as I know a few people with vegan bubs, I’ll share it on my blog too! Nice job 🙂

    • veganhomemade said

      Cool, thanks! I realized today that I left the nutritional yeast out of the soup recipe in the report, so feel free to also pass it on to add about 3/4 c nutritional yeast 🙂

  7. mihl said

    Can I come over to eat even if I’m not a kid? Everything looks so delicious!

  8. wow all of these recipes look delicious! Congratulations! =)

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