With little ones growing restless under lockdown, cooking together is a great way to teach children about food and keep them engaged in an activity that has a tasty outcome. The recipes that follow have been submitted by local parents who enjoy making them with their children. 

Easy Banana Bread 

Recipe submitted by Catherine Haydock, who runs Garden Explorers at Great Dixter. She makes this treat with the help of her toddler, Henry

Henry (1) helps make banana bread

Preheat oven to 180°C and grease and line a small loaf tin (approx. 450g)
In a large bowl mix together:

• 125g self-raising flour (or, if you don’t have self-raising, mix 125g plain flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder)
• ½ tsp baking powder (add this in regardless of what flour you use)
• 2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 75g sultanas (or other dried fruit)

In a pan, melt
• 50g butter

Once the butter is melted add:
• 2 tsp vanilla essence
• 1 egg (beaten)
• 1 tbsp milk
• 2 ripe bananas (mashed)
• Handful of frozen raspberries (optional)

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and pour into the tin. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 

Egg Frittata Muffins

Recipe submitted by Kate Rintoul, co-founder of Home Ground Kitchen and director of Make Food and mother of one. 

These muffins are a tasty breakfast meal or snack that are great for making use of the leftovers in your fridge. 

Makes 12 muffins. 

1. Preheat oven to 180°C and butter or oil a non-stick muffin tin well.

2. Beat 6 medium eggs in a large bowl until fluffy and add a pinch each of salt and pepper.

3. Spread your choice of fillings between holes of the muffin tin, sprinkling each with 50g of Cheddar cheese. 

4. Possibilities for fillings: ½ head broccoli, lightly cooked and chopped into small florets, 70g sweetcorn, ½ red bell pepper (diced), 1 small courgette (diced), handful of cooked spinach, 50g chopped cooked bacon/ham. 

5. Carefully pour the egg mixture evenly over the fillings and scatter with 50g Red Leicester cheese. 

6. Cook for 20 minutes, or until just golden and set. These can be served hot or cold, or can be made ahead and re-warmed in a microwave/oven. 

North African Squash and Chickpea stew 

(From River Cottage Veg Everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)

Recipe suggested by Hannah Collinson, who has cooked this filling meat-free stew with the help of her son (Isaac, 8) and daughter (Orla, 6). 

Hannah, a trained physiotherapist and Pilates teacher, is currently running online physio and Pilates sessions, email: [email protected] for more info. 

Isaac (8) with recent lockdown cooking projects, including squash and chickpea stew
PICTURE: Hannah Collinson

Recipe serves 6. 

1. Heat 2 tbsp sunflower oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 diced onions and sauté until golden brown.

2. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and add 2 garlic cloves (minced), 1 diced celery stalk, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp ground turmeric, ½ tsp ground cinnamon and ½ tsp ground ginger. Sauté for a couple of minutes.

3. Add 100g red lentils, a 400g tin of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 8 saffron strands (optional), 500ml passata, handful of chopped parsley and a handful of chopped coriander. Cook over a low heat for 15 minutes.

4. While this is cooking, peel and deseed 300g of squash or pumpkin and cut into large cubes. Add to the pan with 1.2 litres veg stock and a bay leaf. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. 

5. Add 50g vermicelli, orzo or other small pasta and simmer until pasta is cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with extra coriander leaves before serving. 

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