“It smells like something my grandma makes,” said one of my preschool students, wide-eyed and practically drooling while trying to peek over the countertop into the cooling baking dish. I had spent the week teaching my class about the life cycle of apples and had decided that the finale to the week would be to teach the children how to make a simple (yet delicious) apple crisp.
Baking projects are always met with excitement in my classroom. I’m not sure if it is the messy, hand-on learning or the promise of tasty food at the completion of the project, but whenever I start to say “If anyone is interested in cooking with me, please go wash your–” a stampede of children runs toward the bathroom to wash their hands, in hopes of scoring a coveted spot at the baking table.
From start to finish, the preschoolers had their (clean) hands in the baking process of this treat.* Yes, some oatmeal ended up on the floor and and my apple slices were not perfectly thin, but all those things are easy to clean up or overlook. The pride on their faces and their excitement to “teach Mom and Dad” how to make our creations is worth whatever extra I have to put in.
4 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
2-4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (depend on how sweet you want it)
1 tablespoon arrowroot
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (sub brown rice flour for a gluten free option)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Put ingredients for filling in a 2-quart baking dish and mix until all apples are evenly coated. In a small bowl, mix filling ingredients and crumple over the top of the filling mixture. Bake for 40 minutes.
* when cooking or baking with young children, please be sure to provide adequate assistance and supervision. You as a parent, teacher, family member, or child care provider will have to gauge what each child is personally capable of, but remember the danger of most cooking tools. My students use cooking equipment either one-on-one or in small groups with my careful guidance.