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Playdate Fun: Carrot Muffins and Kale Quiche

Who says playground food can’t be healthy? Turn your next play date into a fun outing for the whole family with healthy snacks for adults and kids.

In this ongoing blog series, Christine, a budget-minded mom and Whole Foods Market® team member, explores ways to create healthy, organic foods that appeal to both child and husband. Read the other posts in her ongoing series.

Kid Eating

It was a beautiful Sunday morning in Southern California. There were 5 four-year olds enjoying the day in the park with their parents and siblings in tow. We heard the ice cream truck as it pulled up to the playground. But guess what? The kids didn’t care. They were too busy noshing on fresh fruit, carrot-loaded muffins and hand-held kale quiche. Yep, you heard that right.Let me back up a day. As a working mom, I cherish my Saturdays. But on this particular Saturday, I squeezed in so much that I felt like a chicken with my head cut off. When my son finally fell asleep for his nap and I took a breather and suddenly remembered that I promised to cook two new recipes for a Sunday morning playdate. And guess who doesn’t own muffin tins? After a quick trip to the store for a set of mini-muffin tins and a set of regular-sized tins, I felt like I could actually do this!

Carrot Muffins

Carrot Muffins

Makes 32 mini muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup organic quick oats
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 organic cage-free egg whites
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded organic carrots
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) organic unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup light agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup of organic orange juice
  • 1/4 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Orange zest to taste
  • Fleur de sel to taste

I started with the muffins. Beyond, trying to put vegetables into the muffins, I tried to get some goodness in with the grains I chose, too. I mixed the dry ingredients: gluten-free flour, oats, flaxseed and baking soda. It’s possible that other flours will work in this recipe. But, I prefer baking with gluten-free flour.In a separate bowl, I softened the butter and used an electric mixer to combine the butter with the eggs, applesauce, agave nectar, orange juice, brown sugar and vanilla. I mixed the wet ingredients until smooth and then slowly added the dry ingredients, mixing with a wooden spoon as I went along.

Now for the critical ingredient: carrots. I washed one large organic carrot and shredded it. Using baby carrots will work for this recipe, but I personally prefer the sweeter taste of the full-length carrots. I shredded the carrots very finely and folded them to the muffin mixture.

For the kids, I thought it would be fun to make bite-sized snacks. I placed 32 baking cups into my new mini-muffin tins and filled each cup about 75% full. I then took out my zester and topped the muffins with orange zest and then sprinkled them with fleur de sel. I baked the mini carrot muffins for 18 minutes at 375°F.

Whew! One recipe down and one to go. It’s quiche time!

Kale Quiche Cups

Kale Quiche Cups

Makes 12 individual quiches

  • Organic whole wheat phyllo dough (1 thin sheet)
  • 4 large organic Lacinato (dino) kale leaves (stems removed)
  • 1 organic leek
  • 2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • Fresh organic flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cage-free organic, extra-large eggs
  • 6 cage-free organic, extra-large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup low-fat (1%) milk
  • 1 (4 ounce) container of goat cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crushed red chile flakes to taste

I began by chopping all of the organic vegetables and parsley. Roasted red peppers can be store bought or created by roasting your own peppers in the oven. I love the color and vibrant flavor of the roasted peppers! The next step is to cook the leek and kale in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes on medium to high heat. You can substitute onion for leek and add whatever other vegetables you fancy.Next, I mixed the eggs and milk in a separate bowl. I chose to use mostly egg whites and only a small amount of skim milk. I beat the eggs really well and added salt, pepper and chile flakes.

This is my first time using phyllo and I’m going to say that we are becoming fast acquaintances. I used a water glass (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter) and cut out circular pieces of dough. I placed one round piece of dough in each baking cup (This recipe filled 12 regular-sized muffin cups).

Once the dough was in place, I added a spoonful of vegetables into each muffin cup to ensure that each quiche had an adequate amount of vegetables. I covered them with the egg mixture and then I added a spoonful of goat cheese to each cup.

I baked the quiches at 375°F for 30 minutes. The smell coming from the oven was amazing. I cooled the quiches for about 30 minutes, put them in the refrigerator and served them cold. At the playdate, the moms, dads and kids seemed to like both recipes. And it made me really happy to see the kids coming back for seconds on the carrot muffins.

What recipes have you made for a playdate that was a hit with both kids and grownups?

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