My daughter recently developed a keen interest in cooking and baking. As vegans, we've always had to go off the beaten path with ingredient substitutes and variations when it comes to following mainstream recipes and traditional cookbooks. Many times, this has resulted in a frustrating lesson in trial and error and/or botched finished products. So when I heard about vegan author and illustrator Ruby Roth's new cookbook: The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids: 60 Easy Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and Save the Earth, written and designed especially for kids, I was beyond thrilled. The fact that my kids can flip through the delightfully vibrant pages, which feature enticing recipes punctuated by cheery illustrations, and choose a snack or meal, dessert or soup, salad or grain bowl to make THEMSELVES is teaching them invaluable lessons in the kitchen and for their health. And since every recipe in the cookbook is vegan, it takes away the need for guesswork and the slumped shoulders or crestfallen gaze when we typically come across a recipe in a kids cookbook that calls for ingredients we don't eat. Brilliant! Read on for more about this delightful cookbook that should be a staple for vegan family kitchens.
A huge plus about The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids: 60 Easy Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and Save the Earth is that it teaches kids to “celebrate fruits and vegetables rather than sneaking them in.”
The well-rounded cookbook opens with an empowering introduction by Roth, about how plant-based living can help save the world, followed by a helpful section describing common ingredients that every vegan cook should stock in his/her kitchen. Next up is a section on kitchen safety which discusses topics from chopping to boiling. And before the recipes get rolling, Roth even writes a poignant letter to adults, urging them to let kids into the kitchen to prepare their own food and become self-sufficient.
The recipes themselves are nothing short of inspiring and delightful. From simple “bright waters” infused with fruits and vegetables or a homemade 5-minute tomato sauce to more complex yet still easy to execute meals like “pretend tuna salad” and “golden quinoa,” there’s a comfort-level inherent in each recipe, so kids won’t be intimidated by the procedure or by the foods they are working with and eating.
Roth wraps up her cookbook with tips on everything from plate decorating to shopping local, fostering a real connection for kids to understand the farm to fork mentality. Giving Roth’s cookbook as a gift to the burgeoning bakers and chefs in your life will truly be the gift that keeps on giving. And while it’s geared for kids, adults will thoroughly enjoy these dishes and drinks as well.