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Zoodles are an accessible way to put your child in charge of the meal’s main event, while making something visually interesting and with a firmer texture then sliced or chopped options. Engage in some sensory exploration by challenging them to make and find the longest zoodle they can, and count the rings remaining on the end of a spiralized zucchini. This recipe is as great for exploring tastes as it is for enhancing fine and gross motor skills!

The Recipe – Baked Zoodle Cups

The first step in any recipe:

  • Wash your hands! Cooking together is a great way to reinforce good hygiene habits. As we’re working with raw egg especially, it’s a good idea to tie all long hair into a bun or pony tail so no hands are accidentally touching their face as they work.

Ingredients & Tools

  • *Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Spiralizer
  • Muffin tin
  • Mixing bowls
  • Zucchini (1 to 2 medium to large)
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 1 – 2 eggs (match zucchini number)
  • Olive Oil & spray oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Optional:
    • Herbs: dried or fresh chopped (basil, parsley, oregano)
    • Garlic powder/minced garlic

Steps:

  1. Get spiralizing! Hold your spiralizer steady as your child spins and reveals threads of zucchini
  2. Place cherry tomatoes in a mixing bowl with a fork and instruct them to pierce and squish the tomatoes
  3. Crack an egg and whisk (we recommend placing a cutting board beneath the egg bowl to catch any leakage).
  4. Mix zucchini, tomatoes and egg mixture together, sprinkle in breadcrumbs and use small salt and pepper grinder to season. Add two capfuls of olive oil and mix well.
  5. Spray muffin tins with oil and scoop in mixture
    Sprinkle shredded cheese over top
  6. Bake for 20-30minutes (depending on oven)
  7. We learned a lot of cool facts in class about how zucchinis grow, but we always love seeing the growing process in action. Before we watch, we make a prediction of how many days we think it will take to grow. Here’s a video of a zucchini from seed to fruit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFBfxbcWZcY

Questions & Prompts:

  • How would they describe the flavour – we try to engage in the five core flavour profiles: salty, sweet, sour, umami and bitter
  • Where are these tastes on their tongue? Do they change as time goes on?
  • What vegetable tastes similar? Or are these completely new tastes?
  • What’s the difference between the tastes of the various ingredients?
  • What is the texture like? Is it crispy, mushy, crunchy, hard, soft, moist, dry?
  • How did the texture or flavour change from how they were raw (zucchini and tomatoes)?

Fun Facts and Health Benefits:

  • Zucchinis are a fruit as they come from the plant’s flower
  • It has more potassium than a banana!
  • They are part of the summer squash family
  • It is 93% water and high in vitamin A, C and B9
  • Zucchini flowers can also be eaten, and some people stuff them with cheese like ricotta and then fry them
  • It is an annual plant, so it grows from seed to harvest in a single year
  • They grow on a vine that spreads along the ground, but will also climb a trellis if positioned nearby.
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