Montessori Toddler Baking Shelves + Carrot & Zucchini Mini Muffins
Today we made some delicious Carrot and Zucchini Mini Muffins. I took a few pictures I thought I would share. In the UK, and perhaps other parts of the world, Zucchinis are known as Courgettes!
Above are Otto's little baking shelves. He can access this himself. Mixing bowls, trays, cooling rack. On the bottom shelf there is his watering can, small spray bottle for cleaning and a little bucket with toddler sized cleaning cloths. On the hook there is a chopping board and this is also where his apron often hangs. His utensils like spoons, mashers, whisk are in the drawer of his baking table.
My biggest tip for creating a space like this is to only have out what the child uses often. Don't clutter up this space. Otto is only 24 months, he can't rummage through pots and pans to find what he needs, he needs an ordered and simple space.
An older child might like to measure ingredients but for the young toddler I have it all measured out and ready to go. Otto is proficient at grating but I have pre-grated the carrot and zucchini. It would be too much of an activity, it would take too long and he would lose interest if he grated then baked.
I am careful in how I present each ingredient. I like to use little bowls that are easy for him to pour from. I want to set him up for success. I also like to use shallow or clear containers, it's easier for him to see what is in them and see the ingredients pour out.
We bake often and it shows, with these simple pre-measured ingredients there is hardly any mess.
For a toddler, I like dump and mix recipes. Otto can make this himself by pouring/dumping all of the ingredients in the bowl and then mixing it. I give it a quick mix at the end to make sure it is all combined.
Oiling the pan is his absolute favourite part of the baking (besides the sharing). A young toddler can do this with just a little oil or butter and a pastry brush.
We spoon the mixture into the muffin tray. I like to make mini muffins with Otto. I've found at this stage large muffins get a bit messy in this spooning stage. Perhaps it's just us but I find it easier for the toddler to spoon little amounts. I also try to quickly even the mixture out.
Then into the oven.
Another good tip is to use a visual timer. Otto is a little young to get the concept but even for a 3-4 year old this would be a good idea. This timer is set for 15 minutes and the red section decreases as the minutes pass, making it really easy for the child to see how much time is left.
Otto takes off his apron and hangs it on the hook. He gets distracted but I keep an eye on the timer and the muffins and get them out of the oven. They are perfect and ready for sharing. Our recipe is below.
Carrot and Zucchini (Courgette) Mini Muffins
- 1 Cup Self Raising Flour
- ½ Teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil (Coconut Oil or melted Butter works well too)
- ½ Cup Sugar (we use Rapadura or Coconut Sugar but any sugar will work)
- 1 Egg, beaten
- Roughly ½ Cup finely grated Carrot
- Roughly ½ Cup finely grated Zucchini
You could use honey or maple syrup instead of sugar but I find that it is too sticky and messy for the toddler to pour. Often we add a small handful of chopped Pepitas, you could also add some chopped walnuts.
We mix the ingredients together and spoon into oiled mini muffin tins. We bake at 180ºC for 10-15 minutes. Makes 18 mini muffins. Yum!