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Linn-Mar High Schooler Crafts Pandemic-Inspired Cookbook For Kids

Daniel Low
Jude Villafana, Managing Partner (Left) at Popoli shows Elizabeth Low (Right) how to make Shrimp Guacamole. Low realized many young people didn't have the tools to cook healthy meals on their own, so she decided to write an easy to follow cookbook with fun starter recipes.

Elizabeth Low is a senior at Linn-Mar high school. She loves to cook and had big plans to share her skills with other students this summer by teaching cooking classes through the Marion Youth Coalition. But when the pandemic scrambled that plan, her vision got bigger.

Low decided to craft a cookbook filled with original recipes and recipes from local restaurants to help young people master the foundations of cooking so they could eat a healthy and well-balanced diet while isolating at home.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe is joined by Low for a look at her new cookbook, which has already been distributed to more than 200 kids in her community.

Interested in trying your hand in the kitchen? Here’s Elizabeth Low’s recipe for whole wheat brownies.

Whole Wheat Brownies
Makes about 10 servings
Total time: 1 hour


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

If you use regular (salted) butter, cut salt down to 1/2 teaspoon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan
  2. In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine.
  3. Return the mixture to the heat briefly just until it is hot but not bubbling. Stir it to recombine. Heating the mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will put a shiny top crust on your brownies.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla.
  5. Add the eggs, stirring until smooth. Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Spread evenly.
  6. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, until a knife poked into the center reveals wet crumbs, but not raw batter. The brownies should feel set on the edges and not jiggle in the center. Remove them from the oven, and cool completely on a rack.
  7. Enjoy!

Recipe Created by Marion’s Great Harvest Bread Co.


  • Elizabeth Low, Linn-Mar High School student and cookbook author
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa