Lunch Box Fillers.. Blueberry, Apple & Quinoa Muffins

imageSchool is back next week woohoo.. I mean wow that went quickly. I’ve quite enjoyed the sleep-ins well not having to be dressed, rushed and out of the house every morning. But like all good things they must come to an end and it’s back to reality, routine and the early morning chaos. My middle son starts prep (first year of school) this year and to say  he is excited is an understatement.

He is looking forward to the challenges and friendships and of course joining his big brother at school. It will be an adjustment for all of us and I hope I don’t get too teary but I can’t promise anything. He is my mummy’s boy and  I’ve loved having him home with me. Now he will be out in the big wide world of school and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Excited for his next phase but also a part of me finding it so hard to let go. Sounds silly, but to me it is a big deal the next step in their little lives.They are no longer tied to you everyday and having mummy protect them from harms way. It’s more than just school work, they build their confidence and independence that will stay with them for years to come. It’s kind of a big deal!

Enough of the emotional stuff I still have some days left to prepare myself. In the meantime I have started thinking of some lunchbox ideas to distract me.  I like to pack fresh fruit, veggie sticks, rice crackers, sandwiches and some healthy snacks they are the usuals in my kids lunch boxes. I do like to make some homemade treats when I get a chance as I hate all the supermarket kids snacks that are targeted as “school snacks” but are mostly all filled with excessive amounts of sugar and still cheeky additives and preservatives. Still don’t know how they get away with it.

Muffins are a great treat though making them without sugar can sometimes leave them underwhelming and bland which may come back at the bottom of their school bag. I love this recipe I found that does include a little sugar but unrefined coconut sugar, also is sweetened by grated apple also making it super moist, the added blueberries for extra fruity flavour and contains quinoa flakes for added superfood slow releasing energy . Well sounds perfect for getting them through the day doesn’t it.. Win for me, but was it a win for the kids? Happy to say the kids sampled them and it’s a tick from them too. They can be easily wrapped and put in the freezer, then just taken out the night before to pack in their lunch boxes. I will be posting more healthy lunch box fillers in the coming weeks. Hope you are ready for school to start I’m sure there will be many mummy coffee dates planned and leaps out of bed that morning from parents and maybe like me some happy tears.

Recipe from Donna Hay Fresh and Light magazine issue 5

Blueberry, Apple & Quinoa Muffins

Ingredients

1/2 quinoa flakes

1 cup milk

2 cups wholemeal flour sifted

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup grapeseed oil or light olive oil

1 green apple grated

1  1/2 cups frozen blueberries

Quinoa crumb

1/3 cup quinoa flakes

1 tb maple syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180’C (350’F)
  2. In a large bowl place quinoa flakes and milk and let soak for 10mins
  3. Then add all remaining ingredients (except quinoa crumb and blueberries) and mix to combine
  4. Add blueberries and gently stir through
  5. Divide into 12 capacity well-greased muffin tin
  6. To make quinoa crumb combine quinoa flakes and maple syrup and rub together to form a crumb.
  7. Top onto muffins and bake for 30mins or until cooked through
  8. Set aside for 5 mins before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

image

Buckwheat Banana & Apple Cinnamon Pikelets

My kids LOVE pancakes/pikelets they are the first thing they ask for when I ask them what they would like me to make them for a treat. They are so easy and I’ve adapted this recipe so its refined sugar-free and uses buckwheat and spelt flours.

Why Buckwheat flour? Well it is gluten-free so perfect for people with wheat intolerance though in this recipe I’ve used half Buckwheat and half Spelt flour as I find when mixed with a glutenous flour it gives a fluffier lighter result than dense pancake. Spelt Flour is NOT gluten free however the gluten within spelt is a lot easier for some people to digest making it a better alternative. If you have a gluten intolerance or are celiac you can use only buckwheat flour instead.

image

Buckwheat Banana & Apple Cinnamon Pikelets

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Kids favourite, great for afternoon snacks and school lunchboxes.

Ingredients

3/4 cup buckwheat flour

3/4 cup wholemeal spelt flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 egg

3 mashed bananas

3/4 cup milk (can use buttermilk, almond, soy or regular)

1/4 cup rice malt syrup

2 red apples cored and thinly sliced

Directions

  1. In a large bowl add all ingredients except the apple, then whisk together till  thick batter consistency  if mixture is too thick add a little more milk
  2. Heat a non stick fry pan on medium heat, add 1 heaped tablespoons of mixture into pan
  3. Place some sliced apples on top of each pikelet and sprinkle a little extra cinnamon
  4. Once bubbles start to appear flip them over and cook for a further minute until just browned
  5. Repeat using all remaining batter

image