Monthly Archives: September 2016

No Eggs or Butter! How Do You Bake?

This question arises quite frequently when people discover we are plant based, “if you don’t eat eggs or butter, how can you possibly bake anything?”

For as much as I like to make treats, I was determined to find solutions.  It did take some trial and error but my treat eaters have been very happy with the results :)  As crazy as it sounds to most people, you can make A LOT of delicious recipes beyond treats, without using any of animal based ingredients. Whether you are plant based, vegan, allergic or just ran out of eggs, there are some staples that you can use for replacing eggs and butter when baking.  In fact, the recipe will be free of hormones, antibiotics, cholesterol, heart disease, autoimmune issues, excessive unhealthy fat, and the list goes on.  Replacing eggs or butter with whole food ingredients provide an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and other nutrients that benefit the body for activity, recovery and overall health.  I feel it is a good trade.  I have found that I use some of the listed options below more frequently than others as that just seems to work the best for that specific recipe or it just happens to be what I have on hand.

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Lunch and Snack Ideas for Kids

During the school year and the summer break,  I rely on some of the favorites picked by the kids to keep well stocked, which means batch baking, dicing and slicing. I also like to try new recipes to change things up a bit. The list is ever evolving and changing, so be sure to check the Kids tab for new ideas!  Everything I have on my blog are recipes that are consumed and liked by my family, kid approved! What is wonderful about these choices is they work for lunches and/or snacks, and are not filled with corn starch, corn syrup, oil, refined sugar, white flour, bleached flour and the many non food ingredients found in most packaged items. I will say we do have our occasional packaged pretzels and Late July crackers in the pantry, there are far worse options than those. Sports are a large component of our family, so I keep these, along with lots of fresh fruits and veggies on hand for those grab-n-go moments. I have included a variety of options for those who do and don’t have food sensitivities.

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And remember, these aren’t just for kids :)

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One of the top requested from my girls are Zucchini Muffins. Love that these have some veggies in them and can be made without nuts and are dairy free, soy free and a gluten free option. And double up the recipe and store in the freezer for lasting snacking.

Kinda Like Muffins are another huge hit around here and with friends. Another snack that can be changed up to your liking, with or without chocolate, with or without nuts. Perfect size for grab-n-go time and store in the freezer for long lasting. My kids will eat them straight from the freezer, I have yet to try them like that but they say they are tasty that way.  The Blender Pancakes have been a great snack lately, I double the batch and then store the remaining pancakes in the fridge.  They hold well for quick grab and go, and the kids pack them as snacks for school too.

Pesto Roll Ups are another quick lunch fix. I make pesto once in while and we will use it for the wraps. These are filling, flavorful and easy to make. The PBJB Burrito is another “wrap” the kids make, even though we may have bread, they prefer a tortilla most of the time. They will also just do PBB, which is peanut butter and banana rolled up.  Sierra’s Potato Salad is another addition to the lunches.  As well as Quinoa Salad.  My kids will pack these nuggets in their lunch with ketchup, yes cold packed.  Made with chickpeas which are a great source of fiber, carbs, calcium, iron, protein and vitamin A, which make for a great snack or some fuel for a workout., Chick’,LESS Nuggets.

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Granola and granola bars are very convenient and come in many varieties in the store. What is not convenient is the ingredients. Avoid the unnecessary sugars and find something that is less processed.  Best to find other options, but if you are going to buy bars, I suggest, Lara Bars (read ingredients), Go Raw, Picky Bars and That’s It Bars.  Keep in mind when buying bars the less ingredients the better and where on the list the ingredient falls. They are intended to provide your body with fuel. Regardless of what you call them, it is wise to look at the ingredients to determine whether they are a nutritious choice or merely empty calories. Look for words (AND STAY AWAY FROM THEM) like brown rice syrup, agave, evaporated cane juice, cane sugar, corn syrup, soy oil, coconut sugar, raw sugar. These are glorified names for added sugars that are totally not necessary, buy organic if possible, as with anything, if you don’t recognize an ingredient don’t buy it.  Here are a couple I have made: Oatmeal Cookies , Dark Chocolate Granola Bars , Fallnola, Hangry Bars.

Whether you need something for school or sports, these Energy Bites and Raw Cookies and Hangry Bars are the bomb! They are a powerful package in a small bite and are such a better option than a sports bar. My husband packs these on his long bike rides and we keep them handy for our backpacking excursions as well.

The girls are always putting fresh fruit and vegetables in their lunch which are the largest portion of their lunch, whether it be a mini salad (fruit too), sliced apples, stone fruits, grapes, cuties, sugar snap peas, carrots, cucumbers and many other varieties.  Always have fruits and veggies packed in lunches.  Keep some of the favorites stocked, but also give them varieties to try because limiting to only their favorite will limit their body of vitamins and minerals.

An example of a hummus veggie wrap lunch

 

Cucumbers are a favorite around here, especially since we started growing our own. Kyla’s Cucumbers Snack and Mikes Mango Madness are popular with my kids and their friends. Even just sprinkling salt and pepper with the lemon is refreshing.

Hummus, it goes with so much, veggies, crackers, wraps or as a salad dressing with some balsamic stirred with it. There are many store bought brands and flavors. Downside, there is “stuff” in there that doesn’t need to be, like oil (soybean, canola, safflower). Hummus is fairly easy to make and you can find many recipes on the internet that do not use oil, citric acid, potassium sorbate, phosphoric, cultured dextrose or “natural flavors”. Here are some great hummus recipes to try.

 

Some of my favorite recipe makers have put together some suggestions:

Veggies Don’t Bite – Easy School Lunches

Dreena Burton – Tips For Lunches

Fully Raw – Lunchbox Ideas

Making sure you provide plenty of FRESH options will not only provide balanced nutrition for you and your children, but it will introduce making better choices.  The more that is accessible, the easier it will be. And sometimes the most simplest of items are all that is needed.