Tag Archives: school

Breakfast Muffins

These are a great back to school snack or sports snack.  Stock your freezer!

One of the first “treat” recipes I came across that the kids asked me to make after the first test was called Muffin Tops from Oh She Glows May have had something to with them liking to say the name ;)

There was a lot of researching cookbooks and recipes in the beginning of this journey. It was a great way to help start testing meals with the family.  Knowing I wasn’t even close to trying to come up with some of my own, I wanted to dabble in recipes to get some practice and ideas for the future.

Angela of  Oh She Glows  was the first food bloggers I came across and was quickly sucked into her recipes. Angela just made it all look easy. She was a real person. She not only shared her creativeness in the kitchen (that just made you drool when looking at the pictures), she shared who she was.  That is really what has kept me coming back to see what she is up to. I was inspired by her recipes.

I decided to update her recipe to fit our plant based lifestyle by omitting a few ingredients that I avoid.  Also after a couple tries, I found I didn’t need to use some of the other ingredients.  As well as discovering a few ways to slightly change ingredients.

You can use a muffin pan, but I found them to be fun (and the lazy in me finds it nice to just plop them on the baking sheet)  the way Angela’s recipe suggests to bake them.

To change things up, you can replace the banana with pureed pumpkin or diced apples (see Notes). They are so scrumptious.

This muffin recipe has no eggs, no added sugars, and it is soy free, oil free and dairy free!  You can also make it a nut-free option. AND always double the recipe so you can store them in the freezer!

 

before & after

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes~ Cook Time:20 minutes~ Makes: 12ish
Recipe inspired by : Oh She Glows – click here for recipe

Ingredients:

2 large ripe bananas, peeled
1/2 cup packed pitted Medjool dates (be sure they are soft, if not ,soak for about 30 min in warm water then drain)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 cups gluten-free, wheat-free rolled oats, divided (I use Bob’s, but it is packaged in a facility that packages nuts, if you have a nut sensitivity, try GF Harvest)
1/4 cups non-dairy dark chocolate chips (nuts or raisins are an optional addition or replacement)

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the peeled bananas, pitted dates, cinnamon, and vanilla into a food processor.  Process until smooth.

Add in 1 cup of the rolled oats, hemp and chia seeds, and process for a few seconds, just long enough to roughly chop the oats and combine the mixture.

Take the remaining oats and pour them into a medium sized bowl and add the mixture from the processor to the bowl.  Add the chocolate chips and stir until mixed in.

Spoon dough onto the parchment paper. No need to press down on the muffin to flatten, they do not expand when cooking. These can be placed close together.  They will end up looking like mounds.

Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Immediately transfer onto a cooling rack to cool completely.  I always double the recipe and store in the freezer.  This kids just take out the muffin and eat them as is or pack them in their lunches.

Notes:

I have also made variations by replacing the bananas with 1 can of pumpkin while slightly increased the cinnamon and vanilla.  Along with adding pumpkin spice and turmeric.  Chocolate chips are optional, my family prefers to have them.

When I make it with apples, I will use 3/4 cup of applesauce. I slightly increase the vanilla and put 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.  Then about 1/4-1/3 cup diced and peeled apples. When replacing with the applesauce, I do not use the chocolate chips.

When adding the spices, I do it by taste.

 

 

 

School Incentives – Rewards

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State testing in our school district is currently happening.  The girls came home last week with a sheet of paper with the words “Incentive Program” at the top.  As I began reading through this sheet of paper, I suddenly started to feel frustrated and kinda angry.  Why do kids need incentives for doing something that is standard in their school curriculum?

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Fallnola

The girls have been putting in a request for granola lately and it is something that I have wanted to try. Our mornings and evenings have been cooling off which is feeling a little like fall as well as making it tolerable to use the oven more. Ava has been on a smoothie bowl fixation and the granola is what she said was missing. The evenings have been long with all the baking and taste testing, I figured granola should be pretty easy to put together. Well it sort-of was, getting the spices (flavor) down was a little harder than I realized because I wasn’t measuring, I was adding and tasting until I liked the taste. After the second batch, I felt I had it figured out. One of the convenient things about granola, you can kinda add what you want in it. This is the recipe for one of the batches I made and the flavor had a “fall” feeling.

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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 always 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 or Boom Chicka Pop in the pantry, there are far worse options than those.

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Specialty Sandwich

The girls do not eat sandwiches often but they came up with their own creation to take to school for lunch. One day they asked Jon and I if we wanted a specialty sandwich for lunch, Jon said “sure”, I was a little hesitant because I like to know what is in my food :)  but I went with the flow and was surprisingly served with a very tasty sandwich.   I was quite impressed they used the resources they had and have now made this their specialty sandwich when they feel like eating one. I just need to make sure we have certain ingredients stocked so they can work their creations in the kitchen.

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Category: Kids, Lunch | Tags: , , ,

Alternatives To Rewarding With Candy

As I sat a few weeks ago waiting for my kids to get their hair cuts, I was enthralled with a scene going on with another child getting ready to get their hair cut.  The parent was trying to work with the child to get up in the chair, the child wasn’t budging. I could see that the parent was not only trying to maintain her composure but also working quickly to come up with an incentive. I heard the parent say “if you can help the nice lady out and get up in that chair, I will give you 20 extra minutes of electronics”. In my mind, I thought, wow! totally impressed with the non use of treats/food/toys and calmness! The child proceeds to get on to the chair. Then the hairdresser leans over to the child and says, “I will give you a lollipop if you can sit still in the chair”. I think I had the same look on my face as the parent did. Now, as a parent, I sat there and thought to myself, there was no need for her to offer a lollipop, the parent solved the situation, so why did she feel she had to interfere. Reflecting on this made me realize that we are all guilty of it, rewarding children with treats/food/toys is prevalent and it is done by parents, teachers, parent groups, administrators, coaches, grandparents and even hair dressers, doctors, banks and the like, and no one really seems to question it. Schools do it! It is a challenge in which I work to improve at the children’s school, yet disappointingly find it not changing. Why is it encouraged to reward children for everything they do or with candy/treats/food that threaten children’s health and diets and reinforces poor eating habits and choices. When did receiving social rewards not be good enough?

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Baked Pumpkin Rounds

The other night I had decided to create a brownie using avocado, let’s just say it was an epic disaster. As I was mixing it and pouring into the pan, I thought, this would be a good “mousse” type dessert. But I second guessed myself and continued on. After all was done in the oven, I realized I forgot to add an ingredient so it came out like dark sludge. Well that was that, I needed to get a few things dialed in and try it another night. I then decided, I should try the breakfast oatmeal I make and tweak it a little and make some muffins. So with paper and pen I began the chicken scratch and pouring into bowls. Once they were placed in the oven, OH the smell was filling up the house! It was like a fall party. The kids were asking what smelled so good and I replied, I hope they taste as good as they smell! Success came from the oven and multiple testers have agreed these are tasty baked rounds. We just couldn’t decide if they were breakfast, a snack or a treat… they are just yummy!!

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Monday Mantra – Better than Yesterday

I came across this quote during a time the girls were having ‘one of those days’ and it was a good reflection on the discussions we were having.

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