School went back last week. A busy and emotional time in our household as our darling Charlotte headed off to Kindergarten. People have always told me how busy it is when your child starts school and I have to say – I totally agree with them! I’ve been flat chat keeping up with all the notes home, remembering which day to pack the library bag/swimming bag/sports uniform and then there’s of course school lunches! Which day is lunch order day? How much are the icy poles? Where is the lid for that drink bottle?!?
And exciting as it all is, you really have to be organised.
A friend of mine sent out a call via facebook asking for some lunchbox ideas; “Impending doom is upon me and I’m going to have to start packing lunches! Any hot tips for slice or muffiny things that aren’t full of sugar?” Now if you know my friend, you’d know that she has more get-up-and-go in her little finger than in most people’s entire body. A working mum of two little girls, amongst all of her many talents – none of which I could go close to achieving, you’d have to say – cooking is definitely not one of them. (Thank goodness for Hugh!)
Almost instantly my phone started lighting up with loads of fabulous recipes (which I can’t wait to try) from friends who’re also navigating their way through this rocky terrain; trying to pack things that the kiddies will actually eat and that’ll be certain to have them steering clear of the ‘lunchbox shaming list’.
My joking suggestion to Jo to stock up on the Tiny Teddies probably wasn’t that helpful I must admit. Not that Tiny Teddies don’t have a place mind you. I certainly think they do! A special treat is needed by us all every now and then and if they’re the one ‘special’ thing in your kid’s lunchbox, then I think you’re doing well.
But if you are looking for something slightly healthier, affordable, tasty and easy to freeze (why not do a double batch?) – it got me thinking. Although I have “food kiddies love” and “little hands make” pages on the blog, I probably should put together a “school lunchbox” collection of recipes too.
So I’ll start by adding these carrot muffins to that very list. The easiest thing in the world to make – you simply throw everything in to a mixing bowl and go nuts with the wooden spoon; not only did Charlotte come home from school saying “I loved those muffins Mum! Can I have another one?” they’re the perfect pick-me-up snack on the odd occasion you find five minutes to yourself. I grab one from the freezer and give it a nuke in the microwave before adding a dollop of natural yogurt as well as any fruit I have handy. And if you’re feeling a little but fancy – go all out and drizzle a little honey over the top. Wow! There’s nothing more satisfying than one of these to be washed down with a hot cuppa.
You can also serve them warm with butter or if you could be bothered – some simple cream cheese icing would go nicely as well. My girls seem to think they’re pretty hot left as is though. Even better.
The slight spicy hint of cinnamon brings a surprising hum to the overall flavour and the beauty of this recipe lies in the fact that I’ll bet you have all of the ingredients in the cupboard already.
So these ones are for you Jo. I heard Till nearly broke a tooth on the Anzac biccie you decided to make six months worth of. Maybe these “muffiny things” would work out better for you?
And failing that. There’s always Tiny Teddies. “Add to cart”.
healthier carrot muffins | perfect for little people’s lunchboxes
2 x cups of self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon of bicarb soda
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 x teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 x large carrots, peeled and grated
1 x cup of milk
2 x eggs
2 x tablespoons of vegetable oil
You can serve these muffins warm, straight from the oven with butter or enjoy them with a dollop of natural yoghurt, fruit and a drizzle of honey. Alternatively, pop them in the freezer to throw in to school lunchboxes or to whip out if unexpected friends pop round for tea. I freeze them in a Tupperware container but you could also freeze them individually wrapped in plastic wrap.
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ and line a 12 x cup muffin tin with cupcake wrappers, or failing that, spray the muffin tin with canola oil spray. (Alternatively this mixture will make more muffins if you have a smaller muffin tin like I do).
- Then simply add all ingredients in to a mixing bowl and mix together well using a wooden spoon.
- Spoon the mixture in to the prepared tin and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until cooked (cooking times will vary depending on the size of the muffin, so keep an eye on them).
- Leave to cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
If you make these muffins, please leave your comments below. xx