lunch-lady-lou (and nut free treats for the lunch box)
Viper is back to work, I’m back to making lunches. It’s quite a lot of effort, really, as I make it all from scratch. Packing lunches would be quick & easy if you just stuck to packaged snacks and the likes, but we all know that’s not really my style now is it? Anyway, I feel like I’ve been cooking for the masses – pasta salad, Mexican wraps, potato and zuccinni frittata, tea cakes and the following energy-boosting snack bar. He’s a hungry boy, our Viper.
Takes me back to my days at school and what I would have for lunch. My Mum is a pretty awesome baker and made a lot of our snacks herself (which, until you are doing it yourself, you never truly appreciate the effort that goes into it). We (my older sister and I) were never allowed those little packets of chips or anything like that, so I would say our lunch boxes were filled well with REAL food. When I got older, I had to start making my own lunch, which made for some interesting fare. I’m pretty sure I was very lazy back then, and my attempt at creativity would be Marmite and iceberg lettuce on a sandwich (which is actually REALLY good – alfalfa sprouts too). Peanut butter and jam was always a staple sandwich-filler as was cheese and Marmite (again, don’t knock it to you’ve tried it). We always had fruit – apples, pears, bananas – I’ve been a fruit bat for a long time.
What were/are your lunch box staples? Any crazy sandwich combos you are willing to admit to?
Anyway, the following bars are an easy-to-whip-up, tasty alternative to the processed candy bars masquerading as “healthy” snack bars on the supermarket shelves…. plus they are a lot cheaper which is always a bonus. Good for energy without the refined sugar crash.
Nut Free Oatie-Chocolate Energy Bars
(Vegan, wheat/soy/nut/corn/refined sugar free – gluten free* option below)
- 1/2C dark raisins
- 1/2C + 2T quick oats – *(if you want to make this gluten free you can sub in 3/4C dessicated coconut instead).
- 10 pitted soft dates
- 1t vanilla extract (optional)
- 3T coconut butter
- 1/4t sea salt
- 100g chocolate, roughly chopped or same amount in chocolate chips (I used an organic milk chocolate)
- Pulse all ingredients together except chocolate in the food processor until it all comes together in a very soft dough.
- You can either throw chocolate pieces into the food processor and pulse a few times, or remove dough and fold through yourself.
- To make bars, simple press into a baking tray or similar lined with baking paper.
- Pop in the fridge until set.
- Slice into bars, and store in the fridge.
These are great rolled into balls for little hands (and mouths) too – Misty always needs to grant approval, being my second in command in the kitchen of course.