Since I devoted the previous post on my blog to popular snacks for children that are advertised as “healthy”, today I decided to suggest a few alternative lunch solutions for our kids.
Producers of snacks put images of nuts and milk all over their packaging, but as it turns out the main ingredients of these products are sugar, palm oil, emulsifiers and preservatives. Meanwhile, a home-made hazelnut cream is very simple to make and it doesn’t take that much time at all:
Ingredients: 100g of hazelnuts, 1/4 glass of dates (immersed in warm water for 30 minutes), 1/4 – 1/3 glass of milk or vegetable milk (I recommend rice milk or almond milk), 2 tablespoons of cocoa
Warm up a dry pan and put nuts on it. Then roast them for 1-2 minutes. Afterwards move the nuts onto a clean cloth, wrap it up and rub it vigorously in order to remove the nut skin.
Put the nuts peeled and cocoa into the blender with S-shaped blade (that’s what the original recipe says, but my stand mixer did the job as well! ;)) and mix them until they’re powdered. Then add the dates and continue mixing. After that, add milk and mix again. And then it’s ready!
This recipe comes from the “Jadłonomia” cookbook by Marta Dymek and you can also find it at the www.jadlonomia.com website. This cream is delicious and it truly is full of nuts and milk!
Another lunch idea for both younger and older gourmands is the tapioca pudding. There is a whole lot of tapioca recipes online but the one I’m going to show you I use myself and I arrived at it after a couple more or less successful attempts. First thing worth noting is that when you go to the store to buy some tapioca it is a good idea to pay attention to its kind! There are several kinds of tapioca. First, there is fine ground tapioca flour, which is not suitable for making a pudding. What we need for that purpose are the so-called tapioca pearls. They come in two sizes – small and large. Personally, I recommend the small ones.
Ingredients: 1/3 glass of small tapioca pearls, one 400ml can of coconut milk, 400ml of vegetable milk (I use rice milk), 1/4 glass of brown unrefined sugar or stevia – you can add less, blended fruit for pouring onto the pudding (mango, strawberries, raspberries – whatever you like :))
Pour coconut milk and vegetable milk into tapioca and put it away for an hour. Add sugar afterwards. How much sugar you add depends on the vegetable milk used (for example, the milks from the AlproSOYA company usually include extra sugar!). Cook the tapioca in milk on low flame for about 15 minutes – tapioca pearls will become translucent then. If you don’t have any small pearls – only the large ones – they should be cooked longer accordingly in order to become translucent. After cooking, pour the tapioca into jars and wait for it to cool down. Then top it with mixed fruit and store in the fridge.
In order to conclude these sweet breakfast ideas, I would like to suggest apple marmalade with rosemary. Apples are available everywhere so in case of this recipe it is enough to have a walk to your local greengrocer.
Ingredients: 1kg of apples, 100g of dried dates or raisins, 1 rosemary sprig, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, water
Wash the apples, hollow them and cut them into smaller pieces (they don’t have to be peeled!). Put the apples into the pot together with dates or raisins, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a rosemary spring and a bit of water to make cooking easier. Bring the ingredients in the pot to boiling and then stew them for about 40 minutes, stirring them from time to time. When the marmalade thickness, take it off the flame. Take the rosemary sprig out. Optionally, you can mix the paste with a handheld blender to make it smoother. Then put it into jars and store in the fridge. (source: www.hellozdrowie.pl).
Now, to keep things balanced, let me offer you some savoury spreads. Let’s start with a white bean spread.
Ingredients: 400g of cooked white beans (or canned beans), a handful of fresh basil, a few dried tomatoes, 2-3 tablespoons of flaxseed oil; pepper and salt as preferred
Mix all the ingredients using a handheld blender or stand mixer and it’s ready! It only takes a couple of minutes, literally :).
White beans can also be used to conjure some lard!
Ingredients: 1 can of white beans, 2 onions, 4 prunes, 2 bay leaves, 1 allspice berry, 1 juniper berry, 1 clove, 1/2 teaspoon of marjoram, 1/4 glass of cold water or less!, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce (personally, I don’t add it!), salt, pepper
Dice the onions and cut prunes into small pieces. Put them all onto a pan, add bay leaves, allspice, juniper berry and cloves and stew it on low flame until the onion is glazed. Remove the spices! Mix the beans with marjoram, a big pinch of salt, pepper, water (be careful not to add too much water) and soy sauce and mix it with handheld blender. Add onion and prunes and mix gently so that there are detectable pieces of onion and prunes left. Serve cooled! 🙂 (source: www.jadlonomia.com).
To conclude, let me mention a classic of this genre, that is, home-made hummus! When it comes to hummus you can find many of its variations and lots of recipes for a good hummus. However, the one that appealed to me the most was the one from the www.jadlonomia.com website:
Ingredients: 1 glass of chickpeas, 1 glass of tahina (sesame paste available in health food stores), 2 garlic cloves, 1/3 glass of ice-cold water, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of baking soda
One day earlier, put chickpeas into 1/2 litre of cold water and add half a teaspoon of baking soda. Leave overnight. On the next day drain the chickpeas and rinse them, then put them into water, add half a teaspoon of baking soda and bring it to boiling. After the chickpeas are brought to boiling, keep boiling it for 40 minutes on low flame.
After they are boiled, drain them. Add tahina, lemon juice and chopped garlic and mix it all of it using handheld blender into a smooth paste. Start adding ice-cold water while still mixing. After adding water, keep mixing for 2-3 more minutes. Put the hummus into the fridge for it too cool down and then eat it spread on fresh bread!