So my first born, William, heads to school this year - and it's all a little daunting.
School snacks aren't new for me, as we've been making them for the preschool lunch box for two years already, plus I've always made snacks for work and everyday.
Most people say its "cheaper to make your own" which can be true for some snacks, but I don't think it is. If you're making whole, refined sugar free, healthy type snacks, its often more expensive. A price I am prepared to pay though.
My kids still eat packaged snacks too. The occasional packet of tiny teddies or a fruit bar don't hurt, but I try not to make a habit of it.
Our fave "pre-made" snacks are squeeze yoghurt, cheese sticks and popcorn. We also love fresh fruit (apples, berries and melon seem to be the most popular!), nuts, seeds, boiled eggs, chia puddings, smoothies and bliss balls (mostly made in the thermie) and even raisin toast cut up is a popular one.
So, my muesli bars seem to have made quite an impression on our Instagram stories and you've all effectively begged for the recipe, so here goes!
TopKnot Girls Muesli Bars
Makes approx 25 bars, recipe can be halved.
3 cups of whole oats (not quick oats)
1 cup of whole almonds (you can chop them but I love them whole)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup tahini (or any nut butter like peanut, almond etc)
1/2 cup honey (we used organic 100% Australian honey)
Heat the oven to 180C.
In an oven dish, mix the seeds, nuts and oats.
Put into the oven to toast. Approx 15 mins, shaking the tray or mixing occasionally.
While this is roasting, grab a bowl or pyrex jug that can be microwaved. I used the jug as its got the measurements on the side. Add the tahini and honey to the jug. Warm for 45 seconds in the microwave. Mix it up so it combines well and is runny. I added some boiling water (approx 2 tablespoons) at this stage to loosen as my tahini was quite thick and lumpy. I used a fork to break it up and get it fairly smooth.
Once toasted, mix the oats mixture into the tahini mixture. I did this while hot. You could wait until it cooled (especially if the kids are making it).
Press into a slice tin lined with paper. I filled a slice tin + 1/3 of another slice tin with my mix, but if you used the one tin and added it all in your bars would be thicker and you can just chop them smaller.
Pop in the fridge til firm (3 hours or overnight) then chop into bars/squares.
I am storing these back in the fridge so they stay firm, in an airtight container.
Oh and here's another that we made today - just in case you like chocolate!
TopKnot Girls Choc Zucchini Mini Muffins
Makes 24 mini muffins
1 1/4 cups whole wheat SR flour
1/3 cup cocoa or cacao
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (or olive oil, butter or ghee)
1/3 cup of rice malt syrup (or maple, honey or agave)
1 tsp vanilla extract (not the fake stuff please!)
1 cup of grated zucchini (approx one large zucchini)
1/4 cup greek yoghurt (I used chobani)
1/2 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened)
1/4 cup of dark chocolate bits
Heat the oven to 180C
Mix the dry ingredients together, then add in the wet. Mix all together. Add the chocolate chips at the end into the mix, or over the top.
Grease a mini muffin pan (24) or a regular muffin pan (12) or a loaf tin (adjust the cooking time) really well (and line with baking paper if you can be bothered)
Cook for 10-12 mins (add time for larger muffins or loaf) until firm and slightly springy when touched.
Leave them to cool for 5-10 mins. Loosen them with a knife then pop them out. They are slightly fudgy in the middle from the zucchini and yoghurt. Yum!
If you love sweet things, increase the sweetener or chic chips as I try and cut back on the sweetness as much as possible!
I'd love to hear if you make any of these snacks! Tag me on Instagram if you post a pic (@topknotgirl_)!
Oh and to all the "school mum virgins" - We got this! xxxx Holly