Healthy Lunchbox Recipes
Caramel Date Spread
This particular caramel dip is raw and naturally-sweetened, made with fiber-rich Medjool dates. A definite upgrade from traditional recipes calling for butter, sugar and corn syrup! With a hint of sea salt, this dip pairs perfectly with freshly sliced apples or pears, and would make an excellent topping drizzled over your favorite Fall baked goods.
• 1 cup soft Medjool dates, pitted
• ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, or more to taste
• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
• ¼ cup almond milk, plus extra for desired texture
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
• optional: 1 cup soaked cashews or almonds
If you're using a standard blender or food processor, begin by soaking the dates in filtered water for 2 to 3 hours, until soft. If you own a powerful blender, like the Vitamix, there's no need to soak--> it will pulverize the dates easily!
Combine all of the ingredients in the blender, and blend until smooth and creamy, adding extra almond milk, if necessary, to facilitate blending.
Adjust flavors to taste, and chill before serving.
Serve with sliced fruit, or thin with extra water to drizzle over baked goods. Will keep chilled in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Notes - For an extra-creamy caramel dip, add 1 cup of soaked cashews or almonds before blending.
Homemade Graham Crackers
•2 1/4 cup Whole-wheat pastry flour
•7 Tablespoons butter, chopped in chunks
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•1/2 teaspooon baking soda
•1/2 cup brown sugar
•1 Tablespoon cinnamon
•Dash of cloves
•2 Tablespoons honey
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•2 Tablespoons cold water
1.Cinnamon sugar for topping if desired Add flour, brown sugar, butter, soda, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves to medium size bowl.
2.Using a pastry cutter, create crumb like mixture with butter and other ingredients
3.Add in vanilla and honey stir with spoon.
4.Drizzle in water 1 Tablespoon at a time and mix with clean hands until mixture is able to form into well mixed ball of dough (Play-doh consistency)
5.Refrigerate dough for about an hour. ( Being an impatient cook, I waited about 30 minutes)
6.Roll out dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper until dough is about 1/8 inch thick.
7.Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 3 inch by 3 inch squares and lightly prick with fork. 48 crackers
8.Using a spatula, move squares onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
9.Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon sugar if desired.
10.Bake at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes.
For Chocolate: Add 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa to dry ingredients & Mix well.
Patti’s Homemade Vanilla Bean Pudding/Dip
•1 lb silken tofu, drained
•1 package Vanilla Pudding (I use Jello’s Simply Good Vanilla Bean, no dyes/artificial flavors)
•½ cup milk
Blend all ingredients until smooth in food processor or blender, then chill for 1 hour to ‘set.’ If putting in food pouches, pour into pouches before filling.
To make a ‘dip’ instead of pudding, add up to 8 oz lowfat cream cheese (Neufchatel cheese) instead of milk. Add 1-2 tbspn milk to thin if needed. Chill for 1 hour to set. Serve with fruit or graham crackers.
To make a pie: pour ‘dip’ into graham cracker crust and top with fresh blueberries, strawberries, or bananas. Variations: drizzle chocolate, peanut butter or fudge sauce over top, sprinkle with some mini chocolate chips or nuts. A healthier version of a yummy treat!
Baked Whole-Wheat Tortilla Chips
Yield 6 servings (serving size: 8 chips)
Making your own tortilla chips allows you to add whole grains and keep fat grams down. Serve with your favorite salsa or dip.
•6 (8-inch) whole-wheat or whole-grain flour tortillas
•1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (<
Patti’s Homemade Hummus
•1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained
•1 6oz jar marinated artichoke hearts (in olive oil, NOT drained)
•2tsp minced garlic (or more to taste)
Add all ingredients to food processor, puree until smooth. Let sit for an hour to ‘marry’ flavors. Serve with veggies, tortilla chips, or use as a spread.
Patti’s PB Greek Yogurt Dip
•1 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
•1 cup Jif Peanut Butter Powder (or you can use 1 cup melted peanut butter for a full-fat version)
•½ cup milk
•1+ tbsp honey (to taste)
Mix all ingredients until smooth in food processor or with whisk, then chill for 1 hour. Serve on bread, bagels, English muffins, or add more milk to make a ‘dip’ for apples, graham crackers, more!
Chocolate Avocado Truffles
Yield: About 10 truffles
A rich chocolate truffle with less fat and calories thanks to a secret ingredient: avocado!
•1 small avocado (just under 1/2 cup mashed)
•1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (use a good brand; I like Ghiradelli or Guittard)
•1/2 teaspoon vanilla
•Sprinkles, cocoa, powdered sugar, or coconut for rolling
Place avocado in a food processor and blend until smooth. Meanwhile, add chocolate chips to a microwave safe bowl and melt for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Once chocolate is melted and smooth, stir in avocado and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least a few hours.
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place sprinkles in a dish for rolling. You can also use cocoa powder, powdered sugar, or sweetened coconut, if you prefer. Use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop balls of the chocolate mixture. Roll into even sized balls. Roll in topping, place back on cookie sheet. Chill until ready to serve.
Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups
•5 cups fruits (any kind) <<you can="" use="" canned="" fruit,="" just="" drain="" real="" well.
•(I used 2 cans of mangos, 2 cans peaches, 1 can pears –all in juice, not syrup, drained well.)
•If mixture is tart, add a little honey to taste – not much is needed! 1 tsp – 1 tbsp max
Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Blend fruit together until very smooth. Pour into a fine mesh strainer if you would like to remove seeds. Pour mixture onto mat, and spread very even with a spatula. Leave mixture at least 1/4 inch thick, especially watching the edges. Once mixture is smooth and even, place in the oven and bake for 4-6 hours until the mixture has dried completely.
Cut with scissors, store for up to 1 month.
Here are some more recipes for fruit roll-ups:
Banana Chia Seed Pudding
•1 very ripe banana
•1/2 cup water, unsweetened almond, coconut or dairy milk (for creamier versions)
•1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
•Honey, to taste (optional)
Mash up the banana with a fork until all the lumps are gone, or blend in blender. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour to thicken.
Found this recipe in:
Growing up gourmet : 125 all-natural recipes for babies & toddlers by Carlson, Jennifer
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