LUNCHBOX INSPIRATION

Children standing in a meadow on the hands

After a lovely winter break our children are back at school and once again we are faced with the challenge of packing tempting and nourishing snacks for a busy day! I thought I would share some ideas that might help and inspire! Bearing in mind that playtime at school is limited and children want to spend this time playing with their friends, I pack small portions of a variety of snacks that are easy to “eat on the run”.

Remember that your child’s stomach is only as big as their fist and they therefore don’t need huge amounts of food. A rule of thumb is to only have a maximum of 3 fists worth of food per meal. I try to avoid things that will go soggy and also things that are messy and difficult to eat. Individually packed dry snacks are the answer!

 

I like to dehydrate my own fruit as this is the best way to get the full nutritional value. Although bought versions are available, they usually contain added chemicals. I have a wonderful recipe for dried apple chips, which my daughter adores. Sending apples to school is not always a good idea as they take too long to eat and often come home with a few bites out of them and have turned brown.

I hope these suggestions will help you with your lunchbox planning:

- Dried fruit pieces

- Dip ‘n Seed crackers and almond butter from Woollies

- Ancient Grain Original Crackers from Woollies

- Multigrain rice cakes with a little marmite

- Nakd Bars

- Organic Goji berries from Super Foods

- Kale chips (packed in an airtight container as they can go soggy)

- Raw tree nuts (FACT: peanuts are NOT nuts, they are legumes that grow on a

perennial plant along the ground)

- Organic raisins that do not have vegetable oil on them to make them shiny! Best,

nutritionally, would be raisins with seeds in them.

- Trail mix

- Fresh SEEDED grapes (don’t cut them up – you will lose nutritional value)

- Unpeeled bananas (make sure they have spots on them for better digestion and

nutrition)

- Dehydrated flax crackers

- Popcorn (use organic kernels and organic coconut oil)

We would love to hear from you if you have any questions or if you have some new ideas

for lunch box snacks that will keep our children nourished during their busy school days.

WINTER WARMER

There’s nothing quite as comforting or warming as a delicious bowl of soup! This Moroccan Butternut and Red Lentil Soup with its combination of warming spices and a hint of chili, will become a winter favourite. I found it in the “Brookdale’s Heavenly and Healthy Flavours” book and my whole family loved it!

htc-winter-pumpkin-and-squash (1).jpg

Ingredients:

1 red chili, deseeded and chopped (optional)

3 cups butternut, peeled and cubed

½ cup red split lentils, rinsed well

5 ripe tomatoes, skin removed and chopped

3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

5 cups vegetable stock

herb salt and ground black pepper

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Onion, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp ginger, grated

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground cinnamon

 

Heat a large saucepan with olive oil, sauté onion, garlic and ginger and then sprinkle in the spices. Sauté until the spices become fragrant. Add chilli, butternut, lentils, tomatoes, carrots and stock. Cook until vegetables are soft (about 40 minutes). Blend and season to taste. Serve hot, topped with chickpeas, crumbled feta and a drizzle of coriander pesto.

Serves 6

The Prep process for our Safari is running ‘full steam ahead’

I’ve chosen four different breakfast options:

1. Smoothies for the long travelling days on our inward journey to our destination.  These are made on the night before departure and stored in stainless steel flasks in our car cooler in the console. They’re easy to access – no unnecessary stops as we’re super keen to reach our destination!

2. Home made buckwheat cereal  served with fresh fruit and coconut yoghurt. (I’m going to be making more coconut yoghurt whilst we’re in Moremi).

3. Oats two ways – soaked in apple juice with cinnamon or cooked with coconut milk and almond butter.

4. Cooked breakfast:  Garlicky tomatoes and caramelized bananas and sweetcorn.

 

Four different Lunch options:

1. Green juice made in advance in stainless steel flasks and stored in the same easily accessible way as per the smoothies. I’ll take some fresh greens to make one more quantity of green juice using my manual Farre Juicer. The greens must be used as soon as possible as they won’t last for more than about four days in the fridge.

2. Salads: leaves don’t last long but Pak Choy lasts best and can be used raw and cooked and has a much milder cabbage flavour.  Serve with homemade sauerkraut / kimchi / pesto / fermented mustard and home-made pickle and Kombucha vinegar. Add a few different rainbow coloured fresh veg too. As space is at a premium in the fridges only one or two bottles of pickles can be used at a time.

3. Wraps with a choice of three different scrumptious fillings with a base of greens and other ingredients to create taste sensation!

4. Salads with a lentil or brown rice base.  Make these salads when the fresh ingredients are finished.

 

Dinners:

I’ve made and frozen four soups, which I’ll store in the caravan freezer.

I’ve made and frozen four main meals.  On this trip I’ve chosen curries – Chinese, Indian, Thai and Moroccan. 

I’ve made and frozen three different marinades:  BBQ, Thai and Sweet & Sour.  In addition I have one bottle of Korma sauce which will be packed into my grocery drawer.

 

Mid morning snacks:

1. Dehydrated fruit:  I’ve dehydrated mango, pineapple, apple, plums, banana and figs.  These store well in airtight containers.  Remember with dried fruit a little goes a long way.

2. Homemade trail mix – a mix of nuts, seeds, dried fruit and superfoods.

3. Dehydrated choc cookies made with hazelnut pulp flour.

4. Homemade fruit, nut and seed rusks.

 

 

 

 

Sundowner snacks:

1.     Kale chips

2.     Flax crackers

3.     Dehydrated macadamia nut cheese drops 

4.     Spicy nuts and seeds clusters

 

After dinner treats to round off the evenings whilst sharing the day’s experiences around the camp fire:

1.     Rocky Road fudge 

2.     Chocolate truffles

3.     Choc / Mint fudge 

 

Drinks:

1. Filtered water.  I take a Brita jug which is not necessarily the best, but better than not filtering the water.

2. Herbal teas for me and plunger coffee (for my husband).

3. Water Kefir which I’ll be making in the campsite.  I’ll add fresh lemon juice and fresh ginger juice to it to make our delicious sundowner drinks. Takes two days to make.

4. Carob chai on cooler evenings with an optional shot of Kaluha to warm us from the inside out!

Portion sizes are all carefully planned so that everything can fit into the two fridges and the freezer. Fresh fruit won’t last long hence we are taking dried fruit. Equally, veggies need to be chosen carefully eg. sweet potatoes, gem squash, butternut squash – which last a long time out of the fridge. I store the fresh fruit and veg, which are transported in an open collapsible crate in the car, in string bags so that they have good air flow and therefore last longer. There are invariably left-overs, so I don’t have meals prepared for every single meal.

Storage is important as monkeys and baboons, even elephants, can raid your camp if food is left out. Successful safaris require good planning and prepping to ensure that you can enjoy your holiday to the max.