Make Back-to-School Lunches Tasty and SustainableAug 31, 2020 ● By Tiffany Hinton
Photo Credit: Kristy Haare at LifenReflection
- Use a brown paper bag each day to take your lunch. This gives mom the ability to write an inspiring message or affirmation each day. Or give them a riddle to share with friends and write the answer on the bottom of the paper bag.
- Use the parchment paper lunch bags for more than a sandwich. Pack chips or other dry items like granola. Use recyclable, decorative tape to close them by folding over and securing. These can easily be added to the compost or paper recycling bin at school.
- For liquid items, yogurt, soups and other items, use a glass jar left over from jam, pickles or other condiments. These jars can easily go in the recycle bin at school, helping to reduce landfill waste.
Mixed Berry Mix Salad
Yields: 5 servings
1 pkg strawberries, rinsed and halved
1 pkg raspberries, rinsed
1 pkg blackberries, rinsed
1 pkg blueberries, rinsed
Mix all the berries together in a large bowl and store covered in the fridge. Store in a glass container for longer freshness.
1 cup berries mix salad
1 tsp ground flax
Yields: 12 servings
2 cups quick oats
¾ cup chia or flax seeds
¾ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup almond slivers
½ cup toasted quinoa hot cereal
1 Tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
1 cup dried cranberries
⅓ cup sugar
⅓ cup maple syrup
½ cup agave nectar or honey
¼ cup vegan butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp Himalayan salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400º F.
On a baking sheet with raised sides, stir together the oats, flax or chia seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and quinoa cereal. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until toasted.
Remove from the oven, transfer to a large bowl and stir in the ginger and cranberries. Line a 11 x 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the coconut sugar, maple syrup, and agave/honey, vegan butter, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and salt to a simmer, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour this mixture over the nut mixture and stir so everything is coated. Transfer to prepared baking dish and use a rubber spatula to spread out the mixture and press it into the pan.
Place a sheet of wax or parchment paper on top and press down hard to compact the mixture into the pan. Let this cool in the pan for 2 to 3 hours, then turn out onto a cutting board and use a large knife to cut into bars.
Preheat oven to 300º F and place the cut bars on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges start to brown. Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container.
Recipes courtesy of Tiffany Hinton, GF Mom Certified. Connect on social media @GFMomCertified.