Does your school offer hot lunches?
If not, join your School Council, do some research and rally for it. And for one simple reason only…you don’t have to make lunch that day. WOOOHOOOOOO!!!!
Yes, it isn’t always your first choice foods – and sometimes the kids won’t eat what is provided. But it’s worth it if it means you’re an “enthusiastic lunch packer” the rest of the week – no?
ONE issue…it’s often a main course only. You still need to pack snacks, etc. BUT this gives you the opportunity to pack the rest nutritiously.
On this day they were serving Homemade Chili, I believe. Regardless…I didn’t need to send a thermos of anything or pack a sandwich. On hot lunch day we only need to think “snacks”. I included some berries, half a banana with a plastic knife and some almond milk – for adding to granola at Snack Time.
Why Lentil Granola? Well, I saw a recipe for this last spring. I thought it was BRILLIANT. I wanted to be the one to invent this. Darn. It’s an interesting alternative to oats – (I make one with quinoa & buckwheat as well – yum) – very simple and inexpensive to make and packed with protein, good oils and TONS of fibre. It’s perfect for Paleo Eaters or kids on a Specific Carbohydrate Diet. And THIS version of mine is NUT-FREE!!
And I just like to be Wild and Crazy different sometimes…
KID-LUNCH FRIENDLY LENTIL GRANOLA
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 3 Tbsp raw honey
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp coconut or olive oil
- handful pumpkin seeds (or other seed)
- handful shaved, unsweetened coconut
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
- 3 Tbsp hemp seeds (optional)
- 1/4 cup dried fruit (goji berries, cranberries, raisins)
Bring a pot of water and lentils to a boil and simmer for a few minutes. Do not cook all the way – just soften. Drain and let water evaporate a bit.
Preheat oven to 300 F. Melt the honey a bit if it’s hard. Add oil and cinnamon. Place lentils in a bowl and toss with the liquid mixture. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread mixture out evenly.
Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Add pumpkin seeds and bake another 15 – 30 minutes, stirring if needed. Add coconut and bake another 15 minutes or so. The coconut is so pretty.
Remove from oven. Give it one last stir. Let it cool. Add chia and hemp seeds after cooled. If it isn’t sweet enough for your sweet-tooth-kidlets add some dried fruit. Store in an air-tight container.
Serve with almond milk or yogurt, fresh berries, banana or whatever.