{Recipe} Nut-free lunchbox snacks: chilli and parsley crackers; oaty carob bites

The following recipes are suitable for a nut-free lunchbox.

Many of the lunchbox snacks that I prepare at home contain nuts, as my school-aged tiny vegans are not restricted from bringing nuts to school. However, 4 year old Tiny Vegan began attending a ‘nut-free’ pre-school earlier this year. Consequently, this has inspired me to experiment with nut-free lunchbox snacks.

chillicrackers1

These tasty crackers consist of dried chilli flakes, fresh parsley, nutritional yeast, ground flaxseeds, tahini, oats and brown rice flour.

This recipe was inspired by a gluten-free cracker that I featured during Vegan MoFo. I decided to experiment with a nut-free cracker recipe that consists of pantry staples – like dried chilli flakes and tahini – and fresh herbs. I chose parsley as it grows so abundantly in our little herb garden.

chillicrackers6

Ingredients

(Quantity – approximately 40 small crackers)

1 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup brown rice flour

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (savoury yeast flakes)

1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds (golden or brown)

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 – 1/4 tsp chilli flakes

1 tightly packed tsp of finely chopped fresh parsley

1/4 tsp asofoetida (hing) or garlic powder

2 tsp tahini (sesame paste)

5 Tbsp water

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced/350F. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Use a food processor or coffee grinder to grind the oats to a fine flour. Add the oats to a mixing bowl.

3. Add the remaining dry ingredients, including the fresh parsley and chilli flakes.

4. Add the tahini and water. Mix well with a spatula or fork, then use your hands to form the mixture into a ball of dough.

5. Sprinkle brown rice flour onto a wooden board or kitchen counter. Knead the dough for several minutes on the floured surface, then divide the dough it into about 6 segments*. Use a rolling pin to roll each segment, one at a time, to a thickness of about 3mm. Use a pizza cutter (or knife) to cut the dough into small crackers, roughly 4cm x 4cm.

6. Transfer the crackers to the baking tray. Prick each cracker with the prongs of a fork a couple of times. Bake for approximately 15 -18 minutes, or until the crackers are a light golden brown colour.

7. The crackers will harden as they cool. Once cooled, store in an air tight container.

*I divide the dough into segments as I find it easier to ‘manage’ (ie. roll and cut) a smaller quantity of dough.

chillicrackers2

The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts

The tiny vegans are enthusiastic about spicy food, so I use the full 1/4 tsp in this recipe. If you – or your kids – are not keen on spicy crackers, use 1/8 tsp for a subtler ‘kick’.

The tiny vegans enjoy these crackers plain, or with dips like hummus.

***

oatbites1

This recipe is a nut-free version of a recipe that I developed for Vegan MoFo, Nutty Cinnamon Bites.

Ingredients

1 cup oats

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup raw carob powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup dates

1/2 cup sultanas or pitted prunes

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

coconut sugar and/or shredded coconut for coating

Method

1. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor in the order that they are listed.

2. Process the mixture for about 2 minutes, until it clumps together and forms a large ball on the blade. The mixture will stick together when pressed between your fingers and thumb.

3. To form into balls: Scoop out a heaped tablespoon of the mixture, and roll it between the palms of your hands until it forms a ball. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Roll the balls in shredded coconut and/or coconut sugar. Can be eaten immediately, or refrigerated for half an hour before serving. Store leftovers in the fridge.

4. To form into bars: Transfer the mixture from the food processor to a loaf tin lined with baking paper. Press the mixture into the tin with your fingers or a spatula. Smooth the top. Place in the freezer for a couple of hours. Remove from the freezer and cut into bars. The bars can be topped with raw cacao nibs or shredded coconut.

oatbars

The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts

This recipe is a popular lunchbox snack with the tiny vegans – in ball or bar form.

Every Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe that is enjoyed by my own family. I hope your family enjoys it too.

Ally 🙂

{Recipe; Vegan MoFo} Rosemary Crackers

Each week, I prepare a batch of hommus (hummus) for my kids’ lunchboxes.

I also pack their lunchboxes with vegetables – like celery, carrot, red capsicum (bell pepper), snow peas, cucumber –  and crackers, for dipping.

Many store-bought crackers are loaded with sodium, and some contain palm oil (which I am actively trying to avoid). When I have the time, I prefer to make crackers at home.

rosemary1

These gluten-free crackers are made with almonds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast, and brown rice flour. They are delicious and simple to prepare.

The recipe is available at Oh She Glows (click here for the recipe).

I make a few small changes to the original recipe:

  • I use asafoetida (hing) powder instead of garlic powder.
  • I omit the thyme.
  • I use fresh rosemary from our herb garden instead of dried rosemary.
  • I add an additional 1/2 tablespoon of water.
  • I add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil.
  • My crackers cook in only 12 minutes.

crackersa

The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts

These crackers are very popular with the Tiny Vegans (and their parents!). They all enjoy them plain, and my daughter particularly relishes eating her crackers with hommus.

Ally

{Recipe} Vegan Lunchbox Snacks

After last week’s booze-soaked, caffeine-fueled decadence, it’s time to re-focus on child-friendly recipes. 🙂

intropic1

Last week, a friend was lamenting the relentlessness of the school lunchbox routine. I can relate!

So, for those that suffer from periodic (or chronic) lunchbox loathing, I am featuring three recipes that may provide some much-needed inspiration.

1. Baked Crackers – Spelt and Spicy Wheat

2. Cinnamon Cookie Dough Bars

3. Crispy Edamame

At the end of this post, I have included links to other ‘lunchbox-friendly’ recipes on Made of Stars.

crackers1

Most store-bought crackers are heavy on sodium. Many contain palm oil (for info on why palm oil is not a cruelty-free food, see this post). Some contain undesirable additives.

These crackers are tasty on their own or teamed with a dip, such as hummus. My daughter enjoys them with avocado. They are simple to prepare, and my kids are enthusiastic about helping to make them. They particularly enjoy rolling and cutting the dough, and sprinkling the seeds on top.

I have included recipes for two different varieties:

Spelt Crackers

(Adapted from this recipe)

Quantity- 26 small crackers

**Ingredients**

1 cup wholemeal spelt flour

4 Tbsp water

1/2 tsp salt

1.5 Tbsp coconut oil (in liquid form)

1/4 tsp ground cumin

poppy seeds

sesame seeds

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.

2. Add the flour to a large mixing bowl. Add the cumin. Mix well.

3. Add the water to a small jug. Add the salt to the jug and stir well until salt is dissolved.

4. Add the oil to the jug, and mix. Then pour the liquid into the mixing bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

5. As the flour begins to clump together, and becomes difficult to stir with the wooden spoon, use your hands to form the mixture into a dough. Work the dough until it becomes malleable.

6. Lightly flour the kitchen bench with additional flour, and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a thin sheet.

7. It is preferable to have crackers that are roughly the same size (about 4.5 x 3cm). To achieve this, use a pizza cutter to cut the sheet of dough into a symmetrical rectangle. Retain the ‘off cuts’.  Cut the crackers with the pizza cutter, then place them onto a large, lined baking tray.

8. Repeat the process with the remaining dough (the ‘off cuts’). To obtain a consistent size, you can use a cut cracker as a guide.

9. Evenly space all of the crackers on the baking tray. Sprinkle with poppy seeds and sesame seeds. Use the rolling pin (or your fingers) to press the seeds onto the crackers.

10. Bake for 12 minutes.

11. Remove from oven and allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.

cutting1

***

Spicy Wheat Crackers

(Adapted from this recipe)

Quantity – 11 large crackers

**Ingredients**

1 cup wholemeal wheat flour

1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp dried marjoram

4 Tbsp water

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp coconut oil (in liquid form)

Poppy seeds

Sesame seeds

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F.

2. Add flour to a large mixing bowl. Add the cayenne pepper and marjoram. Mix well.

3. Follow steps 3-6 in the previous recipe.

4. If you want to make larger crackers (as we did), cut them into 7 x 5 cm rectangles, and bake for 14 minutes (otherwise follow steps 7-10 above).

5. Once cooled, store crackers in an air tight container.

crackerslast

***

bars1

Cinnamon Cookie Dough Bars

These bars are rich and decadent, and free of oil and refined sugar. They are a simple, yet satisfying snack.

I’m sure that regular readers will not be surprised when I reveal the creator of these fabulous bars.

Yes, it’s one of Dreena’s recipes. 😉

The bars consist of cashews, hemp seeds, shredded coconut, rolled oats, dates, and cinnamon. Sunflowers seeds are a good substitution for the hemp seeds. I like to use a combination of cashews and macadamia nuts.

I store the bars in the freezer. I adore their consistency when devoured straight from the freezer. You can freeze the entire slice uncut, and use a sharp knife to cut a slice as desired. However, I prefer to store it pre-sliced.

The recipe is available here.

bars2

***

edamame1

Crispy Edamame

All of the Tiny Vegans enjoy steamed, unshelled edamame -the type that is available in Japanese restaurants. Recently, I purchased a bag of frozen, shelled edamame. I baked them with nutritional yeast, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. They were delicious!

Ingredients

2 cups frozen, and shelled edamame, thawed

1/2 – 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (ie. savoury yeast flakes)

Salt

Pepper

Method

1.Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F.

2. Add thawed edamame to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with a small quantity of salt and pepper, then add 1/2 Tbsp of nutritional yeast. Mix well to coat the beans. Add another 1/2 Tbsp of nutritional yeast if desired.

3. Spread beans onto a lined baking tray. Bake for 20-25, until beans begin to brown and turn crispy.

4. Allow beans to cool, then store in an airtight container.

***

Little Baker adored these beans! For toddlers, omit the salt and pepper.

We added the leftover beans to a tofu and vegetable stir fry.

edamame2

***

Check out these vegan lunchbox posts on Made of Stars:

Gluten-free lunchboxes for school kids

A gluten-free lunchbox for a pre-schooler

Nut-free lunchbox snacks

More ‘lunchbox friendly’ recipes:

bars4

Banana Oat Bars

***

cupslunchb

Cucumber and Nori Cups

***

burger

Nutty Veggie Burgers

***

chickpeas

Tamari-roasted Chickpeas

***

pecan1

Pecan Date Nibblers

***

dateslice2

Cinnamon Date Slice

***

pancakelunchbox

Wholemeal Spelt and Chia Pancakes

***

What are your children’s favourite lunchbox snacks?  What are your favourite lunchbox snacks?

Ally

Each Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe (or three!) that is enjoyed by my own family  – I hope your family enjoys it too.

%d bloggers like this: