Time, or lack thereof, can be a factor when it comes to preparing healthy and nutritious lunches for the whole family. Here are a few healthy ingredients to make lunch-making easier on those busy mornings!
Hum… hummus sandwich? Of course!
Hummus is, without a doubt, the perfect dip for your crudités. It’s packed full of protein, rich in fibre, and can also steal the sandwich show. Swap out your deli meat with hummus, for example. Simply spread a thick layer of hummus between two slices of whole-wheat bread and add lettuce, leafy greens, avocado, cheddar or mozzarella, and a few thin slices of cucumber, and salt and pepper to taste. Now close your sandwich and enjoy!
As a delicious duo
It’s no secret that hummus pairs especially well with crackers. For a healthier option, why not swap the crackers for homemade pita chips? Smear both sides of a pita bread with a few drops of olive oil and cut the bread into triangles. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides and toast them in the oven, at 350°F, for 10 minutes, turning at the halfway mark.
A unique dip
A breakfast staple, yogurt also makes for a great snack! As a dip, it helps curb even the most stubborn of cravings. Simply mix plain Greek yogurt with a pinch of curry powder, a drizzle of maple syrup, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
An easy dessert
If you have a sweet tooth, leave the cookies and muffins in the pantry and opt for a granola yogurt instead, for a more balanced treat. Simply get out a Mason jar and fill it with a few scoops of plain yogurt. Next, add a hint of honey or maple syrup and a handful for berries. And last but not least, top with granola or nuts.
Dried fruits and nuts
Dried fruits and nuts are quick-lunch must-haves. You can use them to make energy balls, an easy snack that requires no cooking at all! In a large bowl, mix 1½ cups of rolled oats, ½ cup of peanut butter, 1/3 cup of honey or maple syrup, and the same portion of dried fruits and nuts. Cover the mixture and refrigerate 40 minutes. Next, roll into small balls using a tablespoon. Energy balls keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Yummy trail mix
If you’re short on time, why not prepare your own assortment of dried fruit? In a microwave-safe bowl, mix any nuts you have on hand (pumpkin seeds, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, walnuts, etc.) with a drizzle of maple syrup, one egg white, brown sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon. Cook three minutes in the microwave, stirring two or three times. Next, spread the mixture on a parchment-paper covered baking sheet and let cool. Finally, divide the nut mixture and a handful of dried fruit into small, individual airtight containers, which you can easily slip into a lunchbox.
You don’t need to wrack your brain to make appetizing, nutritious lunches. All it takes is a little inspiration!