Friday, February 24, 2012

Lunch Roundup #4

Lunch Round up is a bit different this week. The kids and I had off school/work  for winter break. That's like spring break but in the winter for you non east coast people. :-) I thought maybe if I went ahead and made their lunchboxes as usual they would take them out of the fridge and eat their lunch or part of it when they were ready for it. So that is what I did Monday & nope, they did not want to have anything to do with it. Even with a little (not so) gentle coaxing from me. So for the rest of the week I just precut a bunch of their favorite fruits and salad fixings and stacked them in the refrigerator. Which worked out really well because we have had friends over, the kids have gone to their friends' houses, we've gone to the mall, my youngest got to go to an indoor water park, and having plenty of fruit and veggies cut up in the fridge has helped. On top of that we have sandwich fixings in the fridge as well as leftovers. I'll have to get more creative for summer I think!

I also made my usual treat for the week. This time I had Life as a Plate's Bananacado muffins printed out and ready to go but then got cold feet because of the expense of all the avocados and a couple of jars of almond butter. Plus my youngest does not like cooked banana recipes. :-( So I decided to start with her idea and make my own recipe.

This was actually a first for me - I have never made up a baked goods recipe. I used whole spelt flour, and replaced the oils in a standard chocolate cake recipe with the healthy oils in avocados and almond butter. My first try had a great texture but not much chocolatey taste, so I upped the cocoa and added some mini chocolate chips. Adding the chocolate chips, however, added some saturated fat and extra calories.
The taste and texture ended up turning out something like those Little Debbie's Brownies with the candies on top (Cosmic Brownies), which happen to be my 9 year old's favorite thing to beg for at the grocery store. One of those little packages has 280 calories, 11 grams of fat etc, not to mention questionable ingredients. 

Mine below for one fudgey brownie bite has 86 calories and healthy fats. I know that no one ate just one, so you do have to at least double everything on the chart.

Fudgey Brownie Bites

Whole wheat spelt brownie bites with avocado and almond butter for healthy fats.


  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup (1 medium) smashed avocado
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 whole spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Ghiradelli mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup hot water


  1. Mash your avocado with a fork to get rid of as many lumps as possible.
  2. In a large bowl add avocado, sugar and almond butter and beat until smooth.
  3. Melt 1/2 a cup of your chocolate chips and add to mixture. 
  4. Beat in eggs.
  5. In a medium bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa.
  6. Add milk to the avocado mixture alternating with flour mixture until well mixed. Add vanilla.
  7. Mix in hot water.
  8. Stir in remaining (not melted) chocolate chips.
  9. Fill two mini cupcake pans with liners. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
Yield: 48-52 mini cupcakes

After a sleepover this week, my daughter and her friends had some whole wheat mini bagels, scrambled eggs and cantaloupe for breakfast but wanted some junk food. I let them walk the almost mile to the gas station to get some (& the same distance back). This has been my policy in the summer too. If you want junk food you have to go and walk and get it. What do you all think about that? Sometimes they think its not worth the walk and sometimes they do. This is for my 13 year old, btw. My 9 year old has to go with the 13 year old and there are sidewalks the whole way. Plus this week it was unseasonably warm at 50 degrees. 

- Nicole 

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