Snap! Crackle! Stop!
Today I want to share a recipe that I think I love more than my child. You’re only as old as you feel, right (if that’s the case, I’m 88 in the morning, 37 at midday and 18 when it’s time to go to bed. What’s with that.)? I’m a HUGE believer in a package-free pantry and refrigerator. Obviously, I have my exceptions – brown jasmine rice, organic flours etc – but we all know what kind of packages I’m talking about here. The ones that say “Natural!” “Wholesome” “Great Source of Energy!”, with happy smiling faces and bright colors plastered all over them. I realized just the other day, however, that I am a mother of a four year old. She’s with me ALL the time. I can prepare good food for her whenever I want, but what about WHEN SHE LEAVES ME (goes off to school)?! I get it. The allure, the convenience, the getting to the end of the night and realizing that lunches for the next day are not yet packed and of course I’m not going to let her eat cafeteria food. I assure you, I’m as lazy as the next parent wont admit he or she is – I GET IT. I also get that falling prey to theses super easy, boxed alternatives can mean chaos for the bodies of our little ones, so we need to find a nice, simple alternative.
I have it. First, let’s not forget the 3-ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies I posted recently. PERFECT for school lunches. Second – these super healthy, brainy and yummy Crispy Rice Treats (no copyright infringement over here, I used a ‘C’!)
Crispy Rice Treaties
1 cup Macadamias
4 cups sugar-free puffed rice cereal, puffed rice from a health food store or popped corn
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract, powder or paste
1 1/2 tsp salt (optional, for a more salted caramel flavor)
Line a 20cm square baking pan with baking paper. Process the macadamias in a blender or food processor for 3 minutes – until the macadamias have formed a smooth paste (you may need to stop half way and scrape down the sides). Measure out 1/2 cup of the macadamia past and put into a pot.
Toss the puffed rice into a large bowl. Add the honey, vanilla and salt (if using) to the pot of macadamia paste and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to ‘melt’. Remove the pot from heat and pour over puffed rice. Mix well, until each piece of puffed rice is completely covered with the mixture.
Press into prepared pan using the back of the spoon to push the mixture into the corners. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until set. Slice into squares or bars and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
NOTE: If you use the puffed brown rice, the mixture will be more chewy than crispy, but equally delicious! Alternately, if you look hard enough, you may be able to find a version of Rice Krispies (Rice bubbles, Australia) with less than 17 million ingredients.
The lunchbox realization has steered me toward a new goal for this month – Healthy, easy and ‘marketable’ (let’s face it, we’re continuously marketing to our children, anything and everything.) foods that will keep in a lunchbox, hold their freshness and deliciousness and can be made in bulk – time saving!
Watch this space, you’ll be well equipped before the end of Summer.