My daughter is in a pre-kindergarten program this year than runs from 8:30AM to 1:30PM everyday. I spent the summer preparing myself for the packed lunch rush that the school year brings. I found the perfect lunchbox (more on that in another post coming soon!) and made a rough cheat sheet of all the different options I could pack in her lunch everyday. Then, we go to the “meet the teacher” afternoon and she drops a bomb on me. “We have snack at 10:00AM everyday.” Snack? Here I just barely wrapped my head around lunch and now I have to figure out a snack, too? It was very stressful.
Obviously, I am not the only parent who finds this morning snack concept stressful because more often than not, I see parents shoving bags of chips and cookies for “snack” at their kids as they race through the door. We have all been there, myself included, where we are a day late and a dollar short, but a bag of miniature Chips Ahoy cookies is no “snack” for a 5 year old. A treat, maybe, but definitely not a snack. Kids need food to fuel their brains and bodies through the day, and empty, processed calories are not going to cut it. Ideally, a snack should have fiber, protein, and healthy fat all at the same time. This is why if you eat just an apple for a snack, it keeps you full for about 10 minutes. An apple with a big scoop of almond butter on the side? You will make it to dinner.
These muffins are what I came up with for school snack, but they are great for breakfast or even a dessert as well. I make a batch of these regular sized or mini muffins over the weekend, stick them in my muffin storage bin, and pull out 2 or 3 every morning to pack as a snack for school. I resisted buying a mini muffin pan for years because I thought it was unnecessary, but mini muffins are SO much easier for kids to eat! These muffins are only lightly sweet with no added refined sugars (unless you are adding the chocolate chips) and are quick to make, as a lot of the work is done in the blender.
I’m calling these A to Z muffins because not only do they have Apples, Bananas, Carrots, and Zucchini, but they are perfect for school.
- 1 ½ cups packed shredded zucchini, excess water squeezed out
- ½ cup packed shredded carrot
- 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp water
- 1 ½ cups oats, ground into oat flour in the blender
- 1 cup spelt flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 bananas
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup walnut oil or coconut oil
- ½ cup almond milk
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla
- A few handfuls of mini chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Shred the zucchini and the carrots on a box grater. Squeeze out any excess liquid from the zucchini with your hands.
- Mix the flaxseed and the water together in a small bowl and set aside for a few minutes to thicken.
- In a large bowl, stir together the oat flour, spelt flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder.
- In a blender, add the flaxseed mixture, bananas, applesauce, oil, almond milk, molasses and vanilla. Blend on high speed until completely smooth.
- Pour the contents of the blender into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix together quickly. Be careful not to over mix.
- Fold in the shredded zucchini, carrots, and chocolate chips (if using).
- Pour the batter into lined or greased muffin tins. Bake for about 30 minutes.
- Let cool completely before unwrapping so the muffins don't stick to the liners.
I love that these muffins have whole grains, fruit, and vegetables all in one. Plus, a few mini chocolate chips added for good measure so nobody gets jealous of the Chips Ahoy. How’s that for a snack?