Friday, April 18, 2014

Healthy Applesauce Oatmeal Bread

With both my sons staying in after school care for a couple of hours, I have been wracking my brains over healthy and varied snacks that I can pack for them. Snacks should be portable, reasonably healthy, appealing to kids and easy to make. I am really trying hard to reduce the amount of processed food that we consume, so buying granola bars or chips or crackers is something that I don't want to do a lot.
I usually try and bake over the weekend - muffins , snack cakes , etc ..goodies that will satisfy most of my criteria for snacks. In searching for said recipes, I stumbled onto an applesauce bread here that was pretty intriguing.
I tried it last week and it turned out really well, Take a look !


Applesauce Oatmeal Bread

¾ C whole wheat pastry flour
¾ C unbleached all purpose flour
¼ C brown sugar
¼ C granulated sugar
2 flax eggs or egg replacer of choice
½ C oil
2 tsp vanilla
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
½ C  rolled oats
¾ C applesauce


1. Mix the sugar, the egg replacer, vanilla , oil and the applesauce in a big mixing bowl. Combine thoroughly until sugars are completely dissolved.
2. Mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices in a smaller bowl.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix gently. Add the rolled oats and combine with a spatula.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 °.
5. Pour the batter in a greased 9 X 5 loaf pan. Smooth the top with the spatula and sprinkle 3 Tbs of oats on the top.
6. Bake for about 55 - 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack before cutting into slices.
8. Serve plain or toasted.

1. The bread turned out really well, it was not overly sweet, was pretty moist and was pretty filling as a snack.
2. The original recipe had a full cup of sugar. I halved it and used only 1/2 C, which I found was sweet enough.
3. I covered the cooled bread in foil and stored it in the refrigerator in the pan.
4. My kids like it toasted and spread with peanut butter or jelly.
5. I have sent it in their snack boxes a couple of times and it has worked well.

Do try this bread recipe, it is pretty quick to whip up, it stays well in the refrigerator, you can add dried fruits or nuts for a variety and the kids really liked it!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Week in Bentos : Mar 24 - Mar 28 2014

The past few weeks have gotten away from me again...Weekdays are hectic enough...I dont seem to have enough hours on the weekends either! But I do get a lot of chores and a lot of baking and prepping over the weekend, so I am satisfied with that. I just have to find a little time to finish writing the posts !

 On Monday, lunch consisted of chocolate chip waffles, cheese slices, apples and blackberries and carrot sticks.
On Tuesday, LG7 asked for mac and cheese. So along with that, he got apple slices, blackberries, carrot sticks and a few sugar snap peas.

On Wednesday, I gave a grilled cheese sandwich, blackberries and a peanut butter cracker sandwich.

On Thursday, lunch consisted of tortilla rolls, cheese slices, olives, apples and blackberries, carrot sticks and sugar snap peas.

On Friday, I made tri-colored rotini pasta, olives, multigrain crackers, apples and some granola.

Since I started working, my older son has started attending an afterschool program at his school, conducted by the YMCA. Although they do provide him with a snack, I am not very happy with the kind of snacks they provide, so I have started giving LG7 an additional snack that he can choose to eat if he is hungry.
Some of the things that I give him are - apple slices, sliced or chopped fruits, sandwiches, crackers and dry cereal, trail mix.
What are some things that you give your kids in their snack box ?

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Week in Bentos : Mar 17 - Mar 21 2014

So, I am into my fourth week of full time employment and things are kind of settling into a routine that works for us..kind of ...most of the days :) My admiration for working women everywhere, which was generally high to begin with, has reached the zenith now !! This includes all the stay at home moms who manage everything at home and multitask like its nobody's business !

Now, getting down to business, this is what we had for lunch last week :)

On Monday, I packed Mac and Cheese in a large silicone cup, a half peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich, apple slices and a Biscoff cookie for a treat.

On Tuesday, lunch consisted of a grilled cheese sandwiches, apple slices and some Frito corn chips.

On Wednesday, it was a peanut butter jelly sandwich again, with some veggie pasta salad, apple slices, strawberries and a cookie.

 On Thursday, I made Mac and Cheese again with some steamed broccoli drizzled with a little peanut butter. Apple slices and some chips and a cookie completed the lunch.

This is the exact same lunch that I packed for my 3 year old which he eats at his Montessori. I am not going to start posting the lunches that I pack for him but I just wanted to show off the cute 4 compartment Lock and Lock lunch box that I got for him :-) LG3 loves it, more food fits into it and he eats all of it with pleasure!

On Friday, I packed spicy Indian vermicelli noodles, apple slices, a Biscoff cookie and some potato chips.
Now I very rarely buy chips as a snack, but we happened to have some at home this week and so I let the kids have some with their lunch. Everything in moderation, thats what I say !

Hope you are seeing signs of the beginning of Spring and here's looking forward to the wonderful weather that's just around the corner!! Have a great week !

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Week in Bentos : Mar 03 - Mar 07 2014

So, Spring Break is here and that tells me that the end of this academic year is almost here..there are still more than 3 months to go...true, but I am also pretty certain that those three months are going to zip by very fast ! News of the week is that after exactly 3 years, I am back at work..I started my new job last week and its been quite hectic, to say the least..We are all still trying to come to a routine that is more organized and that will let us get through the day without feeling breathless at the end of it :)

On Monday, LG7 took a grilled peanut butter and apple sandwich, a homemade banana muffin, pineapples and strawberries.

On Tuesday, lunch consisted of spicy vermicelli noodles with peanuts and peas, cheddar cheese cubes, crackers, apples and strawberries.

On Wednesday, I packed two whole wheat tortilla rollups with peanut butter and jelly, cheese slices, crackers, pineapples and apple slices.

On Thursday, I packed a PB and J sandwich on whole wheat bread, a piece of chocolate brownie bar, some veggie chips and strawberries.

I seem to have forgotten to click a picture of Friday's lunch !
Trying to get everybody showered and ready and 4 lunches packed by 8.00 am will do that to you !
I hope to continue jotting down our lunch adventures. Maybe I could even share my own lunches once in a while, if they seem interesting. Only time will tell !
Hope you are having a wonderful Spring Break!

Monday, March 03, 2014

The Week in Bentos : Feb 24 - Feb 28

The weather gods are playing again - After a beautiful Saturday with temperatures at a pleasant 75, its back to 20 degrees on Monday. There was freezing rain and snow flurries, slick roads and predictably, closed schools in a city unused to such drastic vagaries of nature !
So housebound we are , yet again :)

Last week, we had a good lunch week.

On Monday, LG7 took a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wheat buns, a homemade oatmeal pumpkin bar, a cutie orange and apple slices.

On Tuesday, lunch was rotini pasta with store bought marinara sauce, cheddar cheese cubes, apple slices and another piece of the oatmeal chocolate chip pumpkin bar. Some of the pasta came back home because " he was busy talking to his friend and didnt have time to finish his lunch. " That earned him a lecture !

On Wednesday, I made quesadillas with chopped broccoli, crumbled paneer and shredded cheddar. It was accompanied by ketchup, some potato chips , an orange and strawberries.

On Thursday, LG7 got a grilled cheese sandwich, goldfish, oranges and strawberries.

LG7 went on  a field trip on Friday with his class and was required to take a packed lunch which could be disposed. So that translated into another sandwich, with some strawberries and goldfish crackers in ziploc bags and a small bottle of water. Basically a repeat of Thursday.

Overall, it was a good week.
Hope you stay warm and have a wonderful week ahead !!