I'll share the Zucchini Bread and Banana Muffins today - they're tried and tested and will unfreeze within 1 hour, taste and texture intact. As my experiment continues, I'll pass along other Worthy School Lunches from my freezer.
HEALTHY BANANA MUFFINS (makes approx. 18)
The natural sweetness of bananas means only 2 tablespoons of honey are necessary for these muffins. And using whole wheat flour adds fibre and gives these a lower G.I. (glycemic index), so your child (or you) will get a longer, slower release of energy to get them through the afternoon.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bread soda/baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup low fat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
2 large eggs
1/3 cup rapeseed (or sunflower) oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pre-heat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan oven/350ºF)
In a large bowl, mash bananas (you can use a fork or if using a mixer, mix on a slow speed). Add yogurt and honey, mix well to combine. Add eggs, oil and vanilla and again, mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, baking powder, bread soda and salt. Add to wet ingredients in 2 or 3 parts, mixing to incorporate - but don't over mix.
Spoon into lined cupcake or muffin tin. Bake in oven for approximately 20 minutes, until tester inserted in the middle of muffin comes out dry and muffin springs back if you push with your finger.
Allow to cool completely before placing into individual freezer bags or wrapping tightly with cling film. Of course, you can try 1 or 2 before you freeze, as well!
First - Trust me.
Second - Zucchini = Courgette for those of you from this side of the Atlantic.
Third - If you've never had, or even heard of zucchini bread, keep trusting me! It's delicious. There's a natural sweetness in the vegetable that combines with a little cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar to create a delicious flavour. The addition of a little cocoa means we can bring down the sugar content even more and yet have a rich, moist bread. It's so nice you can call it cake. And eat it, too.
Ingredients: (for 1 10cmx20cm loaf tin + 1 small loaf tin)
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup low fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup rapeseed (or sunflower) oil
1/3 cup low fat milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups grated zucchini (courgette)
Preheat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan oven/350ºF) and line loaf pans with baking paper.
Put dry ingredients (except brown sugar) into a bowl and whisk together. Put brown sugar plus all wet ingredients; eggs, yogurt, oil, milk and vanilla into a different bowl and whisk together well.
Mix wet ingredients into dry - use a large spoon as thick batter gets stuck in whisk. Fold in grated zucchini (courgette). Mix gently to combine.
Spoon batter into lined loaf tins and bake for 40-50 minutes. Smaller tins will take less time; larger will take a little longer. Insert a tester into center of bread, if it comes out clean bread is done.
If freezing, let bread cool completely. Cut into thick slices and wrap individually. If putting a slice into a lunchbox, simply take from freezer, unwrap and place in container. Takes an hour to thaw.