As parents we know the nutritional benefits of the super food quinoa and appreciate the taste and texture. Unfortunately for kids it is not the most appealing item to look at let alone want to eat! Quinoa in lunchboxes is a great way to boost your children's servings of grains and proteins and as it is substantial it will keep your kids fueled at school for a long time.
So the trick is how to get your kids to eat this super food that doe not look appealing on the eye and has a "weird" name as my kids tell me when I use it in salads? The answer is simple, like the hidden vegetable movement, you incorporate it into items that you know your kids will eat and you name it something that you know they like!
So with one cup of uncooked quinoa the other day I told the kids I had made some amazing lunchbox snacks - pizza muffins, green monster bites and apple and oat cookies.
These recipes are really simple and I made three so you can see how far 1 cup of uncooked quinoa can go in cooking for kids because I am mindful that it is not the cheapest of ingredients to buy.
Call these recipes whatever you like and once the kids are hooked you can tell them about the super power ingredient that is in all the recipes to make them big, strong and healthy!!
Cooking quinoa is really easy you just need to always remember however much quinoa you use, double the water content. So 1 cup of uncooked quinoa needs two cups of water and you can cook it in the microwave for 7 minutes with a lid on and when its done give it a stir and then leave the lid on for it to cool and its ready to be used!
1/2 cup of cooked quinoa
1 tsp Italian spice blend
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup pizza sauce
pizza toppings of choice (i used ham, mushroom, spring onion, cherry tomatoes, capsicum all diced into small pieces.
Spray a muffin tin with oil spray and heat your oven to 180 degrees.
In a bowl mix the quinoa, egg, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian herbs and pizza toppings.
Spoon the quinoa mix into a muffin tin and top with a small amount of pizza sauce and grated cheese.
Bake in oven for about 15min or until the cheese is melted.
Cool in muffin tin and let gently remove.
Green Monster Bites
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
broccoli florets stalk removed and diced
1 spring onion diced
1/2 zucchini grated
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 tsp mustard powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
Spray a cupcake tin and heat oven to 180 degrees.
In a bowl mix all the ingredients together well until combined.
Spoon amounts into the cupcake tin and shape into a disk.
Place in oven and cook for approximately 15 min until the edges are brown and the egg has set.
Leave to cool in tin and then place in an airtight container in fridge or freezer.
Apple and Oat Cookies
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 large red apple peeled ans grated
2 large bananas mashed
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sultanas
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
Heat oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.
In a bowl add quinoa, apple, oats, sultanas, cinnamon, nutmeg and coconut and mix through well.
In a separate bowl mash the bananas well and then fold through the dry ingredients until combined.
Using a tablespoon roll mixture into balls and place on the baking paper and flatten slightly. Repeat until all mixture has been used.
Bake for approx 15 minutes and when cooked place on a wire rack to cool.
Store in fridge or freezer.