How to make your Back to School lunch life better
IDEA #1 – Give an apple a tasty twist
It’s really easy to make Apple Cinnamon Chips. They are crunchy and sweet and a great alternative to actual chips. Grab a couple of your favorite local apples and slice thinly, discarding the seeds (we recommend using a mandolin). Then mix together ¼ cup of confectioners’ sugar and 2 tsp of cinnamon. Spread the apples in a single layer on a parchment lined baking tray, sprinkle sugar mixture and back at 250F for 1 ½ - 2 hrs, turning every half hour. Remove and let cool, then store in an airtight container.
HANDY APPLE TIP – You can slice up an apple at home, then rearrange the pieces back around the core and plastic wrap the whole thing to keep air from getting to the slices. All they have to do is unwrap and eat.
IDEA # 2 – Send breakfast for lunch
We kind of love this one. Whip up a batch of mini pancakes and sprinkle in some local blueberries. You can find them fresh until about the end of August or frozen year-round at grocery stores from producers like Millen Farms or Oxford Frozen Foods. Include a little container of local maple syrup from producers like Acadian Maple or KD Hunter and your kids are going to be happy campers.
IDEA 3 – Roll up some local veggies
This time of year, you can find lots of local veggies at your Farmers Markets of Nova Scotia market or local grocery store. Try making veggie salad rolls. Pick up some rice paper and whatever you like for fresh veggies. We like red pepper, cucumber, carrots and sprouts. Soak the rice paper in warm water, lay it out flat, put your thinly sliced veggies in the middle and roll the rice paper up, folding the ends in. You can also make a quick dipping sauce by mixing soya sauce and a little local honey together.
PLASTIC WRAP HACK - If you want to reduce the amount of plastic wrap you use, try reusable beeswax food wraps from local producers like Swinkels Bee Products. You can order products like their sandwich wraps or beeswax wraps from their online store.
IDEA #4 – Comfort food in a thermos
Sometimes going old school is a great idea for back to school. That’s why we think a thermos full of old fashioned baked beans is right on the money. We like using Webster Farms dried beans from the Annapolis Valley. You can find them in grocery stores and you can find their homemade baked beans recipe here. We prefer using bacon over salt pork. Local bacon of course.
IDEA #5 – Dried fruits. Zero mess.
Dried fruit is great, but a lot of dried fruit snacks are loaded with additives and preservatives. Not to mention sugar. But, there’s a local option we love. Terra Beata Farms from Lunenburg produces fantastic dried cranberries with 40% less sugar. They also produce dried blueberries, apples and other fruits. A couple of handfuls in a container and your kids have a healthy and tasty snack to get them through their school day.
So, there are just a few ways you can local up the lunchbox for the school year. When you shop, Ask for Local and go from there.