I’m sure I’m the only person in the world who has children who don’t eat their school lunches. All other children open their compartmentalized lunch boxes each day, and ravenously partake of carrot and cucumber crudites, cherry tomatoes, maybe a little hummus mopped up with some wholegrain sourdough, then olives for the gourmets and chorizo for the carnivores. The sweet fix is something easy and healthy like grapes or a banana that has miraculously made it until 1:30 without turning black and oozing itself all over the rest of the lunch and through the zips of the cool bag onto their school hat and jumper.
Oh yes, my kids are definitely abnormal. They eat nothing. Sandwiches are too boring, raw vegetables are too crunchy, meat gets too smelly, yoghurt is too sour, leftovers are just “ick”, apples are too peely and strawberries and grapes are too seedy. Bananas of course are too squishy.
All they want is sweet biscuits and crisps. And a canteen that sells hot sausage rolls. Anything else I put in the lunchbox comes back, invariably unboxed, crumbled, flattened and covered with sand.
There’s nobody else who faces this obstacle to perfect parental domesticity is there? Just in case, you could make these. You can whip them up easily (I don’t even use an electric beater), they’ve got hidden vitamins and fiber, and they’re very low in sugar. Best thing – they keep in the freezer and will defrost nicely just in time for lunch. And they even taste good with squished black banana all over them.
Sweet potato muffins
- 1 cup wholemeal flour
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 300g sweet potato (cooked and mashed)
- 150g butter, just melted
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch salt
Preheat oven to 180°C and line mini muffin tins with papers. Sift all dry ingredients except the sugar and set aside.
Beat the sugar and butter until creamy, then add the eggs. Fluff up the sweet potato using a fork, pour the egg mixture over the top, then add the buttermilk and the dry ingredients by turns, mixing well.
Spoon into muffin tins and cook for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and springy.
* This is a fairly interchangeable recipe. You could swap the sweet potato with another vegetable, like finely grated raw zucchini, cooked carrot or pumpkin, finely chopped spinach leaves, or even some wild herbs. The flours can also be swapped. I add sorghum because I like the texture, grassy flavour and the extra fiber it provides (I wouldn’t use more than half a cup because this would make the muffins too crumbly). I’ve also tried this recipe with 1 1/2 cups of gluten free flour (doves farm plain), and it worked beautifully. When substituting, be sure that you end up with a thick batter, not strong enough to hold its shape, but almost. You may need to add more flour/milk to compensate.