As a veg mom, despite my kids eating meat, I like to give them healthy lunches that are not processed (and use minimal animal products). Enter The Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann. Holy cow, do I love this cookbook. It is packed full of creative lunch options that cater to all sorts of lifestyles (make ahead or morning of cooking). She also includes snack options and menu ideas for everyday to special occasions. The best part? Although it’s meant for kids, the food is so stinking good, it works for adults, too.
My kids lose their minds for the muffins in this book. The week I sent the peanut butter and jelly muffins (made with almond butter instead), my two-year-old son’s teacher said he applauded each day when he opened his lunch. What I love about the various muffin recipes is that I can make a batch on Sunday afternoon, throw them in the freezer, and we have quick, healthy lunches, breakfasts, and even snacks. Even if you don’t have kids, this cookbook is worth checking out for the healthy, easy options that make my lunches a little sunnier.
These full meal muffins are crazy good. I’ve noted my substitutions below, made just because I like to use what I actually have on hand.
The Full Meal Muffin by Jennifer McCann
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour (I used oat flour)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 ripe bananas, peeled
3 TBS blackstrap molasses
½ cup apple juice, plus more as needed
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 zucchini, finely grated (about 1 ½ cups)
½ cup finely chopped or ground walnuts (I used chopped almonds)
½ cup currants or raisins (I used cranberries)
- Preheat the oven to 375º. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray with nonstick spray.
- Combine both flours, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
- Place the bananas, blackstrap molasses, apple juice, and apple cider vinegar in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.(Confession: The first time I made these, I wasn’t paying attention and put the zucchini in as well. It actually made the texture a little lighter in the final muffin, so I just do it that way.)
- Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, then fold in the zucchini, walnuts, and currants or raisins. Use a bit more apple juice if needed to wet all the flour. (I don’t need the extra apple juice when I put the zucchini in the food processor.)
- Divide mixture evenly into the 12 lined muffin cups, and bake for 20 minutes, or until the top springs back to the touch. Remove muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
Store in an airtight container or freeze in individual freezer bags to pull out and put into lunches as needed.