On hectic mornings, it’s quite a hassle to whip up school lunches that are filling and nutritious while also satisfying your child’s midday craving for a few delicious bites.
Did you know your microwave oven can you help save time when preparing meals and snacks? The best microwave oven will feature multiple cooking modes and can be used as a substitute for the grill, cooking range and baking oven.
Another plus: Once you’ve set a cooking time, there are no chances of ‘forgetting to turn off the stove’ – the meal stops cooking exactly when you want it to!
Here are five school snack recipes that you can cook in a digital microwave in under 10 minutes:
1) Banana mug cake
A great way to get your kids to eat bananas, this recipe bakes up a delicious banana bread in no time.
- ½ medium sized ripe banana, plus a few slices for garnish
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 egg white
- 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 1⁄2 tbsp oat flour
- 1⁄4 tsp baking powder
- 1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish
- 1⁄4 tsp kosher salt
- Butter for greasing
- Grease the inside of a microwave safe cup completely with a little butter.
- Mash the banana with a fork and transfer it into the greased cup.
- Stir in almond butter, egg white and vanilla extract. Add oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and mix until well combined.
- Microwave on high for 45 seconds to 1 minute or until the middle of the cake is firm.
- Run a butter knife along the edges of the mug and gently tip it over a plate so that the cake can slide out.
- Top with banana slices and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Note: This recipe’s cooking time estimates are based on a 1000 watt convection microwave. Cooking time tends to vary with microwave capacity and mug size.
2) Loaded baked potato
This recipe makes a hearty meal that only takes minutes to cook and won’t get boring because the possibilities to dress it up are endless!
- 1 potato
- 1 tablespoon oil
- salt, to taste
- ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Your choice of toppings (e.g. sour cream, shredded chicken, baked beans, pickles or chives)
- Wash and scrub the potato to remove any dirt.
- Poke holes in the potato with a fork and then rub with oil and salt.
- Microwave the potato for about 3 to 4 minutes until the potato is tender.
- Slice the potato in half, then use a fork to fluff up the insides.
- Sprinkle the cheese on top, then microwave for another 30 seconds.
- Top with any combination of your child’s favourite toppings.
3) Sweet and salty nuts
Who doesn’t love deliciously spiced mixed nuts? With a drizzle of honey and sriracha sauce, these nuts turn out to be a great crunchy snack that will leave your kids licking their sticky little fingers.
- 2 cups (300g) mixed nuts of your choice
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
- “Toast” the nuts in a bowl by heating them in the microwave for 2 minutes. The nuts won’t turn brown but they will smell nicely toasted.
- Next stir in all of the seasonings into the bowl and combine well.
- Microwave the nuts on high heat for another 2.5-3 minutes in 30-second increments, stirring each time.
- Remove from the microwave and transfer the nuts to a tray lined with baking paper. Allow to set and cool for 5-10 minutes before placing them in your child’s lunch box.
4) Sweet potato chips
A healthy substitute for store-bought crisps, this recipe is a hit with kids and adults alike.
- 1 large sweet potato , washed and peeled
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Line a large microwave safe plate with baking paper.
- After washing and drying a sweet potato, peel it with a vegetable peeler.
- Cut the sweet potato into ⅛-inch rounds.
- Put the sweet potato slices in a large bowl and add oil and salt. Toss to coat the slices well.
- Place the sweet potatoes in a single layer on the plate.
- Microwave on medium power for 1½ minutes. Then turn over and microwave for another 1½ minutes.
- If your chips are not crisp after the 3 minutes, continue to microwave in 30 second increments until done.
- Repeat this step until all the chips are cooked. They should be dry and crispy when finished.
- Place in an air-tight lunch box.
5) Mac-n-cheese in a mug
As creamy and delicious as the real thing, this mac-n-cheese mug recipe will save you precious minutes in the morning. The kids won’t know the difference!
- ⅓ cup small macaroni elbow noodles (uncooked)
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ cup finely shredded cheese
- Put the macaroni and water into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes. Stir. (Note: the water may boil over, so place a plate under the bowl to prevent a mess on the turntable.)
- Microwave for another minute. Stir.
- Microwave for a fourth minute, and then check to see if all the water has been absorbed. If not, microwave a bit more. (Note: Child-safe microwaves prevent accidental tampering of your carefully timed cooking sessions.)
- Stir in the milk and shredded cheese and microwave for a final 30-60 seconds. Stir well, and transfer into a lunch box. You can top with chicken chunks, sliced mushrooms, sliced sausages or other favourite ingredients.