By Michelle Lauer, Certified Nutritional Practitioner
As sad as it can be to trade our bathing suits in for those snazzy first day of school outfits, we can’t help but get excited for the fresh start that lies ahead. Here at terra20, we get pretty darn excited about providing you with the best selection of back to school lunch essentials, from playful lunch bags to practical bento box containers. Once seen as a dreaded struggle, packing your lunch is a breeze with the right tools on hand. Our bento boxes empower everyone from kids to pre-teens to pack balanced and nutritious meals for their busy days ahead. Now what to fill them with? So glad you asked.
We know pizza for lunch everyday sounds like a dream come true...But I think we can all admit that this may not be the best option for ourselves and our little ones. Pizza hummus to the rescue! This pizza hummus is super easy to throw together (with the help of your little guy or gal, of course) on Sunday night and spoon into your bento box with some crunchy cut up veggies and pretzels for the week ahead. Not only is it an easy recipe to make together, but it will quickly become a nutritious lunch-time favourite.
The star ingredient, chickpeas provides a great source of protein and fiber that help to keep bellies full and moods stabilized. Chickpeas are also a rich source of manganese that is essential to building strong, healthy bones.
Garlic also packs a powerful nutritional punch with its antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties, making garlic one of your immune system’s best friends. We all know our immune systems need all the help they can get when school season is in full swing.
Loaded with B vitamins, nutritional yeast is a great ingredient to add to recipes that beg for that cheesy flavour (without the cheese). B vitamins are essential to providing us with lasting energy throughout the school day. Nutritional yeast also contains 18 amino acids, essential protein building blocks we need to combat so many things like fatigue and low immunity.
Healthy fats from sources like olive oil are so essential for kids growth and development. Quality fats are necessary for cell construction, nerve function, digestion and hormone function. We also need these important fats to absorb fat soluble vitamins A, E, D and K. To top it all off, our brains are composed of over 60% fat, which just goes to show how important healthy fats are!
- 1 15oz can of chickpeas drained (save some of the liquid!)
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- Sea salt & pepper to taste
Drain the chickpeas and reserve some of the liquid. Place all the ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add a tablespoon at a time of the reserved chickpea liquid until you reach your desired consistency. Scoop into your favourite bento box and add your favourite crunchy veggies and enjoy!