3 easy freeze-ahead snacks for kids

Image: Melbourne Food Files

With these three handy snacks bagged up and ready to go in your freezer, you might be able to avoid the inevitable 3 pm chorus of “I’m huuuuuungry!”. Plan ahead and you’ll be able to high-five yourself later.

These are particularly good if you’ve got a newborn on the way and want to stock up on pre-prepared snacks. Also ideal for our new Bento Boxes.

No-bake carrot cake bites

Image: Liv Eats
Image: Liv Eats

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup carrot, finely grated
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/4 cup raisins or sultanas
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, agave nectar or honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whip ’em up!

  • Mix together the oats and flax seed in a mixing bowl
  • Stir in the nut butter, syrup/honey and cinnamon
  • Add grated carrot, coconut, vanilla extract and raisins
  • At this stage, you can blitz everything in a food processor or keep it chunky – it’s up to you
  • Roll the mixture into bite-sized balls. The size can vary depending on your preference
  • Place balls on a sheet of baking paper, cover in cling wrap and chill in the fridge for an hour
  • Freeze portions in airtight containers or freezer bags so you can grab, defrost and eat
  • Great for lunchboxes, pop in frozen and they will be defrosted by recess

Beef and cheese empanadas

Image: Peterson Garden
Image: Peterson Garden

What you’ll need:

  • Shortcrust pastry
  • 250g minced beef
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 50g grated cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Whip ’em up!

For the filling

  • Add oil to a large frypan over medium-high heat
  • Add onion, stir occasionally until softened then add tomato paste, garlic, oregano, cumin and cook for about 30 seconds
  • Stir through the minced beef, and cook for about 5 minutes or until browned
  • Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and continue simmering until most of the liquid has cooked off (around 8 minutes)
  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover and pop in the fridge until cool. Stir through the cheese, then put back in the fridge until you’re ready to use

To assemble

  • Line two baking trays with baking paper
  • Roll out your pastry and cut 15cm circles (about half a centimetre thick)
  • Place pastry circles onto the baking sheets and pop 1tsp of filling in the centre
  • Use your lightly beaten egg to moisten the edges of the pastry and fold over into a half-moon shape
  • Press the edges together with your fingers and crimp with a fork to seal (make sure they are sealed tightly so they don’t burst open when cooking)

To freeze

  • Tightly wrap each baking tray with cling wrap and slide into the freezer. Make sure none of the empanadas are touching or they will be impossible to separate when frozen
  • Once they’re frozen you can place the empanadas into a container or freezer bags, splitting up into portions ready for cooking
  • When you are ready to cook your empanadas, don’t worry about defrosting them. Simply pop them onto a lined baking tray for about 25mins at 220 degrees Celsius

Apple muffins

Image: Multiply Delicious
Image: Multiply Delicious

What you’ll need:

  • 50g butter
  • 425g can of pie apple, or stew your own Granny Smiths
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2sp rolled oats (lightly toasted)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2tsp brown sugar

Whip ’em up!

  • Grease muffin tins and preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • Sift flour into a large bowl. Rub in butter with fingertips until the consistency is like breadcrumbs
  • Stir in sugar
  • In a separate bowl combine milk, egg and 1 cup of your apple. Gently fold through flour mixture and be careful not to overmix (lumps are fine)
  • Spoon mixture into muffin tins and dollop remaining apple on top
  • Combine oats, brown sugar and nutmeg then sprinkle on top of muffins
  • Bake for around 30 to 35 minutes (large muffins) or 20 to 25 mins (small muffins). When inserted into the middle, a skewer should come out clean

NB: Images aren’t of the recipes featured

Feature image: Melbourne Food Files

Posted by: Carrie Felton

Owner of Stuck on You, Penny Scallan Design, Golly Gosh and The SOY Group @ home