This morning, after two weeks of perfecting this lunchbox slice recipe, I sat out on my deck photographing it and noticed two rainbow lorikeets in my neighbour’s Callistemon and thought to myself, “I’ve already tested this lunchbox slice recipe on the kids. I wonder if the birds will like it?” So, I threw them a slice of it, crumbled up into bird-friendly sized pieces and stood still waiting for them to come over. It didn’t take them long – they flew over the fence a few seconds later, straight onto my lawn and gobbled up every crumb of the lunchbox slice! So not only is this allergy-friendly and kid-approved, it’s also bird-approved! Haha!
Why’s it called Lunchbox Slice?
I’ve been experimenting with quite a few recipes over the last few weeks, and noticed my sweet lunchbox recipes often contain a few of my favourite pantry ingredients:
- sunflower seeds
- quinoa flakes
- coconut cream
They’re fantastic ingredients that can be used in so many ways, both sweet and savoury, and are each a tiny powerhouse of nutrients on their own. I’m all about packing in nutrition wherever I can, especially for The Fussy One, so why would a slice recipe be any different?
I looked around my bench as I was making the slice for the third time, trying to perfect it, and had a giggle. “Oh, I’m using all my lunchbox ingredients for this slice. It’s my lunchbox slice.” It stuck!
What we love about this lunchbox slice
Where do I begin?
- It’s crumbly like cake
- It’s served in rectangles like slice
- It’s sweet but not too sweet
- It’s filled with our favourite ingredients
- It freezes well
- It’s gluten-free, but doesn’t tastes powdery
- It’s dairy-free
- It’s full of good fats from the coconut cream, coconut oil, and egg yolks
- It’s a way for me to get some protein into the kids without them realising
- It’s also a good way for me to slowly get them used to the taste of quinoa, bit by bit, as I’d like to get back to using it in side dishes like I did before they were born
- Also, IT’S DELICIOUS!
Some notes on substitutions
Gluten – I’ve used a shop-bought gluten-free flour blend. If you have a favourite you mix at home, feel free to use it. If your kids aren’t gluten-free and you’d prefer to use wheat flour, go ahead. This recipe does contain oats, which can be a touch contentious when it comes to talking gluten-free. Feel free to use your own judgement here. My little Miss Gluten Free doesn’t seem to have an issue with oats personally. If you’re unsure, add additional quinoa flakes in place of the oats. A final note – don’t forget to check your baking powder is gluten-free.
Dairy – Coconut oil works beautifully with the coconut flakes and coconut cream for some extra coconutty flavour, but if your kids aren’t dairy-free or you’d prefer to use butter, it’s not an issue – I’ve tested it with butter too.
Fruit – The recipe calls for 3/4 cup of chopped dried fruit. I used a mixture of goji berries, blueberries and apricot. Use whatever dried fruits your kids like best. Now, I know dried fruit is much higher in sugar than fresh fruit, but this is balanced out a bit by the recipe only containing 2/3 cup of honey or rice malt syrup. The sweetness of dried fruit really is needed, in my opinion. It also makes it seem more like a fruit and nut cake, which I can’t resist. 😉
Makes 18 serves
- 1/2 cup of coconut oil
- 1/3 cup of coconut cream
- 2/3 cup of honey or rice malt syrup
- 1 1/4 cups of gluten-free flour
- 1 cup quinoa flakes
- 3/4 cup of chopped dried fruit
- 1/2 cup of oats
- 1/3 cup of desiccated coconut, plus extra for sprinkling on top
- 2 tablespoons of pepitas
- 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of gluten-free baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees. Line a lamington tin with baking paper. Make sure the baking paper comes right up the sides, so you can easily lift out the slice.
- Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan (or in the microwave if you prefer – I don’t own one!). Once melted, whisk in the coconut cream and honey and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add all remaining ingredients except the eggs and stir well.
- Add the wet ingredients and the eggs and mix until well combined.
- Pour into lamington tin and sprinkle with plenty of extra coconut.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until just cooked through.
- Slice into 18 individual pieces
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