I'm quite passionate about a balanced and nutritious packed lunch for school children, forget this nonsense that all children must have school dinners to ensure they are eating the right foods; have you seen how unappetising they are?
As The Boy started school recently, I've been keen to make sure he's interested and eager to open his lunchbox each day, but after a few weeks of varying the fillings of sandwiches and wraps, even I was getting bored of them! I decided to make him savoury muffins (with hidden vegetables) in place of sandwiches, and they went down a treat.
Ham & Cheese Muffins
- Makes 12
- Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
- Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
- 250g/9oz plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 50g/4oz grated cheese
- 50g/4oz ham. chopped
- 2 eggs
- 300ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 medium courgette, grated
- 1tsp salt
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- pepper for seasoning
- Grate the courgette, place in a sieve over a bowl, sprinkle on 1tsp salt and place a small plate on top. This will press all the excess water out of the courgette, the salt helps the liquid drain. Leave for around 10-15 minutes while preparing and mixing the remaining ingredients.
- Whisk the two eggs, sunflower oil and milk together, then sift in the flour and baking powder. Slowly fold the mixture together until thoroughly combined.
- Rinse the draining courgette to remove excess salt, press out the remaining liquid in kitchen towel.
- Fold into the mixture the grated carrot, ham, cheese and courgette and add a small pinch of pepper for seasoning.
- Divide between 12 muffin cases and bake in a preheated oven (190°C/170°C fan) for 20-25 minutes.
- Use as an alternative to sandwiches in a lunchbox or serve warm with jacket potato, cheese and beans/vegetables for a light dinner.