My Top Ten Back to School Freezer Fillers

Here is my (optimistic) list of things to make/bake/freeze before school starts again:

  • Banana choc chip muffins – recipe below
  • Rhubarb muffins (rhubarb is the only thing growing in my garden at the moment but the kids liked the muffins I made from it so I’m rolling with it) – recipe here
  • 100 cookie dough cookies (choc chip/jam fancies/white choc macadamia) recipe here
  • Anzac biscuits – recipe below
  • Muesli bars – recipe below
  • Vegemite and/or cheese and bacon scrolls – recipe below
  • Pikelets – recipe below
  • Bliss balls – recipe below
  • Ricotta Gnocchi – recipe below
  • Lasagna – I get a double batch of my fave bolognese going in the slowcooker, do a double batch of cheese sauce and bust out two lasagna for the freezer, or one for dinner and one for later.

 

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It’s a bit hard to bake so much while wrangling my kids on school holidays but I will attempt to do one thing per day.  The lasagna and gnocchi I will make for dinner before school goes back by doing a double batch and freezing half.

Nearly everything else I will freeze in small containers so it’s easy to pull out a few to defrost for school lunchboxes.  The Anzacs and Muesli bars don’t really need to be frozen – they will last weeks or maybe a couple of months in a tin or airtight container.

Wish me luck!  Most likely I won’t get all this done by next week but will do my best. Recipes below if you would like to give any a try.

 

Banana Choc Chip Muffins

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Ingredients 

  • 60 g butter
  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 ripe mashed bananas
  • 1 cup dark chocolate bits

Method

Preheat the oven for 200 degrees.  Line muffin trays. Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly.  Sift flour and make a well in the centre.  Whisk milk, butter and eggs together.  Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, then add mashed bananas.  Add choc chip bits and gently mix with a wooden spoon.  The less you mix them, the fluffier they will be when they come out of the oven.  Spoon into muffin cases and cook for 20 minutes.  Leave to cool for three minutes and then transfer to wire rack.  Makes twelve large muffins but I usually spread it out across cupcake size muffins and get about sixteen.  The original recipe had sugar but it really doesn’t need it with the sweetness of the bananas and chocolate.

 

Anzac Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 90 g butter
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

Method

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees and line two baking trays with paper.  Mix the oats, flour, coconut, sugar and sunfower seeds in a large bowl.  Heat the butter and golden syrup in a saucepan on the stove.  While it is melting together, mix the bicarb and boiling water into a small cup/bowl.  When the butter has melted add the bicarb/water mixture to the butter mixture on the stove.  It will fizz up.  Pour this immediately into the dry mixture and stir well.  Put tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking tray and  bake for fifteen minutes or until golden.  Thanks to my friend for the idea of cutting some sugar from this recipe and adding the sunflower seeds.  It’s a little healthier but still has that Anzac taste.

 

Muesli Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup sultanas
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup dark choc chips (optional)
  • 200 g butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of honey

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray with paper. Line a slice tray (20 cm by 15 cm). Chop the almonds and pecans.  Mix the oats, coconut, nuts and seeds in a bowl and then pour onto the baking tray.  Place into the oven until golden and return to the bowl and mix with the dried fruit.  Meanwhile melt the butter in a saucepan and add the sugar and honey.  This mixture needs to get very hot and turn from a golden colour to a treacle brown colour (but without burning).  When you stir it with a wooden spoon, the mixture will be so thick it will gravitate towards the spoon.  At this stage, remove it from the heat and mix it into immediately in with the dried ingredients.  The mixture should be wet-if it is too dry, your muesli bars will be crumbly.  Be very careful not to touch the mixture as it is scalding hot.  As quickly and carefully as you can, pour the mixture into the prepared tin and add choc chip bits to the top if you like.  Place in the fridge to set on a wooden cutting board, as the tin will be very warm.  When it has cooled, carefully remove from the tin and cut into squares.

 

Vegemite/Cheese and Bacon Scrolls

You’ve probably heard of the two ingredient dough.  In the Thermomix I use two cups of self raising flour with one cup of Greek yoghurt, mix for twelve seconds and knead for a minute and a half.

From what I understand from friends doing it the old school way, you use one cup of self raising flour and one cup of Greek yoghurt.  Obviously, with either mixing and kneading method, add more flour if your dough is too wet.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a tray with paper.  Once you have kneaded the dough, roll it out into a rectangular shape and add your desired filling (vegemite and cheese/bacon and cheese etc) all over the dough.  Roll the dough into a long log and then chop across the log to create individual scrolls. Stand them up on the tray and cook till golden.  I freeze a few together in ziplock bags and after defrosting overnight, I heat them till very hot before school in the microwave and wrap in foil so that they are still a little warm for my children’s first lunch break.

 

Pikelets

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 egg (if you don’t have an egg just add another ripe banana)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 dessertspoon melted butter

Method

Mix flour, salt and bicarb in a bowl.  Mix milk, vinegar, egg and banana(s) in another bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients.  Finally add the melted butter and stir  through slowly.  Heat pan and cook a few spoonfuls of batter at a time.  Turn the pikelets when bubbles start to appear and remove to a plate when cooked through.  Freeze in a container with grease-proof paper between each layer of pikelets.  Defrost overnight and heat in the microwave or toast individual pikelets in your toaster from frozen, (it actually works!).  This recipe makes lots (maybe twenty to thirty).

 

Bliss Balls

Ingredients

Choose two cups worth from any of the following depending on what flavour of bliss balls you would like to make:

  • dates/apricots
  • coconut
  • rolled oats
  • dark chocolate
  • sultanas/raisins
  • chia seeds
  • sunflower seeds
  • flaxseeds
  • pepitas
  • almonds
  • cashews

Choose a teaspoon to tablespoon of any or a few of the following wet ingredients to bind your bliss balls together:

  • honey
  • vanilla extract
  • maple syrup
  • water

Method

Pulverise your dry ingredients in your food processor/Magic Bullet/Thermomix.  Add your wet ingredient(s) and mix well.  If they are too dry to bind together then add a little more of the wet ingredient(s).  Form into balls and freeze.

My favourite mixture is half a cup each of almonds, coconut, sunflower seeds and dark chocolate with a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

 

Ricotta Gnocchi

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Ingredients

  • 70 g grated parmesan cheese
  • 250 g bakers flour
  • 2 x 250 g ricotta cheese tubs
  • pinch salt
  • pinch nutmeg

Method

Prepare a lined tray to put the chopped gnocchi on.  Mix all the ingredients together well (preferably in a food processor/Thermomix).  Knead dough for one minute in the Thermomix, or hand knead on your bench for five minutes.

Separate the dough into five balls and then roll each ball into a long snake and chop into gnocchi.  Cook in boiling water until they rise to the surface.  They can be frozen uncooked or cooked.  After cooking in boiling water, serve with your preferred sauce.  My husband and I like sage and butter with ours, and our children like bacon, peas and garlic with their gnocchi.

 

* Please note: I am not a chef nor have any formal cooking experience.  I have sourced/gathered/altered and used these recipes over many years at home.  I use some of these recipes so often and am so used to what the texture of the mixture should be like, that I just fix it as I’m cooking.  However, I will double check all the above measurements when I make these recipes again.  Thanking you in advance for your patience.

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