If you've been reading this blog for long, you know that I'm a proponent of healthy school lunches and that I am appalled at the lack of quality available to most American elementary school students in their cafeterias. Also, it's my goal to reduce the amount of garbage my family produces, so I've decided to make all of their school lunches no waste meals.
When I came across this bento-themed meme at What's for Lunch at Our House, I knew I would participate. So here's what's for lunch at our house.
Main compartment: Romaine lettuce, carrot curls, cucumbers cut into butterflies, strawberries and white cheddar cheese cut into bunnies, and a hard-boiled egg molded into a bunny shape.
Sides: strawberries cut to fit compartment; sweet potato pancakes in leaf and tree shapes.
Not pictured: salad dressing and honey-cinnamon butter
Time invested: 20 minutes (plus boiling time for eggs---pancakes were leftovers)
The sweet potato pancakes I made were a healthy version of a Southern classic. I omitted the eggs and butter, replacing them with banana and applesauce, eliminated added sugar, and opted for almond milk instead of cow's milk.
Sweet Potato Pancakes with Honey-Cinnamon Butter
What You Need:
- 1 sweet potato, cooked, peeled, and mashed
- 1 large banana, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 2 cups milk (I used almond milk...feel free to use whatever milk you prefer)
- 1 2/3 cups flour (I used all unbleached white flour, but you can substitute whole wheat for even healthier pancakes)
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
- non-stick cooking spray for the pan
- Preheat your griddle or skillet on medium heat.
- In a food processor, or using a mixer, beat sweet potato with banana and applesauce. Add milk slowly and beat to combine.
- In a separate, large mixing bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking powder.
- Add liquid to dry ingredients, stirring only long enough to make sure all the dry ingredients are wet.
- Drop by 1/3 cupfuls onto a greased skillet and cook 3 minutes on first side, flip, and cook until done (about 3 more minutes).
- For the butter: In a food processor, combine 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter with 1/4 cup honey and 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon. Process until combined. Store in refrigerator.