Lunchboxes, believe it or not, are one of the biggest stress points at Chaos HQ.
There is nothing worse than realising you’ve missed the supermarket and there’s nothing left to put in their lunches the next day.
On top of forever running out of things to give the kids, there’s the added cost of the pre-packaged lunch snacks that really puts a dint in the grocery budget.
The answer is simple, if you want to save time and money, you have to make snacks at home and freeze them so they’re there and ready each day. Sure baking takes a bit of time, but when you consider the time it takes to shop for snacks, it’s not that much different, and at least this way, you know exactly what is in it and what your kids are eating.
I also find that if you make the snacks at home, you save heaps of $$$$$, because what your making goes a whole lot further and lasts a whole lot longer.
Now I’m not much of a baker, so the things I make are always easy. I am hoping to get it to the point where the older kids can start baking too, which will save me even more time.
One of the easiest things we make here at Chaos HQ are Ham & Cheese Pastry Scrolls. The kids LOVE them, and they freeze, then defrost just fine.
Here’s what you need:
- Sheets of puff pastry. I cook in bulk and use up to 3 packets at once, but if you’re keen to try them out first, 1 packet will be fine.
- A jar of tomato paste.
- Shredded Ham. 1 packet of Aldi shredded ham (both sides) does about 6 pastry sheet rolls. If purchasing from a deli I would buy around 500grms.
- Grated Cheese.
- Small amount of milk.
- Baking paper & trays.
Defrost the pastry sheets on the bench. They don’t take too long to defrost, I usually grate up the cheese while this is happening and pre heat the oven. Our oven seals are bodgy, but I usually place the temp around 180. Please adjust the temperature of your oven to suit as all ovens are different.
Using a spoon, cover each pastry sheet with a light layer of tomato paste, right to the edges.
Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the tomato paste.
Sprinkle the shredded ham on top of the cheese.
Gently separate the edge of the pastry from the plastic backing and carefully roll it up into a sausage like shape.
Brush over the pastry sausage with a very light coating of milk. This helps the pastry to brown in the oven.
Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry sausage into sections around an inch thick. You can cut them however thick you like really, you’ll just need to adjust your cooking time accordingly. The thinner the swirl, the quicker they’ll cook.
Line tray with baking paper and place each swirl on to the trays.
Place in oven until puffed and slightly brown.
Let cool then place into freezer bags and freeze.
As a variation, we have also tried Cheese and Vegemite Scrolls. They worked well and are also a delicious lunch box snack.
Do you freeze home made lunch box snacks?