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Saturday in Anneliese's Kitchen

Today is a tag-on to the school lunch ideas posted a few years back. I know the moms in my family and many moms and dads today are always trying to figure out how to pack healthy lunches for their kids. Maybe there is something here that your kids or grandchildren will like.

Edamame Beans

If these beans have not been introduced to your family, I would highly recommend them, as I've seen how my grandchildren love them! Edamame beans are soybeans that have been harvested before the beans harden and provide a good source of protein, iron and calcium. Steamed in their pods and sprinkled with salt, snacking on them reminds me of snacking on sunflower seeds, where you get the saltiness from the shells and enjoy the meat inside. We have enjoyed them hot as an appy, but they taste just as good, cold the next day.
  • 1 500 g bag of frozen edamame 
  • sea salt
  1. In medium sized pot, bring 3 cups of water and 1 tsp salt to boil. 
  2. Add beans, bring to boil and cook, uncovered for 5 minutes. 
  3. Drain and sprinkle generously with sea salt. 
  4. Serve in pods or without 
  5. Gently squeeze pods to remove beans and discard pods.
Baked Apple Chips

  • 3 - 4 apples
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  1. Preheat oven to 250 F. If you have convection setting, you can bake several sheets at the same time.
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Prepare a small bowl with 1/4 cup water and juice of half a lemon.
  3. Slice apples into thin rounds. Dip into lemon water before spreading out on cookie sheets in a single layer.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, turn slices over and bake another 30 minutes.  Once they feel dry to the touch, they are done. Length of time will depend on how thin the slices are. If they are a bit on the thick side, you may need to double the baking time. Watch carefully so they do not turn dark and crispy.
  5. Cool and store in sealed container. I refrigerate them.

Fresh Cut Apple Slices

I saw this idea in a magazine and apparently, at least according to some little girls in our family, they are the best apples in the world! So why not share such simple goodness! Dip them in lemon juice to keep from browning.

Finger Jelly 

This version of finger jello, is a fun way to incorporate the health benefits of natural gelatin, by combining it with  your child's favorite unsweetened juice drink.  It works best with  juices that are naturally very sweet, like grapes, mango or peach. I add 1 - 2 Tbsp of sugar per 3 cups of liquid. You can leave it out if you like or adjust to personal taste.

  • 3 cups unsweetened fruit juice ( like grape, berry & pomegranate, peach &mango)
  • 3 pkgs Knox gelatin
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp sugar
  1. Boil 1 cup of the juice. 
  2. Pour over gelatin mixed with sugar in a glass bowl, beginning with a small amount and stirring the whole time until is completely dissolved.
  3. Add 2 cups cold fruit juice and pour into small glass Pyrex baking dish. Using a sieve helps catch any tiny lumps and bubbles.
  4. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours or overnight. Cut into squares. 

Chocolate Milk Pudding Cups

Homemade pudding is so easy to make and you know exactly what is in it.

  • 2 cups milk, divided
  • 4 Tbsp flour or 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 6 Tbsp Nestle Nesquik powder (or 4 Tbsp Nesquik plus 2 Tbsp cocoa)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar, optional
  • 2 egg yolks
  1. In a small pot, just below medium heat, bring 1 1/2 cups milk to almost boiling point.
  2. In the meantime, in a small bowl or 4-cup measuring cup, mix dry ingredients, then stir in 1/4 cup milk to make a smooth paste. Stir in egg yolks and then the final 1/4 cup milk. 
  3. When the milk in the pot shows tiny bubbles along the side and a bit of skin forming on top, stir in the chocolate mix and keep stirring with whisk until smooth and bubbly.  If lumps appear, keep stirring. They will go away.
  4. Cool slightly. ( Set the pot into sink with cold water, stirring for several minutes) Pour into individual take alongs before it sets.. Cover and refrigerate. Yield 4 or 5 - 4 oz minis. 

For dark chocolate taste, add some cocoa and a bit more sugar if desired. Can easily be altered to personal taste. When adjusting the recipe for size, use 1 Tbsp flour and 1 1/2 Tbsp Nesquick for every 1/2 cup milk.


  1. Those apple slices are just so pretty and perfect for school lunches! I must make some of that finger jello - my sweet little granddaughter would love that.


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