Lunch box treats

Looking for healthy snacks that appeal taste-wise? Try these treats by GAURAV MASAND for a nutritious lunch box

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Hummus

Hummus is a silky smooth versatile dip which is both vegan and gluten-free. You can be pair it with pita bread, carrot and celery sticks or just whole wheat bread rolls.

Ingredients
1 can chickpeas / 2 cup boiled chickpeas
2 cloves garlic, grilled
1 red capsicum, grilled
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sesame powder (avoid in case of nut allergies)
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste

Instructions
Mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
Add some more olive oil/lemon juice if required.
Sieve to get a smooth texture.
Store in a dry jar in the refrigerator.
Pack in lunch box with cherry tomatoes, carrot, celery sticks, nacho chips or pita bread.

Choc-chip cookies

These are melt-in-the-mouth biscuits which make the world go mmmmm! Why feed the kids store-bought cookies when you can bake these easily at home?
Baking cookies at home ensures you have a healthier variety as you know what goes into it all.

Ingredients
150-gm soft unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
½ cup flax seeds
1 1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions
Grind the flax seeds and add to 1 1/4 cup of water. Keep aside.
Dry roast the oats in a pan for 10 minutes and grind to a fine powder. Keep aside
Beat the butter with sugar in a stand mixer or hand mixer until pale.
Slowly add all the ingredients except the chocolate chips.
Once mixed, introduce the chocolate chips.
Scoop 2 tbsp of mix in a baking tray or cookie tray, 3 cm apart. Press down slightly. Decorate with extra choc bits
In a pre-heated oven, bake for 25-30 mins at 160 C.
Allow to rest for 10 minutes, then store in an air tight container.

Butter cookies

This is a very simple recipe that is made with a mix of five different flours.

Ingredients
200 gm unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup + 2tbsp wholewheat flour
1/2 cup + 2tbsp plain flour
1/2 cup + 2tbsp oats powder
1/2 cup + 2tbsp rice flour
1/2 cup + 2tbsp flax seeds

Instructions
Grind the flax seeds and keep aside.
Dry roast the oats in a pan for 10 minutes, grind to a fine powder and keep aside.
Beat butter in an electric mixer with castor sugar until it turns pale and creamy. Mix all remaining ingredients and until it comes together as a dough.
Wrap the cookie dough in a cling film and refrigerate for 30 mins.
When the dough is cold, roll it out on a floured surface to about 1cm thick.
Using a round cookie cutter cut as many rounds as you can from the dough and line them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 160 C, or until the edges start to turn golden brown.