– Hey munchies!
We’re back with bentos
and this is actually
a very highly requested episode
just in time for back to
school, nut-free bentos.
I’ve got two lunch boxes and one snack box
with not only nut-free, but
also vegan, gluten free,
and of course, if it’s
vegan, it’s also dairy free
ideas to inspire your
healthy eating journey.
A lot of products I’m using today
are from Thrive Market
who we’ve teamed up with
to bring you this video.
They are so awesome.
They’re an online
marketplace with a mission
to make healthy living easy
and affordable for everyone.
They offer organic and natural products
at 25 to 50% below
traditional retail prices.
And they ship right to your door.
Grocery delivery is the best.
And today I have a link that can get you
an extra 25% off your first purchase
that is on top of their
already awesome deals
plus a free 30-day trial.
That discount is linked
in the description.
Let’s get to the first nut-free bento.
I’m starting out with a Hawaiian
pasta salad, vegan style.
I am using this amazing pasta
that I got on Thrive Market.
It’s purple because the ingredients
are red lentils, beets,
carrots, and sweet potato.
That is literally it.
And they have other super
food clean pasta options too.
I just had to try this one
because it’s purple which
is my favorite color.
It cooks up the same as regular pasta.
And for the pasta salad purposes,
I just let it cool before
making the whole recipe.
It turns more red once it’s
cooked which is pretty neat.
For the dressing, I mixed coconut
or another non-dairy yogurt of choice,
with Dijon mustard, pineapple juice
which I got from a can
of pineapple chunks,
garlic powder and salt.
Then I can add in my cooked pasta,
those pineapple chunks
that I got the juice from,
red bell pepper, diced sweet pickles,
carrots, and green onion.
There are so many fun things about this.
The color, the sweet and savory flavors,
the textures of the vegetables
give it a nice crunch,
and if you aren’t vegan and wanted
to add a little bit of extra protein
to keep it a classic Hawaiian,
you could do some diced ham too.
Pasta salad is great for lunch
because it doesn’t need
to be warm, I love it.
I’m getting some nutrition in
with broccoli and grape tomatoes.
And here’s a tip.
If you don’t love raw broccoli,
blanch the broccoli by just adding florets
to boiling water for a quick minute or two
until they’re vibrant
green and then remove.
So you’re not cooking
them until they’re mushy.
They’re still firm but
not as crazy crisp as raw.
For a lot of people, this helps broccoli
be more palatable and I
like to add this to my lunch
with some of those grape tomatoes
and a side of ranch for dipping.
Thanks to Thrive Market, I was
able to find this vegan ranch
and if you watched my channel before,
you know I’m not generally nuts
about vegan dressing alternatives,
because a lot of times they are packed
with inflammatory oils
and processed ingredients
but this brand is made with avocado oil.
It’s clean, no added sugar
and totally tastes like ranch.
Thanks Thrive Market.
For a fruit, I’m adding an apricot
which is perfect for on-the-go
situations like lunch.
But you could, of course, use an apple,
clementine, or anything else
that you don’t need to prep to enjoy.
For a snack, I’m adding in tiger nuts.
Wait, did I just say nuts?
In a nut-free bento?
Tiger nuts are actually nut-free.
A tiger nut is a small
root vegetable, not a nut.
And they have a naturally
sweet and nutty taste.
They’re also packed with iron.
You can eat them straight out of the bag,
crunchy and delicious, or some people like
to soak them in water to soften.
If you are in need of a nut-free snack
and still want that crispy
crunch, tiger nuts, baby.
Thanks to Thrive Market for
helping me find these too.
For a sweet but healthy
snack option in this bento,
I’m making a nut-free granola oat bar.
I start with a few super ripe bananas,
you want them for sure, brown and spotty
so they are much sweeter
and then mash those up.
If your bananas aren’t super sweet,
you may wanna add sweetener to this recipe
because it’s not meant to be dessert,
but you can of course, add it if you like.
To that, I stir in some vanilla extract.
In my food processor or
blender, I pulse rolled oats.
I got these from Thrive Market as well
and I love it because they are organic
and certified gluten free which
you should always check for
if you’re using oats as
a gluten free option.
Then, I stir that into my banana mixture
along with dried
cranberries, mixed raisins,
sunflower seeds, papita or pumpkin seeds,
coconut shreds, hemp hearts, sesame seeds,
cacao nibs, or you could
use chocolate chips
for more sweetness, cinnamon, and salt.
This will be a heavy dough.
Then we can add it to a baking pan
lined with foil and spread it out
until it’s even and compact.
Bake until firm and golden.
And cool completely
before slicing into bars.
This tastes like a granola bar
but there doesn’t have to be nuts.
All of those mix-ins could
be nuts if you wanted
but there are a ton of nut-free mix-ins
that are crunchy like seeds or
naturally sweet dried fruit.
So this recipe is super versatile
and healthy enough to be breakfast.
Box one, how I love you so.
Colorful, nutritious and not a single nut.
Or any dairy, gluten or animal protein.
Onto our second bento box lunch.
I’m starting with a
sunbutter banana sandwich.
Because food is fun.
You can use any bread,
wheat, or gluten free,
whatever your dietary
preferences call for,
but I like to roll the bread out
just a bit to make it easier to work with.
To keep this nut-free, I am
using sunflower seed butter
which I got from Thrive Market.
The only ingredient is sunflower seeds
which I love and it’s a great alternative
to peanut or any other nut butter
in sandwiches, baking, and cooking.
I add a layer to each side.
One thicker than the other.
The thinner layer is just
to help hold it together.
I also mash up some bananas
for a homemade and sugar-free banana jam.
And I add that on top of the
thicker side of the sunbutter.
Then, I can put the sandwich together.
I use a round cookie cutter
to cut out the sandwich.
It’s already sealed shut
but I’m gonna help it out
by pinching with my fingers
and crimping with a fork
to get that uncrustable look.
So fun and tasty.
I’m including air popped
popcorn as a savory snack.
It is a whole grain after all
and if it isn’t smothered with fat
and excess of salt or sugar,
it can totally be a healthy option.
For fruit, I’m sharing
something I haven’t done before
but I’m currently loving, roasted grapes.
On a sheet pan, I toss grapes,
red work better than green
due to their water content,
with oil, a pinch of salt,
and I also like cinnamon
but you could use any spices you prefer.
Savory, totally works too.
I love using thyme or balsamic.
Into the oven they go until blistered
and caramelized on the outside.
The inside will be juicy like jam.
They’re great warm but
also cooled off later on.
Such a fun way to switch up our fruit.
I’ve got bell pepper strips
and hummus for a vegetable.
Don’t feed me bell peppers plain
but I can dip them all day long.
And some dried apples as a sweet snack
thanks to Thrive Market.
Once again, the only ingredient is apples.
I love when I can find
clean, packaged items.
It makes me so happy.
Bento number two is in the bag.
Or a box.
This lunch keeps healthy
and enticing with some
super easy recipes and tips.
Last, I’ve got a snack box for you next
with some more fun ideas
that you can incorporate
into your own lunches however you need.
I’m starting with these
curry roasted chickpeas.
I take drained and rinsed chickpeas
and dry them off with paper towels.
Then I add them to a
pan lined with parchment
and toss with oil, curry
powder, salt, pepper,
and cayenne for a kick, if desired.
Use your favorite spices.
Into the oven they go to roast.
Cool completely before devouring
because they will crisp
up more as they cool.
Crispy, crunchy and curry
flavored, yes please.
The next snack are my chocolate
banana blender muffins.
First I make my flax egg.
I take ground flaxseed and
water and mix it together.
Let that sit for just a few minutes
and it will thicken and gel
to your perfect vegan
baking egg substitute.
Into a blender, I add
two super ripe bananas,
more of these Thrive Market
gluten free rolled oats,
the same sunflower seed
butter, also from Thrive.
But this recipe will also
work with any nut butter
if you don’t need it to be nut-free.
Along with cocoa powder, that flax egg,
maple syrup, vanilla extract,
baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
That all gets blended
which makes this recipe
so flipping easy.
And then we can just
distribute the mixture
into our mini muffin tin and bake.
Not only are these
nut-free and nutritious,
they are really hard to stop eating.
So load them into your box
because you’ll wish you
had more when they’re gone.
These are also in my new eBook
filled with vegan recipes.
But the recipe is also linked
below in the description box.
Next, I’ve got some sticky
rice chips from Thrive Market.
There are a ton of packaged snacks
on Thrive Market so take a browse.
But these caught my eye
because they do have
a little bit of sugar, two
grams total per serving,
but they are also sweetened
with watermelon juice
which is pretty neat.
So I couldn’t resist and had to try.
That’s the cool thing
about Thrive Market though.
There are so many things
I never knew existed
that can be found and experimented with
and keep my healthy lifestyle exciting.
If you’re looking for a way
to make veggies more fun,
try cutting them differently.
I’m loving this cringle cutter.
I’ll link it in the description
but it just makes veggies
like carrots and cucumber
take on a new enticing shape
and it’s important to switch it up
to keep things interesting,
for me personally.
I’m serving those with guac
because I am not typically
a raw veggies person
unless there’s dipping involved.
And there is box number three.
Thanks to Thrive Market for
making this gluten free,
dairy free, vegan episode possible.
If you are following a specific
dietary lifestyle of preference,
Thrive Market makes it really easy
to search through different values.
They’ve got paleo, gluten
free, raw, vegan and more
as well as qualities like non-GMO,
fair trade certified, BPA free, and more.
And FYI, they do sell everything,
not just food and snacks,
but also supplements,
personal care products,
eco-friendly cleaning supplies,
non-toxic beauty products,
home goods, trust me,
it’s worth the peruse.
I hope you guys enjoyed
this bento box episode.
Let me know your favorite
recipe in the comments below.
If you want more nut-free options,
definitely thumbs up
this video and subscribe
so you can be notified.
I’ll see you next week and remember,
it’s all a matter of mind over munch.
All credits go to Mind Over Munch