Sweet Lunchbox Treats

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Sweet Lunchbox Treats
With the summer holidays drawing to a close, back to school preparations are well under way and soon every weekday, 5 million children's lunchboxes will be prepared in British homes.

However, schoolchildren's sugar intake at lunchtime has become surprisingly high, with some children eating as much as twice the recommended amount of sugar.

This, in tandem with the importance of our children having a balanced diet, highlights the need for the 2008 school year to mark the beginning of healthy improvements in British children's lunch boxes.

Did you know that if you use sugar-alternatives in baking, you can substantially cut the amount of sugar your children consume?

Below are a few recipes for lunchbox treats which are made with Splenda instead of sugar. These include Carrot Cake Muffins, Cherry, Almond and Chocolate Chip Flapjacks and, for a special treat on a Friday, Chocolate Brownies.
RASPBERRY AND BANANA MUFFINS (see yummy pic above!)

MAKES 8

Bullet  200g plain flour
Bullet  2 teaspoons baking powder
Bullet  8 tablespoons Splenda granulated sweetener
Bullet  100g frozen raspberries, briefly thawed
Bullet  1 egg
Bullet  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bullet  50g butter, melted
Bullet  100ml semi-skimmed milk
Bullet  1 ripe banana, mashed

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Place 8 paper muffin cases into a muffin tray, or use squares of greaseproof paper.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sweetener and raspberries.

Beat together the egg, vanilla extract, melted butter and milk. Stir into the dry ingredients with the mashed banana until just combined. Avoid overmixing and do not beat. The mixture will be quite lumpy, but there should not be any traces of dry flour. Spoon into the paper cases.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Per serving: 171kcal; 4g protein; 6g fat; 3.6g saturated fat; 26g carbohydrate; 6g sugars; 1.2g fibre; 0.2g sodium
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CARROT CAKE MUFFINS

MAKES 8
Carrot Cake Muffins


Bullet  200g plain flour
Bullet  2 teaspoons baking powder
Bullet  8 tablespoons Splenda granulated sweetener
Bullet  100g frozen raspberries, briefly thawed
Bullet  1 egg
Bullet  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bullet  50g butter, melted
Bullet  100ml semi-skimmed milk
Bullet  1 ripe banana, mashed

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Place 8 paper muffin cases into a muffin tray, or use squares of greaseproof paper.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sweetener and raspberries.

Beat together the egg, vanilla extract, melted butter and milk. Stir into the dry ingredients with the mashed banana until just combined. Avoid overmixing and
do not beat. The mixture will be quite lumpy, but there should not be any traces of dry flour. Spoon into the paper cases.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Per serving: 171kcal; 4g protein; 6g fat; 3.6g saturated fat; 26g carbohydrate; 6g sugars; 1.2g fibre; 0.2g sodium
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DATE WALNUT AND LEMON COOKIES

MAKES 14
Date, Walnut and Lemon Cookies


Bullet  175g lightly salted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
Bullet  150g dates
Bullet  75g walnuts
Bullet  1 tablespoon clear honey or golden syrup
Bullet  finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Bullet  100g fine oatmeal
Bullet  25g self-raising flour
Bullet  3 tablespoons Splenda granulated sweetener
Bullet  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bullet  1 egg, beaten
Bullet  extra oatmeal, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7. Grease a large baking sheet. Whizz the dates in a food processor until chopped into small pieces. Add the walnuts and blend again until chopped.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan with the honey or syrup and lemon zest. Tip in the dates and walnuts, oatmeal, flour, sweetener and vanilla and stir until mixed. Add the egg and beat to a thick paste.

Take spoonfuls of the mixture and shape into balls. Flatten onto the baking sheet, spacing them slightly apart. Sprinkle with extra oatmeal and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Per serving: 153kcal; 3g protein; 9g fat; 3.4g saturated fat; 16g carbohydrate; 8.8g sugars; 1.2g fibre; 0.03g sodium
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CHERRY, APRICOT AND CHOCOLATE CHIP FLAPJACKS

MAKES 16
Cherry, Apricot and Chocolate Chip Flapjacks


Bullet  175g butter, plus extra for greasing
Bullet  175g golden syrup
Bullet  4 tablespoons Splenda granulated sweetener
Bullet  300g porridge oats
Bullet  pinch of salt
Bullet  50g dried cherries, halved
Bullet  75g ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped
Bullet  40g white chocolate chips
Bullet  40g dark or milk chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease a 20cm square baking tin and line it with greaseproof paper - by leaving an overhang of paper, the flapjacks will be easier to remove later.

Melt the butter with the golden syrup in a large saucepan over a gentle heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.

Mix together the sweetener, porridge oats, salt, cherries, apricots and chocolate chips. Add to the saucepan and stir together until thoroughly mixed. Tip into the prepared tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes, then remove from the tin and cut into 16 squares. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Keep in an airtight container, or wrap in greaseproof paper.

Per serving: 229kcal; 4g protein; 12g fat; 6.8g saturated fat; 29g carbohydrate; 16.2g sugars; 2.4g fibre; 0.15g sodium
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CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

MAKES 15
Chocolate Brownies


Bullet  250g plain chocolate, chopped
Bullet  175g unsalted butter
Bullet  3 eggs
Bullet  25g Splenda granulated sweetener
Bullet  60g self-raising flour
Bullet  1 teaspoon baking powder
Bullet  100g walnuts, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Grease and line a shallow 27x18cm baking tin with greaseproof paper.

Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and rest it over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Leave until melted, stirring frequently. Alternatively, melt in the microwave for 2 minutes at maximum power.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl, gradually whisking in the sweetener until combined. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl. Add the walnuts and stir the ingredients together until just combined.

Turn into the tin and spread the mixture into the corners. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the surface is set but the mixture feels very soft underneath. Leave to cool in the tin. Cut into squares and store in an airtight tin.

Per serving: 252kcal; 3g protein; 20g fat; 9.5g saturated fat; 16g carbohydrate; 12.3g sugars; 0.8g fibre; 0.07g sodium
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SPLENDA® lunchbox recipes are made with SPLENDA® Low Calorie Sweetener, which has a tenth of the calories found in sugar, so they're sure to be popular with parents and children alike. Cooking these delicious recipes together is also a great way for parents and children to spend quality time together.

Top UK chef, Antony Worrall Thompson, says; 'It's still possible to enjoy lunchtime treats whilst reducing the added sugar. My wife regularly cooks for my children, as do I, and we simply swap sugar for the low calorie sweetener SPLENDA®. Try my lunchbox friendly recipes - my kids can't tell any difference in taste - and you'll be safe in the knowledge that you're cutting down your child's sugar intake without sacrificing any of the great flavour.'
August 2008

Bullet SPLENDA is the only low calorie sweetener made with sucralose which is made from sugar, for a sugar-like taste that doesn't have all the calories. SPLENDA® is also heat stable so it's ideal for cooking and baking - you can make lower calorie recipes and your child won't even notice the difference.

SPLENDA Brown Sugar Blend has also recently launched in the UK. For the same sweetness as normal brown sugar you only need half as much so it has just half the calories and you could use it anywhere - from your coffees and porridge to baking

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