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Why oh why is junk food so tempting. All those gross chemicals charge through our bodies and do absolutely nothing. Meanwhile, the poor little apple sits in the fruit bowl longing to be consumed. As it gets softer and browner it ponders where it went wrong and why people won’t eat it.

Carrots are sweet but not sugary enough to tempt our tastebuds and cucumbers may be cool but not as yummo as an ice cold Mars Bar, or so we’re told. It’s just not fair. The junk food industry has chemicals and thingies in their snacks that makes us want more and the awful, dangerous cycle continues.

Who remembers hot chips and chicken salt. So very bad for you but so, so delicious. The smell of them wafts through my nose as I run-walk past my local chicken shop. Ooooo delightful. And those darn doughnuts call my name while they bubble away in that oil and roll around in that delicious cinnamon sugar mixture.

The worst thing is that junk food is getting cheaper while the really good stuff is becoming unaffordable. I don’t even consider organic veges. I already pay $12 a kilo for foul tomatoes, imagine what a yummy one is worth. Water is relatively free but tasteless. Milk is cheaper but hurts my tum tum. Then you have to go and buy horrible soy milk or overpriced almond milk to satisfy your daily dairy intake. Geesh.

Apparently muesli bars are extremely bad for your kids, but what are we supposed to give them to take to school? I’ve tried homemade versions but the kids don’t like them. Arrrrgghh. Homemade is the best as you know what is in them and there are less chemicals but who has the time to cook all the time? If you want to buy healthy snacks for your kids they also cost the earth. The cycle is ridiculous and frustrating.

So we’re stuck with cheap, chemical ridden junk food and awesome, natural, good-for-you food that will break the bank. What to do? Well, as you know I’ve started my vege patch but spring is a ways away. I’m getting an air popping popcorn maker but not sure if the kids will like popcorn for school snacks. I’m trying to cook and involve the kids in the process and that’s fun but takes time and patience.

I just want to know why we are stuck with such awful food at such ridiculous prices and the good food is impossible for the average person to buy every week. It’s nuts. And that, my friends, is the way of the world. Sad but true.

Does anyone have recipes for healthy school snacks? Do share.

 

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

250g peeled, seeded and diced butternut pumpkin
220g (1¾ cups) plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
125g (½ cup) caster sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
200ml (¾ cup) low fat milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil


Preparation method
1.
Preheat oven to 200 C. Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper muffin cases.
 
2. In a medium saucepan with enough water to cover, boil pumpkin for 10 minutes, or until tender. 
Remove from heat, drain, and purée in a food processor.
 
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and spices.
 
4. In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix together the milk, egg and oil. Stir in pumpkin. 
Fold the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened.
 
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling cups about 3/4 full.
 
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of a muffin 
comes out clean. Remove from muffin pan and cool on a wire rack.
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