· By Julia Boase
Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
Some of you are probably thinking why a lunchbox recipe that has nuts? Aren't most schools nut free? And yes, here in Australia most primary schools are nut free, but recently my older kids have transitioned over into the world of high school where nuts are allowed. My 12yr old is obsessed with peanut butter, so it's give me some freedom to play with some new food ideas.
As a paediatric dietitian here's something I've noticed too... Here in Australia parents are very good at introducing nuts or nut butters to their infants and toddlers, but because schools are mostly nut free, nuts start to become omitted from kids diets around the time they start school.
Nuts (and nut butters) are an amazing source of nutrition including protein, fibre healthy fats and minerals like iron and zinc. Regular consumption of nuts has also been linked to preventing type 2 diabetes, reduced cancer risk, improve brain health, as well as a decrease in the risk for depression. Most of these benefits are gained by regularly consuming 20 - 30g of nuts (a small handful or the equivalent in nut butters).
If you can't send nuts to school never fear these cookies make a great afternoon snack. Team them with some fruit and you have a great after school snack ready for those hangry kids. Hint - you'll want to make a double batch of these, they are sure to disappear fast.
Easy Peanut Butter Cookies - makes 20
1 cup of quality peanut butter (we used Mayvers)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup of choc chips
Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and heat oven to 180 degrees C or 160 C (fan forced)
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix to combine. Moisten hands with water to help prevent mixture from sticking then using hands roll into small balls. Flatten with a fork. Cook for 10 - 12 mins at 180 C (or 160 fan forced) or until lightly golden.
Store in an airtight container or freeze for around 3 months.
Cookies will bery very soft when taken out of the oven but will harden as they cool.