With the back-to-school season in full swing, it’s time to start collecting some quick and easy breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas for the whole family. Adjusting to the routine of early mornings and school nights can be challenging for families big and small, so start this school year right by allowing your air fryer to do the heavy lifting. With make-ahead meals that’ll last the whole week, healthy snacks on-the-go, and flavorful dinner time dishes, this guide will help parents prepare for their first day back.
Pop Tarts for Back-to-School Breakfast of Champions
Start the first day off right with something that’ll get the kids out of bed and into the kitchen begging for breakfast. Air fryer pop tarts combine a classic breakfast favorite with a homemade twist, and making them is almost as easy as ripping open the foil package of the store-bought version. Plus, these grab-and-go pastry pockets can be prepped the night before or baked in a large batch to last the entire week.
To create this classic treat you’ll a few basic ingredients:
-1 (15 oz) package refrigerated pie crusts
-6 tablespoons strawberry jam
-2 cups of powdered sugar
-2-4 tablespoons of heavy cream or half-and-half
-2 tablespoons of melted butter
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-Rainbow sprinkles for a traditional pop tart take!
- Use a pizza cutter to cut each crust into 4 equal-sized rectangles. Combine the leftover dough, roll it out once more, and cut 4 more rectangles. Repeat the process until you have 12 rectangles total.
- Place 1 tablespoon of strawberry jam in the center of 6 rectangles.
- Spread the jam evenly, leaving about ¼ inch near the edge of the crust.
- Moisten the exterior of each pie crust rectangle with water.
- Lay another rectangle of pastry crust atop each jam-filled section.
- Use your fingers to press the edges together, and use a fork to crimp the top rectangle and bottom rectangle together.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F, and set the timer for 11 minutes.
- The air fryer basket should accommodate 2-3 pop tarts at a time.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the powdered sugar, heavy cream, butter, and vanilla extract until well-combined.
- Once all of the pop tarts have baked and cooled, drizzle the desired amount of frosting on top.
- Use rainbow sprinkles to achieve the original pop tart look.
Lunch Time Apple Chips as a Healthy Alternative to Potato Chips
If your student is brown-bagging it in the cafeteria, rely on your air fryer and get creative with healthy snacks that will fuel both the brain and the body. Apple chips are a great substitute for packaged potato chips, which are loaded with saturated fat and unpronounceable ingredients. Plus, this snack offers the satisfying crunch, sweet flavor, natural sugar, and healthy fiber associated with a traditional serving of fruit.
Requiring only three simple ingredients, this recipe is hard to beat. You’ll need:
- Thinly slice the apple using either a mandolin or a sharp knife.
- Remove any seeds and combine the apples in a bowl.
- Dust the apples with the desired amount of cinnamon.
- Transfer half of the spiced apples to the air fryer basket. Arrange them in a single layer.for even cooking.
- Cook for eight to ten minutes at 350 degrees F, turning and flattening them at least two times throughout the process.
- Remove the cooked apple chips, and then repeat this process with the remaining apple slices.
Awesome Dinner Dish: Air-Fried Veggies to Pair With any Protein
After a long day of work, it can be challenging to prioritize getting your greens in while managing homework help, sports practice, and cleaning house.However, your air fryer is the secret weapon when it comes to cooking a healthy side of vegetables packed with flavor, crunch, and hardly any calories. Air-fried veggies are the perfect complement to any dinner entree and can be dressed up with fun sauces or made simple with a dash of salt and pepper.
To create the perfect harmony of tender and cruciferous vegetables combine the follow ingredients:
-1 red bell pepper chopped
-1 cup mushrooms halved
-1 small zucchini cut into ½" moons
-2 cloves garlic minced
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
-salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat the air fryer to 380°F.
- Toss all ingredients except parmesan cheese.
- Place in a single layer in the air fryer.
- Cook 6 minutes, toss and sprinkle with parmesan cheese
- Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until tender crisp.