Since joining the Hopscotch House team in early 2019, Elaine Gaffney has completely transformed the menu, whipping up tasty meals each day. Elaine, prepares five nutritionally balanced meals using seasonal ingredients every day for the children of Hopscotch House.
Elaine has a wealth of experience, having trained in London as a chef in European Cuisine. With over three years’ experience in the childcare sector, Elaine knows the ins and outs of preparing delicious and nutritious food for growing children.
Plus, she is a mum of two teenagers, so she’s had her fair share of cooking for fussy eaters over the years.
Elaine is passionate about cooking with seasonal produce and creating meals that celebrate many cultural cuisines – all while sticking to any dietary intolerances, allergies or preferences of the children. She looks forward to creating additional experiences for the children to explore food at the Hopscotch House.
“It is my responsibility as a cook to provide nutritious food for the children, and to reinforce the importance of eating well and enjoying healthy food. It is very important that children not only acquire knowledge of appropriate and balanced nutrition, but also develop good eating habits in practice.”
To celebrate joining the Guardian team, Elaine has shared her secret recipe for Cereal Bars – a tasty snack for all ages to enjoy!
Elaine’s Coconut, Quinoa and Oat Cereal Bars
- 6 Weet-Bix
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup quinoa flakes or (cereal of your choice)
- 1 ½ cups of seeds of your choice (sunflower, pepitas)
- 1 cup sultanas (you can use cranberries or apricots)
- 90grs coconut oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl, preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
- Cook coconut oil, honey and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring for three to four minutes or until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, without stirring, for seven minutes or until mixture forms a soft ball when a little is dropped into ice-cold water.
- Add heated mix to dry ingredients. Stir until combined.
- Spoon mixture into pan. Use a large metal spoon to press down firmly. Put the pan into the oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool before into squares. Store in a foil-lined airtight container for up to seven days.