I’m going to be very clear. Sitting here writing this, I’m digging into my lunch of paprika and grand padono crusted zucchini chips with harrissa yogurt, so when I talk about what a normal lunch is or not, you get the context. There is no such thing, or at least not in my world.

I had serious lunch box envy as a kid. When everyone in my class was sitting down at little lunch, retrieving their Rugrats branded lunch boxes from their colourful backpacks I always on the lookout for what I perceived to be the perfect lunch. Before the days of health regulations in school, I grew up in the generation of Wonder White peanut butter sandwiches and SPC fruit in jelly. There were no rules about the correct amount of fruit, whether or not you had a leftover piece of chocolate birthday cake in there (can you imagine the looks now), or whether your box was filled with an allergen nightmare. The deal was simple. If your mate little Jeremy had a peanut allergy, he didn’t take a bite of your sandwich.

I’d say the average 90’s kid’s lunch box went a little bit like this; ham and cheese sandwich, SPC pears, tiny teddies, BBQ shapes. Sounds about right? I had a friend who made her own lunch and used to bring containers of Milo and jelly crystals in there, a sure way to be the cool kid. It was a little bit like collecting Tazos; the more little packets in your lunch, the more playground cred you had.

I grew up in a family where little packets were few and far between. We had melon balls in little containers, muesli bars and healthy snacks like peanut butter and celery. Looking back now I can gladly say there has been no permanent damage from the lack of Le Snacks, but there was always one treat that I always secretly wished I would open that lid and see sitting there, nestled next to my muesli bar – a little tub of chocolate mousse.

When I moved into my first house out of home I went through a stage of buying pre packaged mousse, almost making up for lost time all those years ago. I can safely say I’ve cut that out of my life but sometimes still crave that cool, light and smooth texture. This super simple pumpkin and maple mousse hits the spot and is healthy enough to have for breakfast. I’ve been popping it on my oats with some walnuts, give it a try.

1 cup almond milk
1 cup pumpkin puree (I had leftovers but any steamed, cooled and blended pumpkin will do)
2 tbs maple syrup
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tsp gelatin
1 tsp vanilla extra

Blend and leave to set in the fridge overnight

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