Healthy and Low Waste Snack Hacks

By HYDAWAY brand ambassador, Emma Gavin:

In today’s fast paced world, I know we all feel the pressure to live as time efficiently, and conveniently as possible. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to go to work, sleep, interact with our loved ones, and care for ourselves. With all of the things consuming our time, we all occasionally give in to the convenience of single use plastics and packaging. As someone who sometimes works as long as 16 hour shifts, I’ve been tempted more than I can express to give in to convenience, instead of making environmentally responsible decisions. I have a few easy zero waste recipes has made it easier for me to make eco-friendly choices.

These recipes are made while keeping in mind that not everyone has access to unpackaged items in bulk. Some tips that will help you reduce your waste without buying things unpackaged:

Garden! So many of the foods in these following recipes are from my garden. Gardening is the most sustainable way to get food. I encourage everyone to at least try growing a few things in a pot!!! You’ve got this! I believe in you!

Buy things in glass, aluminum cans, or other packaging that is easy to reuse or recycle.

Try to have fun upcycling! It’ll motivate you to reuse things instead of tossing it, or wasting resources recycling. Here is a tomato paste can from my Dahl recipe that is now home to a cutting of my mint plant.

Garlic Kale chips

The first recipe is a simple kale chips recipe. Kale is very easy to get unpackaged. You can buy it unpackaged with reusable produce bags from most stores. It is also very easy to grow in a garden. Kale is a very hardy plant that grows in even colder climates. I’ve had one of my kale plants survive through a snowy Chicago winter! It is amazing what they can survive. I used kale from my garden for this recipe, but whatever you have access to works well too.

What you’ll need:

2 big leaves of kale

2 tbsp olive oil packaged in glass

Garlic salt to taste packaged in glass

Clean kale and remove stems. Be sure to save the stems to use in other recipes or to compost. I usually make a veggie broth out of them.

Break kale into golf ball sized pieces.

Toss in olive oil

Sprinkle with garlic salt

Lay it flat in a single layer on dehydrator trays and put it on your dehydrator for an hour or two until crisp.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can put it on a lightly greased cookie sheet in your oven on the lowest setting until crisp. Once they’re done, put them in your favorite reusable snack bag, or just an empty jar you have.

It’s so simple and so good!

Vegan Dahl

The next recipe isn’t quite as easy but it’s one of my favorites. Dahl!! Dahl can be made out of many different pulses. For this recipe I used mung beans, but I often use chickpeas or lentils for it too. You can buy so many pulses unpackaged in bulk at most bulk stores, but don’t feel the need to go out and buy some for this recipe. Use what you already have hiding in the back of your pantry! It’s a perfect recipe for using up the can of chickpeas that may be hiding in the back of your pantry, or the bag of lentils you bought months ago but don’t know what to do with it that would otherwise be wasted. You can also utilize a garden for this recipe too. I used coriander from my garden and ground it in a coffee grinder. I also used some tomatoes from my garden.

What you’ll need:

1 cup of cooked mung beans (or whatever you have!)

1 small onion diced

1 cup of water or veggie broth (made from food scraps)

1/3 a cup of chopped carrots

2 roma tomatoes

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp minced garlic (either fresh garlic or jarred in glass)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

Ground cayenne pepper to taste

Salt to taste

A small can of tomato paste

1/2 an avocado and parsley for garnishes

Most recipes for dahl also have cinnamon in them. This one doesn’t simply because I have a cinnamon allergy. Feel free to add cinnamon and tomes around with the spices and veggies used. This is your kitchen creation. I’m just giving you a place to start.

Start by soaking and cooking the mung beans, chopping and preparing your veggies, and sautéing the onions in sesame oil. You may want to precook the carrots too, but I just sautéed them with my onions to save time.

Add your mung beans and tomatoes to the cooked onions and carrots and then add your spices. Cook until everything is cooked through and it’s your desired consistency and add water or broth to it if it gets too dry.

Save and garnish.

Lemon Balm Almond Latté

This last recipe is perfect for this time of year. Not only is it warming on a chilly day, it’s something that can be grown indoors in a pot! You can still utilize growing your own food in the colder months with pots! It’s also perfect for cold and flu season. I currently have strep throat and this has been my go to beverage for soothing my throat.

What you’ll need

Handful of Lemon Balm
8oz Boiling water
Tea infuser or seive
Sweetener of choice to taste
Homemade Almond milk to taste

1 part soaked almonds
2 parts water
Spash of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Start by making your almond milk. Soak almonds for 4 hours minimum, or overnight.

Drain and rinse almonds. I like to use the water from soaking to water my plants.

Then 2 parts water and 1 part almonds to a high speed blender and blend for about 39 seconds.

Then pour through a sieve or nut milk bag.

Save the pulp for other recipes.

Add vanilla and salt and you’re done with your almond milk!

Now it’s time to make your tea!

Start by putting your leaves in a tea infuser or just straight into a boiling pot of water

Infuse your lemon balm leaves in your boiled water for about 6 minutes. It’ll be a light golden color.

Pour your tea into a cup, leaving room for the almond milk

Sweeten your tea to taste and add almond milk

Garnish with some lemon balm

I hope you enjoy these recipes!

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