5 of the best homemade and healthy zero waste snacks

Are you looking for some healthy zero waste snacks, beyond the obvious fruit and crudites, for you and your family? These snacks are great because they don’t contain added nasties, they are low on packaging and 4 of them take reducing your food waste to another level!

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Popcorn – one of my all time favourite zero waste snacks!

I regularly make popcorn. It is up there at the top of my list of favourite zero waste snacks. The kids enjoy watching it pop and then grabbing a bowl of freshly popped corn to munch on.

Octopus energy

Make it lightly salted and it is a brilliant alternative to crisps. There is far less packaging overall, especially if you buy the popping corn in bulk. It is also a very inexpensive snack to make – shop around to get the best prices. To make it a fully zero waste snack buy it packaging free from your local zero waste shop (when we are allowed to do that again!)

How I make popcorn

There are various ways you can make popcorn, but I make mine in one of my Le Creuset 3 ply saucepans* . They are expensive saucepans, but if you do need to buy a new saucepan, check out my article about why I chose to buy them here: how to choose a saucepan.

My trick to avoiding burning the popcorn in the saucepan is to heat up some oil in the pan with 3 kernels of corn to start with. When they pop, I then add in the rest of the corn. The other tricks are to keep a close eye on the pan, set the heat to medium high heat and take a break half way through. I decant the popped popcorn into a cake tin usually and then add a bit more oil and carry on popping the rest. Rightly or wrongly I use extra virgin olive oil to make it, because I like the taste best.

Fruit leather

Fruit leather is not quick to make, but you can batch cook it. It should work out cheaper than buying the packaged variety, especially if you are using up fruit that would otherwise go off. I followed this apple and cinnamon recipe recently because I needed to use up some wrinkly apples and it was really tasty. Next time I’m going to try it without the added sugar.

Melba Toast

Melba Toast is a type of cracker made out of bread. It is very more-ish and is a great zero waste snack. Check out my simple and easy recipe for how to make it here: melba toast recipe

I find it is a great way to use up a lot of bread at once e.g. a whole loaf. Sometimes we end up with a spare loaf of bread due to lack of planning or plans changing. I don’t want that bread to go to waste, so I make melba toast!

I recommend eating it dipped in houmous, plain or spread with a little vegetable spread.

Make a zero waste snack from roast potatoes – potato peel crisps!

Making potato peel crisps is one of my new favourite zero waste snacks. Yes there is an argument for not peeling the potatoes in the first place, but I don’t think roast potatoes taste as good if you leave the peels on. Plus what is the problem if you can turn those peels into a tasty snack?

Put your washed and dried peels on a tray and toss with some oil and a little salt. Then put them in the oven at around 150 degrees C for 5 mins. Then turn the peels over. Keep repeating this until the peels have turned into crisps. You need to keep checking on them to make sure they don’t over cook or start burning.

Croutons

A lot of people don’t like bread ends and will throw them out or hopefully compost them instead of eating them. Don’t do that! Make croutons instead. If your family gets through a few loaves of bread a week, save the bread ends for the end of the week and make a batch of croutons. Find out how to make croutons here: Yummy homemade crouton recipe.

They make a nice snack on their own, but are also delicious added to salads and soups.

Let me know how you get on making these snacks in the comments below or tag me on social media on @ecothrifty (Twitter and Instagram). I’d love to see your snack pictures!

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