Don't stand between me and my snacks or you will get hurt. Just kidding!
This summer, we've had a chance to hit the beach almost every weekend. Every time I'm at the beach, I always crave salty snacks. Alas, most of these snacks come in packaging that is hard to recycle. I've succumbed to temptation a few times and bought chips, but promised myself to do better. So I've been experimenting and trying to figure out the best zero waste snacks to make to bring to the beach. Here's my list. These are also great to make for school, for camping and for a party like the Super Bowl.
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I bought bulk chickpeas at the bulk section at WFM. After making a batch of hummus, then adding some to salads, I still had a cup leftover. So after soaking the chickpeas overnight, I tossed them in avocado oil and some salt. Here, just be careful not to add too much spices as they could burn. You can add the spices once you remove them from the oven. Spread them on to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Let them cook until golden brown. Take them from the oven, sprinkle additional salt or spices (garlic) as needed and let cool. Make sure you let them cool completely before placing them in a container. These can be a bit hard so make sure your teeth can stand the crunch.
Fried Green Plantains
OK, I am a sucker for the plantain chips from Trader Joe's. They are so delicious, but after analyzing the package and the nutritional content, I realized I could do better. I've tried roasting green plantains in the oven, but it was a hit and miss sometimes. If I cut one too thinly or too thickly, it would not cook evenly. So I friend them in coconut oil instead and they came out perfectly. Just as crispy and evenly cooked. Once I pulled them out of the oil and let them sit for a bit to cool down, I added the salt. I love these as they go with any kind of dip such as guacamole or hummus. Green plantains are better to use because they have more starch and hold up better in the frying. The only packaging from these is from the coconut oil that you will be using, otherwise, you can compost your green plantain peels. Also, chickpeas for hummus can be bought package free.
Cinnamon Apple Chips
Sweet Potato Chips
Who doesn't love a classic chip and who knew you can make them easily at home. I use a mandolin to cut them into even thickness. Massage oil into them, sprinkle some salt and pop them into the oven until they are nice and crispy. The more room you leave in between the chips, the better as it will dry out faster. Definitely healthier than some of the other alternatives out there. Great for using leftover potatoes.
Alternatively, you can cut them a bit bigger and toast them. Add almond butter for a delicious treat or breakfast.
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Veggie Skin Chips
This idea came from a fellow Instagrammer naturestuff_1 when I was doing my #reducefoodwaste monthly project. I never thought about doing this. My mind was always set to discard and compost the peels, but you can make chips out of the veggie skins. Try it for potatoes, carrots, zucchini or cucumbers. The key is to massage oil into them before placing them evenly on a parchment lined paper in the oven. Add your salt and spices right after you take them out of the oven. Depending on the thickness of the peels, you may have to turn them over. Another great way to use up food and reduce waste.
I've been eyeing these reusable bags on Etsy just because the ones I use are glass containers which are pretty heavy and have breakage potential.
Chocolate Nut Clusters
These are great for the cool months since they won't have a chance to melt on you. From the bulk section, grab some baking chocolate drops, unsweetened shredded coconut, cashews and almonds. Pulse the coconut, cashews and almonds in a blender until they are in small pieces. Toast them lightly with coconut oil. Separately melt the chocolate in a double broiler. Once melted, add the coconut and nut mixture. Mix together, then scoop into small clusters to a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer for a few minutes until the clusters harden. Take and out and store in a glass jar in the fridge. Great chocolate fix.
**Parchment paper can be composted.
I hope this has been a helpful list. If you have other zero waste snack ideas, let me know as I am always on the lookout for new flavors.