Snack foods, while tasty and handy and fundamental to the existence of many of us, are typically NOT low waste. They are often individually packaged and the packaging is rarely recyclable. Do not give up hope, my fellow snack addicts, there are low waste options waiting to be discovered. Bulk buying and imagination are your best tools. Here are my favourite low waste snack options:
- Popcorn – This is my go-to snack. Kernels (bought in bulk) and popped in a pot on the stove with oil (also bought in bulk). If you aren’t able to buy kernels in bulk, look for the largest possible container. Most sources say that kernels can last over a year as long as they’re stored in an airtight container. So stock up, and reduce your packaging!
- Trail mix – Most trail mix ingredients can be found in the bulk section. If that’s not an option, I give you all my sympathy as well as my full support to buy the packaged trail mix because no one is perfect and trail mix is delicious and easy.
- Chocolate chips – Who says you have to use chocolate chips for baking? Grab a handful of chocolate chips (bought, of course, in bulk) and enjoy your sugar rush.
- Fruit – Fruit is another of my go-to snacks. If you choose fruits that aren’t packaged in plastic, like bananas, oranges, or melons, it’s easy to avoid waste. If you don’t compost yet, you can even focus on fruits that have the least amount of food waste, like apples and pitted fruits. Eat fruit on its own or dip apples in peanut butter or drizzle maple syrup or sprinkle sugar on grapefruit.
- Vegetables – Vegetables are also an easy snack. As with fruit, try to find vegetables without packaging like celery, carrots or bell peppers. If you cut up your vegetables when you have a bit of time and energy, grabbing veggies to snack is even easier! There are also lots of dips you can buy or make. A favourite of mine is hummus, which can be made with bulk dry chickpeas cooked in a slow cooker.
- Roasted Chickpeas – You can also use those slow cooked chickpeas to make roasted chickpeas! I’ve heard they’re delicious if made in an air fryer but I haven’t tried that yet!
- Energy Balls – When I need a little boost of energy, I’m thrilled when I have a bunch of pre-made energy balls in my kitchen. These can be made with chocolate, peanut butter, hemp hearts, oats, or any similar ingredients that can typically be found in the bulk section. You can make a huge batch to freeze and use them slowly. There are so many recipes for energy balls out there, or you can create your own!
- Toast – A very quick snack is toast! You can add peanut butter, honey, or jam or go the savory route with cheese. For an even easier snack, avoid toasting and just spread your ingredients on a slice of bread! If you’re feeling fancy, you can step things up and make French toast, there are lot of bread and topping options for that. And as a bonus, to avoid the bread bag you can bake your own bread in the oven or with the help of a bread maker.
- Oatmeal – Usually thought of as a breakfast meal, oatmeal can be eaten anytime of the day and is an easy, quick, and versatile snack. You can add peanut butter, chia seeds, hemp hearts, honey, maple syrup, fruit, or anything else you can think of.
- Peanut Butter – Notice how peanut butter is a recurring ingredient? It’s so versatile and it can easily be made at home. You just put peanuts in a food processor and press start. That’s it. If you’re making it and it doesn’t seem smooth enough just blend it longer. The first time I made peanut butter, I didn’t let the food processor run long enough and it was a bit hard. The next time, I blended the peanuts longer and it got so smooth! It’s honestly magic. You can get roasted or unroasted peanuts, you can add honey or salt. A quick google search will bring up an assortment of recipes. My preferred way to make it is using just roasted peanuts.
Hopefully that gave you some ideas and if you have more to share please let us know your suggestions!