One way to cut down on packaged products is to make more food from scratch. I have an amazing cookbook, “The Homemade Vegan Pantry,” that has been mostly collecting dust on my shelf for the last year. It has recipes for all kinds of staples, from ketchup to homemade vegan cheese.
While it seems intimidating and time-consuming things like condiments, breads, and meat substitutes are really pretty easy to make. Today I set aside some time to prep things from scratch:
- Refried beans
- Almond milk
- Non-dairy yogurt
- Burger buns
- Vegan sausages
This was my first time making homemade almond milk and yogurt, and it was very simple. With just two cups of raw almonds I was able to make creamer for my coffee for the week, four cups of yogurt, and almond meal that I can use for baking.
On the other hand, my food prep was not trash-free. The recipe for the sausages required that they be wrapped in foil, the granola needed parchment paper, and making yogurt required a one-time investment in a package of yogurt cultures. I also wondered about energy use – the efficiency of making small batches versus large batches in a factory setting. I think net it’s still less waste overall, plus I enjoy making things from scratch, so I plan to keep it up as much as I have time for.