Overnight Oats

Zero waste living has the tendency to be super duper time consuming. We go though this mini check list each time we leave the house:

  • Phone, keys, wallet (the standard trinity!)
  • Fork (or spork!)
  • Metal water bottle
  • Reusable straw
  • Tupperware box (to either carry food round in or collect compost from snacks)
  • Tote bag
  • Coffee cup
  • Snacks/meals

Meal prepping can seem like a long, boring time consuming task. But, what if meal planning could be complete in under THREE MINUTES. Thats right, three minutes! Now that would be a game changer! 

180125-annarachelphotography-lowres-4937.jpg

Well, this one takes only three minutes. Yep, we timed it. Yep, we had nothing better to do. 

So, making this either the night before each time you want this, or doing a five day batch of them, you can feel super smug knowing that your breakfast:

  1. Saved you money
  2. Saved the planet from excess packaging
  3. Saved you binging on empty calories if you were to pop into McDonalds (yet again!) because you forgot your brekkie and want a sausage and egg McMuffin. (Talking of McMuffins, I should make a zero waste version of that!)

The basic recipe for this is the easiest thing ever, however, you can spruce it up anywhich way you like (we have put our favourite combos at the bottom).

The flavours seem to intensify overnight and the oats taste super creamy!

EQUIPMENT:

  • Clean jar. A cute swing top or standard jam jar will do. Heck, you could even use a jam jar that still has some jam in it to skip out the first step!
  • Um, that's it. Well except from spoons/knives to make the oats with, but we figured you'd already have them.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of milk, of your choosing. Dairy or otherwise. If you are interested in making your own, we have a pretty badass almond milk recipe
  • 1 cup of oats. I prefer rolled oats (the bigger ones) to steel cut, as I like the texture, but just go for what you like.
  • Roughly 3 tbsp of topping. Some topping ideas are; jam, peanut butter, Nutella, fruit, honey, dried fruit. You can create your own combination of these.
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt. This is to make to oats more creamy. It works fine without but does give a lovely thickness. If you're vegan, I'd recommend mashing a banana up in the place of yoghurt and mixing it through – it gives a creamy texture too!

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix your oats, milk and yoghurt (or mashed banana) together in a bowl or the jam jar you're going to use. 
  2. This step is recommended if you're trying to make an Instagram worthy brekkie. Layer one of your toppings such as jam or peanut butter, along the bottom of your jar. Then put the oats on, then top it off with another topping or two!
  3. If you're not going for the likes with this breakfast, just whack it all in the jar. Give it a little shakey shake, and leave it in the fridge until you want to eat it.
  4. You can either heat this up for two minutes or eat cold.

Note: Nuts and seeds are great added to this, but tend to go a little soft overnight. I prefer not adding them until the morning.

Anna's go to combo

Anna adds honey and banana to her oats and sprinkles dried fruits on after heating it up in the morning.

Charlotte's favourite combo

Charlotte puts a layer of peanut butter along the bottom, mixes the yoghurt, milk and oats with half a tsp of cinnamon and tops the jar with some chocolate chips. Charlotte eats hers cold. 

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #azerowastelife!

The 'whatever is in the cupboard' Granola

Oh, granola, we love you. Filling, yummy, delicious, granola... 

You can use granola to make cereal bars or overnight oats and it can be used to finish whatever you've got in your pantry.

Those last few hazelnuts hiding at the back, those oats that are obstructing the space of other goodness, seeds that simply taste boring on their own – whatever you want!

Plus – our granola recipe uses up the pulp from our Apple Juice recipe and the nut meal from our Almond Milk. If you have these two to hand, pull them out of the freezer the night before you want to make granola and if they were chilling in the fridge, bring them to room temperature before you start the recipe. 

Haven't made these recipes before or don't want to? Fear not! We've made some notes about possible adjustments below. 

180125-annarachelphotography-lowres-4726.jpg

So, the almond pulp

It needs to be oven dried on a low heat in the oven for a little while. This is because all the water from when it was used to make it into milk is probably still lurking in it – which was fine when it was in the fridge or freezer – but will make the granola soggy. 

All those who want soggy granola raise your hand...

*No-one raises their hand*

Just as I thought.

Spread your nut meal as thin as you can onto a tray, baking sheet or cast iron pan – whatever you have that is large and flat.

180125-annarachelphotography-lowres-4728.jpg

Pop it in the oven for 30 minutes on gas mark 4 and check for moisture at the end of this time. There shouldn't be any visible water, but it also should be beginning to brown, as this will come later with all the other ingredients. Extend the cooking time if necessary.

Now for the granola assembly

Equipment

  • Baking sheets or silicone mats
  • Microwave and an oven
  • One large and one smaller bowl

The 'whatever is in the cupboard' Granola

Author: A Zero Waste Life
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 1 litre
Dietary information: Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free (use suitable oats) can be adapted to Sugar Free, dependant on the sweeteners
Category: Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of oats. Old fashioned, flat oats work great for this
  • Approx. 1/2 cup of the leftover apple pulp (if you don't have this, increase the amount of sweetener you add in)
  • Approx. 1 cup of the now dried out almond meal (if you don't have this, sub for flaked or ground nuts)
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 2tbs maple syrup (or honey, agave syrup)
  • 1tbsp salt
  • 1 cup of mixed dried fruit
  • (Optional) 1/2 cup of mixed nuts

Instructions

  1. Combine the oats, seeds, almond meal and mixed nuts, if using, in a large bowl.
  2. Grab the smaller bowl. Mix the apple pulp with the cinnamon, 1tbsp maple syrup and salt. Once combined, zap it in the microwave for 2 minutes to combine completely.
  3. Mix the spiced apple pulp into the granola. Make sure everything is covered by the applesauce. Drizzle over the final tbsp of maple syrup.
  4. Lay the granola out on your baking sheets, pat as flat as you can. Place into a gas mark 3/170°C/300ºF oven.
  5. Check half-way through and move the granola around to make sure it is evenly browned. Extend cooking time as necessary.
  6. Allow to cool slightly and mix in the dried fruits.
  7. Pour into a large jar, and marvel at how great it feels to have baked your own granola!
180125-annarachelphotography-lowres-5016.jpg

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #azerowastelife!

Almond Milk

I get my dairy milk delivered to my door in glass bottles with foil caps. I order through Milk & More, but you can also find your local farm milk deliver at find me a milkman.net.

I paid for it, and know its coming, but some reason having food delivered to my door is always exciting and every time I holla:

"THE MILK IS HERE"

It's become a bi-weekly phrase in our house which never seems to get old. I love the process of the delivery, paying the farmers a fairer wage, drinking better milk and washing out the bottles to be returned and reused. 

180125-annarachelphotography-lowres-4565.jpg

However, there is some sad news... (or you'll think its an amazing convinience if you're a vegan). 

My boyfriend is dairy free. The poor soul.

So no cheese or yoghurt and none of that lovely milk off the float for him. 

Couples milk! The bottles weirdly represent our heights and shapes...

Couples milk! The bottles weirdly represent our heights and shapes...

In Birmingham, plant or nut milk is hard to come by in recyclable packaging. Those that are in glass bottles are in shops that we don't often go to, as they're not on our route to work. So the cheapest option is tetra pack nut milks...  which are not recyclable here. If we get this packaging, I wash them out, flatten them, and store them to give to my parents, who live in another city and can recycle them (they don't know I've been keeping a hold of these for them, so if you're reading this. surprise!)

We also can't get plant milks delivered to our house, like Anna could in her London flat, using the Mylk Man.

However, there is another solution! 

Making nut milks is an easy process. It has some soaking time involved, but the actual time where you have to put effort into the making process is very minimal. Like, I'm talking minutes, the same kind of time it takes to get the milk from a shop.

And the best part? If you get the nuts from a bulk shop, and already have a flip-cap bottle it produces no waste!

180125-annarachelphotography-lowres-4582.jpg

But how?! Well, because we've thought long and hard (ok, it was neither long, nor hard) and come up with ways to use up that left over nut pulp you will get at the end. You can use this in cakes, bakes, add it to porridge or you can add it to granola like we did.

Note about the cheese cloth: I purchased this muslin cloth in days gone by. It was actually meant to be a face cloth, so is made up of 2 squares of muslin, with a sewn edge running the whole way around. I snipped the seam on one corner, meaning that I can open up the cloth now, and pour liquids into the centre of the cloth, to strain things.

You can totally make your own, or you could just use a single piece of muslin. If you want minimal faff, just use a fine sieve.

Equipment

  • Flip-cap bottle
  • A funnel
  • A blender
  • A jug
  • Cheesecloth aka a piece of muslin – you can just use a sieve if you'd prefer
  • Bowl

This can be stored in the fridge for 3-5 days and it freezes really well... just leave space at the top of the bottle so the liquid can expand. Just letting you know as I learnt this the hard way.

Zero Waste Almond Milk


Author: A Zero Waste Life
Soaking time: 8 hours minimum
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
Yield: 1 litre
Dietary information: Vegan
Category: Drinks

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of almonds (or cashews, peanuts, even oats work well)
  • 1L of water

Yep, that's it.

Instructions

  1. Cover the almonds in a generous amount of fresh water. Soak the nuts in a bowl for 8 hours, or overnight.
  2. Drain off the water, add the nuts to the blender.
  3. Blend! For about a minute. Use the pulse function if you have one.
  4. Pour the milk into the cheesecloth.
  5. Suspend the cheesecloth from a height to let gravity work its magic. A cupboard handle works well.
  6. Leave it to do its stuff (maybe 30 minutes or so).
  7. Get all the stress of your day out by squeezing the remaining milk from the cloth.
  8. Reserve the nut meal. Either keep it in the fridge or freezer. or put it on the compost heap if you'll never use it.
  9. Using the jug or funnel, pour the almond milk into the flip cap bottle.
  10. Enjoy! 

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #azerowastelife