Homemade peanut butter granola

I used to be a real granola fan. But as it’s pretty much impossible to buy loose granola, I gave up my brekkie favourite. Unfortunately I couldn’t stop craving it. That’s probably not suprising – store-bought granola does not only come in plastic packaging, it’s also full of sugar, That explains why I was so hooked on it.

The good news is: There is a much better alternative you can make in less than 5 minutes – homemade granola. That’s granola minus the excess sugar and packaging. Plus you save heaps of money.

Here’s my favourite peanut butter granola recipe – for all those who wanna ditch store-bought granola and eat better!

You need:

160 g of oats

2 TS of flax seed

1 TS of chia seed (optional, can be substituted by another TS of flax seed)

a pinch of vanilla

a pinch of cinnamon

a pinch of salt

50 g of peanut butter

40 g of agave juice or other sweetener

30 g of margarine

Mix the dry ingrendients in a bowl. Heat up the wet ingredients in the microwave or a pot and mix them well. Add them to the dry ingredients and mix again. Then bake everything in the oven for about 15-20 min at 160°C. Let the granola cool down and store it in an air tight container.

And now: Enjoy!

granola

P.S. You can of course use any other nut butter in this recipe, too – for example cashew, hazelnut or almond butter.

 

These boots were made for walking

Well, they were, but they also happen to make great flower or plant pots. Thanks to my friend Dave who moved to a house without a balcony or backyard I’m now the owner of a bell pepper plant in a old faux leather boot. Thanks! I didn’t even have to put holes in the sole – the boots were screwed up enough already. So save your old shoes and turn your backyards into “organic shoe shops” 🙂

20140904_135302

What to do with leftover bread

Six years ago I spent three months in Ireland and stayed with a lovely family in Limerick for a few weeks. During this time I did not only fall in love with Irish soda bread and tried bread and butter pudding for the first time, I also made “Knödel”, a traditional German dish using leftover bread. “Every country with a bread-making tradition has their own unique way of using up leftover bread”, my host mum Deirdre noticed. I totally agree. But for some reason leftover bread does not seem to be part of our diet anymore.

In most western countries bread is the or at least one of the most thrown-away food (see here for example) – although there is so much you can do with leftover bread – French toast, breadcrumbs, croutons and the above-mentioned bread and butter pudding or German dumplings. I can only guess that one of the reasons people don’t use leftover bread is time. So my following recipe is dedicated to all those who have little of that –  and my wise Irish host mum who knew so much about bread. So that none of us ever has to throw out bread anymore – plus the recipe is of course plastic-free.

Breakfast tomato bread

You need:

a slice of old bread

a medium-sized tomato (or two small tomatos)

a tsp of olive oil

green pesto (optional)

a clove of garlic

salt

pepper

basil

Mix olive oil and pesto (or just use olive oil). Brush the bread with the olive oil mix and rub the bread with garlic. Chop the tomato in small slices and put it on top. Bake in the oven for about 5-10 minutes and add some fresh basil or other herbs – so easy and good!

Colourful tomato bread

By the way, if you are looking for some inspiration: Love Food Hate Waste and Zu gut für die Tonne are great resources.

 

Bin art in Melbourne

Oops, and she did it again – Yep, I’m pleading guilty, I got eaten up by lazyness and didn’t update ingloriousplastics. One of the reasons for this can be found on the other side of the world – I visited my lovely Aussie family/in-laws in Australia (or to be precise I ate my way through Aussieland) for the first time in 3 1/2 years. While stopping in Melbourne for a couple of days I noticed these funny pieces of “bin art”. I can’t think of any better way to motivate people not to litter. And this is just one of the reasons why I love Australia! To be continued soon – and this time I mean it. I’ve got lots of ideas and recipes waiting for you!

masterpiece of bin art

masterpiece of bin art

... and more

… and more

Long time no see

Hello again,

after vanishing from the blogging world for the last couple of months I finally found the motivating to write again. I do have to admit I got a little lazy, but I needed some time off to regain my creative energy after an exhausting start of the year. So instead of blogging I moved houses, went on holidays and spent lots of fun nights with friends.

One of the most memoreable ones took place about three weeks ago when I went to the first “Schnippeldisko” of my life. The event was organized by Slow Food Youth Düsseldorf and intended to raise awareness for food waste. So my friends (read Amanda’s beautiful article about it) and I spent the night dancing, drinking and chopping heart-shaped potatoes, weird-looking radishes and bent carrots. The food came from a local farmer who explained to us it wasn’t perfect enough for supermarkets, so it would normally have to get thrown out – a thing that is just absolutely outrageous and sad, especially if you take into account that nothing was wrong with the food apart from its shape. The “Schnippel-dinner” proved that: The ingredients were used to cook delicious soup, a yummy side salad and a fruit salad as dessert for everyone.

Schnippeldisko

As a result of this night I’m trying to avoid food waste even harder which led to some crazy combinations on my dinner table. For example I’ve been eating nothing but asparagus for dinner for the last five days (asparagus with hollandaise sauce turned into asparagus soup turned into asparagus pasta sauce turned into asparagus sauce for German dumplings) – and suddenly my creativity is back 🙂 So before I vanish from the blogging sphere again (I decided not to overdo it, so I won’t post as regularly as I used to), I want to share an easy summer recipe with you – gazpacho soup.

It’s a great leftover recipe for using up old bread and it’s really super-quick. For 4-6 portions use:

1-2 stale bread rolls or slices of bread

5 medium-sized tomatos

1 green or yellow bell pepper

2/3 of a cucumber

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp of lemon juice

1 TS of balsamic vinegar

salt

black pepper

parsley for decoration

optional: 1 tsp of sugar (only if the soup is too sour for you)

Soak the bread in a bit of water and let it get all soaked up for about 20 to 45 minutes (depending on how stale it is). Pour hot water over the tomatos and peel them. Then chop everything up and blend it together. Add the bread and blend again. Use tomato cubes and parsley for decoration.

Enjoy!

Gazpacho

 

Creative break

Hey everyone,

you might have noticed that I haven’t posted anything for a week. After more than a year of posting articles twice or even three or four times a week, I need a bit of a creative break. I will be back with more plastic-related stories, recipes and ideas in April. If you get bored in the meantime, check out my column on The bird’s new nest. The next article for “Mein (fast) plastik-freies Leben” will be online on the 10th of March.

See you in April!

A little break

Bin it where you bought it!

Why we should all leave excess packaging at its origin

Too much to throw out?

In my most recent article on The bird’s new nest (text will be online tonight) I remembered the first time I tried to shop plastic-free. The most frustrating thing was that I often got fooled by eco-friendly looking packaging – for example plastic layers hidden in cardboard boxes. As annoying as this was, I figured out what to buy and what not to buy pretty quickly.

Sometimes it helps if you shake or squeeze the packaging carefully (you can hear the plastic inside), but this method doesn’t always prove to be successful. So even though I’ve got enough experience at buying things without plastic now, it still happens to me from time to time that I accidentally end up with a double-packaged product. So what to do? My advice is to dispose of the excess packaging as close to its origin as possible – in this case the shop where you bought the product. All supermarkets in Germany provide recycling bins (as far as I know this goes for most other European countries, too), so it’s not a difficult thing to do. Of course this doesn’t make the packaging disappear, but you can set a sign that you don’t want and need several layers of it.  On top of that the shop has to face the problem of higher costs for higher amounts of waste.

This is only a very small step, but in my opinion it’s the best thing you can do if you buy an overly packaged product – plus it doesn’t fill up your bins at home. I know that some of you might find it a bit controversial – of course it’s always better not to actually buy anything overly packaged – but I’m a pragmatic person. Small steps are better than nothing!

So what do you think about this? Am I being to pragmatic? Have you ever left excess packaging at the supermarket? Would love to hear what it’s like in your country.