Quick and Tasty Zero-Waste Snacks
You’re in the middle of live video training and everything is going great. The WiFi is cooperating, your notes are color-coordinated, and everyone is following the agenda. Then your stomach growls loud enough to break your focus. You realize you need a snack—and fast.
Store-bought snacks are convenient. But many come with preservatives, processed ingredients, and packaging that are not beneficial to our health or the environment.
Luckily, making your own snacks is easier than you’d think. We’ve gathered a few of our favorite DIY recipes for you to try. All you need are a few ingredients and a little time—then you’ll have convenient, wholesome snacks ready for all your snacking needs.
1. Chocolate Covered Bananas
Must-Have Materials: Bananas, chocolate chips or melting chocolate, sticks
Optional Materials: Toppings like nut butter, chopped nuts, coconut, dried fruit
Time To Make: 2 hours to freeze bananas + 10 minutes active time
Mess Meter: 2/5
These sweet bananas taste like something straight out of a carefree summer afternoon. But they make a delicious, healthy treat any day of the year.
You’ll need 3 bananas that are ripe but not mushy. Cut them in half, slide onto popsicle sticks, and freeze for 2 hours or until completely solid. Letting them freeze all the way will make the next step easier.
Once the bananas are ready, melt one cup of chocolate chips in a microwave-safe mug or jar. Prepare your toppings ahead of time—try dried coconut, chopped nuts, or your favorite nut butter. Then dip your bananas in chocolate, sprinkle with the toppings, and enjoy!
2. Crispy Kale Chips
These crispy kale chips are a healthy alternative to standard chips and are a wonderful way to use up any kale leaves, if they are getting a little old.
Must-Have Materials: Kale, olive oil, salt
Optional Materials: Chilli flakes, garlic cloves, cumin seeds
Time To Make: 5 minutes prep, 5 minutes cook
Mess Meter: 1/5
Start by washing your kale and discarding any large stems. Drizzle your olive oil over the leaves and sprinkle with salt. Give the leaves a good coating. If you want to add any spice, add the chilli flakes, garlic cloves (leave these whole), and cumin seeds.
Grill in the oven at a high heat for 5 minutes, until the leaves go crispy.
3. No-Bake Homemade Chewy Granola Bars
Granola bars are a staple snack for many of us—and no wonder, they’re yummy and convenient! Making your own is less expensive and better for the planet (think of all the wrappers you’ll save). For more variety, try swapping the mini chocolate chips for nuts or dried fruit.
Must-Have Materials: Raw or brown sugar, honey, coconut oil, natural crunchy peanut butter, vanilla extract, crisped rice cereal, old-fashioned oats, ground flax seed, mini chocolate chips
Time To Make: 20 minutes
Mess Meter: 2/5
Add the following ingredients to a large bowl and mix to combine:
- 4 cups crisped rice cereal
- 2 2/3 cups old fashioned oats (use gluten-free if needed)
- 2/3 cups ground flax seed
Next, combine these wet ingredients in a saucepan:
- 1/2 cup raw sugar or brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups honey
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute to dissolve the sugars, stirring constantly. Take off the heat and add in:
- 1 cup natural crunchy peanut butter (or sub other nut/seed butter)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and let it cool. While it’s cooling, prepare a baking sheet by greasing and lining with parchment paper. Stir in the chocolate chips then spread the mixture onto the parchment paper.
Cover the pan with a second layer of parchment paper and use another pan to press until flat. Let it cool in the fridge or on the counter, then slide the parchment paper off and cut into rectangles. Try not to eat them all in one sitting!
4. One-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Crackers
These crackers are crisp, wholesome, and customizable. You can adjust the seasonings to your liking and pair them with your favorite dip or toppings. If you don’t need to eat gluten-free, you can substitute regular all-purpose flour. Or you can add nutritional yeast for a little vegan cheesy goodness.
Must-Have Materials: Gluten-free all-purpose flour, almond meal, baking powder, flaxseed meal, sea salt, neutral oil, water
Optional Materials: Fresh chopped rosemary, garlic powder
Time To Make: 5 minutes prep time + 16-22 minutes bake time
Mess Meter: 2/5
Add the following dry ingredients to a food processor or mixing bowl and pulse or whisk to combine:
- ¾ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup almond meal
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary (optional)
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder (optional)
Next, add 3.5 Tbsp of neutral oil and pulse or use a pastry cutter to combine. Add 3-5 Tbsp of cold water, one tablespoon at a time. It should be slightly sticky and not crumbly.
Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper to ⅛ inch thickness. Then use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into small squares. Freeze the squares for about 10 minutes to firm the dough up then transfer the squares to a fresh piece of parchment, spaced about ½ inch apart.
Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 16-22 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool and serve or store covered at room temperature for up to a week.
5. Avocado & Cumin-Spiced Hummus
This hummus is great to make if you have any ripe avocados lying around the house, which you want to use before they go black. It's super easy to make and they make a wonderful topping to the gluten-free crackers in the recipe before!
Must-Have Materials: 1 avocado (cut in half, skin and stone removed), 1x can of chickpeas (drained & rinsed), 1 garlic clove (crushed), 1 lemon (juiced), 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, sea salt, pepper, pestle-and-mortar
Optional Materials: Chilli flakes (if you like it spicy!)
Time To Make: 15 minutes
Mess Meter: 1/5
Start by toasting your cumin seeds in a pan on high heat, for a few minutes to bring their flavor out. Grind them up in a pestle-and-mortar (or a spice blender, if you have one).
Next, add the avocado, chickpeas, garlic, lemon, olive oil, and cumin seeds to a blender. Give it a good mix.
Add enough salt and pepper to taste - and voila, that's it! Serve on crackers, toast, or with any veggies which you have in the fridge - like carrots, peppers, celery and cucumber sticks.
6. Healthy Banana Bread
If you have a sweet tooth, then this banana bread is a great way to satisfy that craving, and a great way to use up some old, ripe bananas too! This banana bread is sweetened with all-natural ingredients (maple syrup and the ripe bananas) and it's free from refined-flour too. It also uses coconut oil rather than whole sticks of butter - which is not only vegan but healthier too. You can also substitute the eggs for flax-eggs if you're vegan!
This banana bread is plain but you can spice it up by adding any toasted nuts, dark chocolate chips or any dried fruits if you fancy!
Must-Have Materials: Coconut oil, maple syrup (or honey), eggs, bananas, milk (any type you like - I love cashew), baking soda, whole wheat flour, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, 9×5-inch loaf tin
Optional Materials: Nuts, chocolate chips and/or dried fruits
Time To Make: 20 minutes prep, 55-60 minutes bake
Mess Meter: 2/5
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a blender, mix together the following:
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
- ½ cup honey or maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of mashed bananas (about 2 large bananas)
- ¼ cup milk (your choice)
(If your coconut oil solidifies when you add the cold ingredients, leave the bowl in a warm place for a few minutes - like on top of your stove - or pop it in the microwave for about 10 seconds)
Then add in the following ingredients and mix:
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Finally, stir in 1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour until just combined (some lumps are ok - you don’t want to overwhisk though!)
If you add any optional extras like nuts, chocolate chips or dried fruit, fold them in now.
Pour your batter into the greased loaf pan and sprinkle a touch of cinnamon on top. For a pretty swirled effect on top, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.
Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool the loaf in the tin for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.
The Sweet Moments of Life
Whether you’re snacking on homemade crackers or a bag of trail mix from the store, snacktime is an important part of the day. A balanced snack helps keep you fueled so you have the energy to tackle everything else—and taking a moment to pause helps recharge your mind, too.
Making your own snacks adds even more benefits. You choose what goes into your recipes, so you can adapt them to your own needs. Homemade snacks help keep waste out of the environment. And trying something new can be a fun activity and give you a change of pace. :)
Do you have any favorite snack recipes or happy memories of time in the kitchen? If you do, we’d love to hear from you!
Check out our range for zero waste kitchen...
REUSABLE UNPAPER TOWELS
Need to wipe up any mess that your loved little one may have caused? These reusable UNPaper Towels are a perfect eco-friendly alternative to paper towels.
REUSABLE PRODUCE BAGS
Store your fruit and veg in these reusable mesh produce bags! You'll get a pack of 6 for a variety of sized items. Plus, you can use them for storage around the home too!
REUSABLE FOOD HUGGERS
Just pop your half-eaten fruit & veg in the hugger and the silicone seal will keep the air out, to keep your avocado, lemon, or anything else fresher - for longer!
Writer, baker, and lover of nature.