March 06, 2010

Zero Waste Recipes

These are recipes of items that I have not been able to find in bulk or as a refill, items that our household “can’t live without”. We have tried and tested many recipes but these are the ones that have made the cut because they tasted good and worked best for us (which is why I won’t give the instructions on how to wash your hair with baking soda, or make cheese from kefir). Most importantly my recipes only require very few ingredients (all available in bulk, except for the yogurt starter) and are easy/quick to make. Every home is different: you might not find the toothpowder to your liking, and can find more options (with more ingredients) online. Experiment, have fun and make quantities that last!


Tooth powder:
2 tb baking soda
1/8 ts white stevia powder
In a parmesan shaker
(for my shaker pictured, it takes 16tb baking soda, 1 ts stevia)

Hair Spray:
2-4 lemons sliced
Cover with water
Simmer for 30 min
Pour in spray bottle
Add 1tb rhum or vodka

Vitamin E balm:
1 tb beeswax
4 tb vitamin E (a friend gave me some but you can find sesame oil in bulk. It has a high concentration of vitamin E, and does not carry the strong smell)
Pour in small tin (got mine from Container Store)
Let cool
I use this balm on under eye, lips, hair tips, and home applications that call for Vaseline, like greasing up our attic ladder...

Lip/Cheeks Stain:
Cook beets, as you normally would, in a bit of water (eat the beets)
Reduce the left over juice until it thickens
Add a splash of vodka
Pour into a glass roll-on


Ironing Starch:
1 pint water
1 tb cornstarch
In a spray bottle

Drain Cleaner:
¼ c. baking soda in your drain
Followed by ½ c. white vinegar

Multi Purpose Cleaner:
1 ½ ts. castile soap (optional, for scent)
3 ts. white vinegar
4 c. water
In a spray bottle.

Soak ¾ c. yellow mustard seeds in ¾ c. white vinegar + ½ c. white wine, in a canning jar
Blend (immersion blender) with salt and 2 ts honey
Add water to reach your preferred consistency

Vanilla Extract:
Combine 2 vanilla beans chopped, ½ c. brandy, ¼ water
Steep for 3 days
Pour in glass bottle

Hot Sauce:
Blend ½ c. chiles (serrano or jalapeno), 2/3 c. vinegar, 1 ¾ ts salt
Steep for 3 days
Pour in glass bottle

Soak 2 c. soy beans overnight
Blend (immersion blender) with 12 c. water
Strain and squeeze in handkerchief into a large pot
Add sugar and vanilla to taste
Bring to a boil
Boil for 10min
Let cool
Pour in a glass (Straus Creamery) milk bottle
Lasts a week

I was making soy milk for my older son only, who does not like the taste of regular milk, but as I noticed his use decreasing over the last few months, he finally told me that he had had enough of it and did not want it anymore... He added that it would save me time... what a sweet mama's boy.

Yogurt (you need a thermometer):
Heat oven to 100-150, turn light on
Heat 4 c. milk on the stove to 185F
Pour milk in a French or mason canning jar
Cool milk to 110F
Add yogurt starter or ¼ c. yogurt that you already have
Put in oven, turn oven off, keep light on (to keep temp at 110F)
(to save energy, you can also drop the jar in a 110F water bath in a closed pressure cooker)
Wait 4-6 hrs

(You can also make cheese from your yogurt, by hanging it in a handkerchief and letting it drain... it's a lot of milk for a tiny bit of soft cheese though, not economical when you use Straus Creamery milk)

I am not making yogurt on a regular basis anymore either, I can't seem to get past the starter's packaging and am hanging onto my last packet. I hope to find yogurt starter in bulk soon!

On my way to make more hot sauce! (my bottle looks pretty low on the picture...)