Healthy & Easy to make Zero Waste Snacks

When you first begin going zero waste, it can be challenging to think of parting with your favorite snacks and drinks. But sadly, most commercially available goods are wrapped in plastic packaging and lack proper nutritional value.

The great news is that zero waste snacks are incredibly easy to come by! This list of zero waste snack ideas might be a little new to you, but they are all easy to prepare and fun to consume! Plus, they’re not only good for the environment but your health as well.

Here are some of our favorite zero waste snacks that might find a place in your pantry or kitchen.

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Fruits Dipped In Chocolate

Fruits dipped in chocolate are some of our favorite zero waste snacks. They are delicious and can be used in a variety of ways.

You can use fresh or dried fruit, depending on your preference. However, keep in mind that dried ones may have already been sweetened, and thus, might need more of a bitter counterpart than sweet milk chocolate.

Here’s how you can quickly make these decadent and luscious snacks with less waste.

  • Buy chocolate chips in bulk, preferably dark chocolate. Buying them in bulk will mean less packaging and waste.
  • Cut thin quarters of apple and pears, but you can use whatever fruit you like (within reason). Think strawberries, dried mangos, apricots, and much more.
  • Melt the chocolate chips in a pan (on low heat) with a bit of double cream (around 1/5 of the chocolate). If you’re vegan and want to steer clear of the dairy, you can also use high-quality baking chocolate on its own and melt it in a bowl over some water on heat (otherwise known as a bain-marie).
  • Once melted, dip each quarter in the melted chocolate (not entirely, only about a third of each piece)
  • Put the chocolate-covered fruits on a plate or a baking sheet
  • Optional: sprinkle nuts, shredded coconuts, or white chocolate on the fruit as well.
  • Leave in a fridge for an hour.
  • Enjoy!

(Dried) Fruits

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Dried fruit is a no-brainer when it comes to snacks to ease you onto your zero waste journey. They’re easy to come by, simple to store, and can last you for months on end.

You can buy your favorite dried goodies from your local bulk bins and store them in your own containers at home. A glass jar or mason jar is an excellent place to start since they provide a good seal while also looking great in your pantry or kitchen.

Nuts

Like dried fruits, nuts are another zero waste snack idea that we strongly recommend. You can carry them to work or school in a small glass jar with nothing to cut or prepare. 

Even though they are highly caloric, they are a bomb of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. [1]

We, therefore, recommend eating a small handful of hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, or pecans once in a while. 

As a bonus, you can combine cashews, peanuts (if you aren’t allergic, of course), walnuts, dried cranberries, and raisins together with some chocolate chips for the perfect trail mix. There is no need to buy those pre-packaged ones from the store when you can easily make your own trail mix at home!

Yogurt

This option is delicious with a teaspoon of honey and grilled almonds on top; we recommend unsweetened, organic plain yogurt as it will fill you up for a longer period than its skimmed version. 

It will also allow you to control your sugar intake (a reasonable amount of honey only)—one of our preferred zero waste snacks, whether as a dessert or as part of breakfast.

Make sure to avoid the ones in plastic tubs and opt for those packaged in glass containers. If you don’t have access to zero waste options, you can make some yourself at home! It might take a little bit of effort, but once you’ve got a batch done, you can easily create a variety of snacks with it.

Here’s a guide on how you can make your own yogurt at home.

Crackers

If you cannot go a weekend without chips, then try rice crackers. However, be careful; they are not as healthy as you might think. 

Bear in mind that these snacks are often made with refined white rice and thus come with limited vitamins, proteins, and minerals. 

Experts also highlight that rice crackers have a high GI, [2] raising your blood sugar quickly. While these can be a good snack to eat once in a while, be careful of sodium levels and artificial flavors.

Hummus

A few carrot sticks to dip in hummus are one of our personal favorites when combining vegetables with other healthy ingredients. 

Humus is very popular in the Middle East and is easy to make: blend chickpeas with tahini (sesame seeds), lemon, garlic, and olive oil, and there you go with your delicious dip! 

We like this option as the ingredients can be found ‘as is’ or in bulk and can be matched with pretty much any vegetable. We recommend trying it with cucumber slices or carrot sticks for the perfect afternoon snack. It is also excellent with toasted whole wheat bread.

If you want to prepare something ready to go, you can place homemade hummus in glass jars and add some sticks of your favorite veggies on top.

Homemade Granola Bar

We are big fans of this simple vegan recipe with only five ingredients. Once prepared, you can keep them as such in the freezer. And no need for baking!

  • Chop one cup of pecans and add a cup of oats to a bowl
  • Blend around four (pitted) dates or half a cup of dried cranberries
  • Warm up two tablespoons of nut butter and syrup 
  • Gently stir all ingredients together
  • Take a glass or stainless dish; spread the texture equally, then press on it until it forms an even 1-inch thick rectangle (or whatever shape the container is in).
  • Put it in the freezer. Once you want to eat it, cut it into smaller equal pieces.

Popcorn

We are not talking about the kind you pop in the microwave and shake around madly. Contrary to what you might expect, stovetop popcorn is actually easy to make and is the perfect snack for busy people.

And unlike the processed foods you’ll find in the grocery store, you can make your popcorn zero waste and as healthy as you like.

Simply add some coconut oil, salt, and a few tablespoons of popcorn into a pot, and you’ll be good to go! You can even add some of your favorite spices to this zero waste snack.

Don’t forget to always put a lid on your pot. Otherwise, you’ll be spending more time cleaning than actually eating your snacks!

Infused Fruit Water

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Infused Fruit Water

Done with zero waste snacks, let’s move on to something that can quench your thirst.

Water infused with fruits or herbs makes it easier to avoid drinking regular soda. For those who want to drink homemade healthy beverages, try some of the suggestions below.  

Instructions for 1 L of Infused Water

Our preferred choice is filtered water with activated charcoal to avoid any waste (most conventional filtration systems contain plastic). For the fizzy addicts, feel free to use sparkling water instead (it is possible to find natural sparkling waters in glass bottles).

Our favorite: Citrus Fruits and Mint

  • Cut one lemon, one lime, and half of an orange into quarters
  • Squeeze them in a glass jar
  • Do not throw the fruits away; leave them in the jar
  • Add water and Mint (5 or 6 leaves)
  • Leave in the fridge for two to three hours

Berry lovers: Strawberry, Raspberry, Blueberry

Same logic as above (without the squeezing!): cut the strawberries and raspberries in two. 

For this option, we recommend at least 12 hours in the fridge to fully taste the fruity touch. Optional: dried lavender flowers.

Melon and Cucumber

Cut small pieces of cucumbers and melon. We recommend half of a cucumber and a third of a melon. 

Add water and leave it in the fridge for 12 hours before drinking. You will appreciate this option if you want to start with a lighter taste in your water. 

Cinnamon & Apples

If you love these two in desserts, do not hesitate to give them a try! Cut one and a half apples into cubes, add between one and two tablespoons of cinnamon, depending on your preference. 

Add water, leave in the fridge for 4 to 6 hours and enjoy!

Ginger & Pineapple

Cut half of the pineapple into small cubes. Add the water and the equivalent of a tablespoon of freshly grated ginger. Enjoy this drink after 4 to 6 hours in the fridge.

Vanilla & Pear

Cut an entire pear into small pieces. Split a vanilla pod in two and scrape the seeds with a knife. Add both the seeds and the pod to the water, leave 12 hours in the fridge, and enjoy!

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Final Thoughts

Going zero waste can be quite the challenge. Plastic is seemingly everywhere, and it seems like you have to swap everything you’ve grown dependent on! We hope this short list of zero waste snack options helps you create the perfect zero waste lifestyle.

Whether you want to swap conventional snacks for healthy ingredients that are readily available in bulk, like fresh fruit and vegetables, or, you want to challenge yourself by planning ahead, we hope you will join us in making your own snacks.

From kale chips and trail mix to fresh fruit and apple pie, there’s really no shortage of zero waste snacks to add to your growing list of recipes. And this list of our favorite zero waste snacks is only the beginning!

If you think you aren’t going to like any of our suggestions, you can also find snacks at your bulk aisle or zero waste store, thereby supporting a local business as well—a great option for when you don’t feel up to making your own snacks.

Resources:

  1. https://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/10/health/are-nuts-healthy-food-drayer/index.html
  2. https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/11/20/are-rice-crackers-healthy_a_23282439/?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYmluZy5jb20v&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAH5n-FDbKXpEQaVWvW1X61rYWN4km6ynfOzl17xy2Uup4vA45HA7bA7hrdQKOrRqpH81emjAif5WfjDFRcDGa_PsRo_zMpPfklMEcbzjtsLW2i0TqaSyjZsLXerZRO1n3FoLoYQI1jvDev1iki3drBEgKor3dfwv-mci6dhNOyRM
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