Since having a kid 2 years ago (2 years ago? whaaaat!), I’ve noticed that the amount of waste we make has, as it does with children, gone up. Some of this is unavoidable, but some of it has just become bad habit. Namely, the waste situation in our home.
Before Ruthie, I had things organized a bit better and we had a bigger kitchen, so it was easier to find places for our waste in the blue/black/green/compost bins. Lately, it seems our garbage bin is piling high and our green bin just sits there, barely close to half full. Something had to change. The more I understand the impact of that wastefulness, as well as realizing the amount of waste that comes from having a toddler, the more guilty I feel. As a result, I’ve been trying harder and harder to get more life out of the food we buy, because we all know that food isn’t cheap and we may as well be dumping our wallets into the garbage when we waste it. So we’ve been working hard to change our bad habits and make smarter choices when it comes to our waste.
A few things we’ve discovered through this are:
1. Kale Stems make a zingy, crunchy topping for tacos and other dishes when pickled (more on that soon)
2. Strawberry tops, once washed, can be tossed into your water bottle or soda water to gently flavour it and make it more exciting than regular old water
3. Carrot tops make a delicious addition to tabbouleh
4. When straining yogurt, the byproduct, acid whey, can be used to make gut-friendly sodas full of good bacteria and enzymes
5. Expiring fresh herbs can be put into ice cube trays and topped with water for beautiful ice cubes or olive oil as a starter for recipes or dressings
It’s been a gratifying experience and we’re noticing our garbage and green bins haven’t been filling up as quickly which only reassures us we’re moving in a better direction than we were.
This is my second month working with President’s Choice Black Label‘s #PlayWithYourFood campaign and I’ve been introduced to four innovative products that I’ve been able to play with in the kitchen and come up with some fun new recipes with. Last month I made a Antipasto & Strained Sheep’s Milk Yogurt Plate where we strained some sheep’s milk yogurt to create a thick, creamy base for our antipasto. The liquid we were left with when you strain yogurt is called Acid (or Sour) Whey. In keeping with my promise to myself to waste less, I wondered what I could do with this by-product rather than toss it down the drain.
To lacto-ferment something, in simple terms, means to use friendly bacteria, Lactobacillus, to ferment something. Lactobacillus has various strains and is present on the surface of all plants and are also common to the gastrointestinal tracts, mouths, and vaginas of humans and other animal species. These bacteria have the ability to convert sugars into lactic acid, which is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria as well as preserving the vitamins, enzymes and digestibility of fermented foods. Many of your favourite pickled foods are traditionally lacto-fermented. Dill pickles, saeurkraut and kimchi all get their tangy, distinct flavours from lacto-fermentation.
Here, I’ve used those beneficial bacteria to create a tangy, tropical natural soda using PC Black Label Passion Fruit Condiment. The sweet/sour condiment is made with real passion fruit juice as well as white wine vinegar, so the resulting soda tastes vaguely similar to a shrub, with the tangy vinegar flavour just barely coming through in the finished product. It reminds me a little of a sour beer, with some obvious funk and earthiness to it, too. On it’s own, it shines. Added to sparkling water, sangria, or like we did here, a shandy, it adds a sunny zing that plain old juice or soda alone wouldn’t. The added bonus is that it’s full of gut-friendly bacteria and enzymes that help you digest foods more effectively and absorb more nutrients from the food you eat. The shandy I’ve made with the soda is, again, very similar to the flavours you’d expect from a sour beer. It’s light and crisp, clean in the mouth, funky and sour and just lightly carbonated. It begs to be sipped on a warm summer evening over some salty snacks.
Since I’ve been having such a great time with the #PlayWithYourFood campaign with products from President’s Choice, I thought one of you might enjoy your very own to experiment with! Details on how to enter to win your own #PCBlackLabel Black Box below. The Winner will be announced on Friday June 30that 12pm.
::: GIVEAWAY :::
1. Tell me in the comments below how you would use one (or both) of the items in this month’s box >> Passion Fruit Condiment OR Toasted Sesame Caramel (which is HEAVENLY over charred pineapple and vanilla bean ice cream or added to your chicken wing sauce)
2. Be sure to name the product and use the hashtag #PlayWithYourFood and #PCBlackLabel in your comment
3. Tweet about the contest (1 extra entry per tweet) with “I’ve entered to win a #PCBlackLabel Black Box from @thegoudalife. Check it out: http://bit.ly/2t5Zir9 #PlayWithYourFood” and add an extra comment telling me you’ve tweeted. Passionfruit Whey Soda
makes 2 tall glasses, 4 Shandy
- 1 cup acid whey
- 1/2 cup PC Black Label Passion Fruit Condiment
- 1.5 liters filtered water
- 4 sprigs fresh mint
- 4 cups Passionfruit Whey Soda
- 2 tall cans pale ale