Healthy assortment of yellow foods

FOOD RECIPES

Homemade food helps you to avoid the disposable plastics that store-bought versions of these recipes typically come in. In our hometown of Flagstaff, Arizona, plastic yogurt cups are no longer recyclable and are the number one source of contamination that need to be sorted out and sent to the landfill. This sorting adds up to a lot of extra energy and time that in turn increases the costs of waste management. Keeping these plastics out of landfills and incinerators entirely protects our soil, our water, and our air quality. Many of the ingredients in the recipes can be found locally or are lighter to ship without added water weight, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In difficult economic times, it is a lot cheaper to purchase whole ingredients than to buy ready-made products. And for the time-strapped as well as cash-strapped, most of these recipes take less than 10 minutes of prep time (shorter than a trip to a grocery store). Considering making some of these recipes while watching your favorite TV show, listening to a podcast, or catching up with a loved one.

The Azulita Project encourages you to experiment with seasonings and use these food recipes as a template to create your own special recipes. They might just become the item that friends and family beg you to bring to parties and holidays, an expression of yourself that will be long remembered.

For a printer-friendly version of all these recipes, simply open the PDF linked here:

ZERO WASTE SOUR CREAM

Ingredients

  • 1⁄4 cup heavy whipping cream (choose cream in glass or plastic bottles that can be recycled instead of wax cartons)

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice from whole lemons

Equipment

  • Manual citrus juicer

Directions

  1. Cut lemon in half and juice with manual citrus juicer.

  2. Measure out ingredients and mix together ingredients in a glass jar.

  3. Place in the refrigerator uncovered for 24 hours. After 24 hours, the lemon juice will have thickened and “soured” your cream and be ready for use. Cover the sour cream with a lid if not immediately using. Since this recipe does not have the fillers of commercial brands, it will not have the same thick consistency, but will still taste like sour cream. It also does not have preservatives, so make sure to refrigerate and use within two weeks. Modify the amounts of whipping cream and lemon juice if you only need a few dollops of sour cream within a two-week period. Leftover lemon juice can be frozen in an ice cube tray and placed in a reusable freezer bag for later use.

HONEY VANILLA GREEK-STYLE YOGURT

Ingredients

  • 5 cups milk (whole, 2%, skim, or plant-based) (choose glass or recyclable plastic bottles)

  • 3 tablespoons yogurt (must have same fat content as milk) or yogurt starter

  • 3 tablespoons powdered milk (optional for thicker Greek-style yogurt)

  • 3 tablespoons honey (available in some bulk bin sections)

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Equipment 

  • Kitchen thermometer

  • Yogurt maker, slow cooker, or instant pot 

Directions

1. Measure out 5 cups of milk in a saucepan and cook at medium heat. Place the kitchen thermometer in  the middle of the saucepan and wait until it’s heated to 180°F. This will take approximately 7 minutes depending on your stove. A little higher temperature than 180°F is okay, but you don't want the milk to reach 212°F.

2. Once the milk has reached 180°F, place the saucepan in the refrigerator until the milk reaches 115°F. This should take approximately 15 minutes.  

3. Remove from the refrigerator. Add 3 tablespoons of yogurt to the milk. The more active cultures listed in the brand of yogurt, the more active cultures your homemade version will have. If using a yogurt starter, follow directions on the package. 

(Optional) Add 3 tablespoons of powdered milk for Greek-style consistency. Add 3 tablespoons of honey and 1⁄2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (both optional for sweetness).

4.Mix ingredients well. Take Milk and yogurt mixture and pour into the yogurt maker. Turn on and program for 7-9 hours (longer time=more tart yogurt). 

5. If you don’t have a yogurt maker, you can also use a slow cooker or instant pot. Place the milk and yogurt mixture in a slow cooker on the low heat setting or program the instant pot for 115°F The goal is to keep the yogurt/milk mixture in the 115-120°F range for at least 7 hours.

ZERO-WASTE HUMMUS

Ingredients

  • One 15 oz can of garbanzo beans or chickpeas (available dried in bulk bins) 

  • One Tablespoon of Sesame Seeds (available in bulk bins)

  • Two Tablespoons of Sesame Oil

  • Two Tablespoons of Lemon or Lime Juice

  • 2-3 garlic cloves

  • Dash of Paprika

  • (Optional) other sauces or vegetables to replicate your favorite store-bought brand.

Equipment

  • Manual citrus juicer

  • Food processor or blender

Instructions

  1. Cut lemon or lime in half and squeeze out juice.

  2. Put above ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

*Tip: Sriracha, red peppers, carrots, and lots of different flavors can be added to this recipe. I like to swap out the lemon/lime juice with my favorite balsamic vinegar to give this recipe a distinct rich flavor.

ICE CREAM

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream (choose glass or plastic bottle that can be recycled)

  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Mix-ins such as bananas, honey, peanut butter, chocolate chips, oreos, chocolate syrup (optional)

  • Hand mixer or stand mixer

  • Freezer-safe bowls

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip the cream until stiff peaks occur. Be careful not to over-whip. The cream will be done when you pull the beaters out and the cream stands on its own.

  2. In a separate freezer-safe bowl, whisk the vanilla into the sweetened condensed milk. Gently fold in the whipped cream with a spatula, slowly incorporating the two mixtures together so it stays light and aerated.

  3. If making individual flavors, scoop the cream mixture into a freezer-safe bowl and gently fold in your desired mix-ins.

  4. Freeze for 4-6 hours.

*Tip: Mix Peanut Butter with the heavy cream in the mixer so it stays soft when frozen. Filtered honey will mix easier than raw, unfiltered honey.

ZERO-WASTE PESTO

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fragrant herbs (such as sage, basil, rosemary, mint, or cilantro) 

  • 1 cup greens (such as the tops of carrots, beets, radishes, or kohlrabi; broccoli or cauliflower leaves; wilted spinach or mixed greens) 

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • ½ cup of grated parmesan (powdered parmesan is fine if that’s what’s available) 

  • ¼ cup of nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, pecans, peanuts or the traditional pine nut)

  • ¾ cup of olive oil, extra-virgin olive oil, or sunflower oil

  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend together until a smooth consistency. Try experimenting with different herbs and nuts for a combination that suits your taste.

  2. Take whatever leftover greens on hand to add as a base for the different flavors. Pesto will freeze well in reusable containers.

ZERO-WASTE VEGETABLE BROTH

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon reusable freezer bag of vegetable scraps (peelings, cut ends, stalks, onion skins)

  • Seasonings on hand to taste (salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, bayleaf, oregano, garlic, basil, parsley)

  • 14 cups of water

Directions

  1. Wash any peelings, vegetable ends, stalks, or onion skins during food prep and place in a one gallon freezer bag in the freezer. When you have a gallon of scraps filled, you are ready to make broth.

  2. In a large stockpot (at least 6 quarts) add vegetable scraps, 14 cups of water, and seasonings. Be generous with seasonings, but don’t worry if you don’t have one of the seasonings listed above.

  3. Cover the stockpot with a lid and bring to a boil.

  4. Once boiling, reduce the heat to simmer, and cook uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

  5. After one hour, remove from heat. Remove vegetable scraps with a slotted spoon and then pour vegetable stock through a colander to remove smaller vegetable scraps. Vegetable stock will last 1 week in refrigerator or can be frozen.

*Tip: Commercial vegetable stock usually contains onions, carrots, and celery. Onion skins will provide the same flavoring and lovage can be substituted for celery if available. Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Green Beans, Zucchini, and Beets leave a more bitter taste to the vegetable stock if used.

REUSABLE BEESWAX WRAP

Ingredients

  • 100 percent cotton fabric, organic if possible

  • 2 teaspoons pine resin

  • 2 ½ tablespoons of.beeswax pastilles or grated

  • 1 tablespoon jojoba oil

Equipment

  • Large popsicle stick or other compostable stirrer

  • Parchment paper

  • Dedicated paint brush

Directions

  1. Wash and dry fabric.

  2. Cut fabric into desired shapes and sizes.

  3. Place pine resin, beeswax, and jojoba oil in a glass measuring cup and set the measuring cup in a saucepan.

  4. Add enough water to the saucepan that the water level is above the ingredients in the measuring cup. Place on medium-high heat.

  5. Allow ingredients to melt and meld together, about 20 to 25 minutes.

  6. Preheat oven to 300° F.

  7. Cover a large cookie sheet with a sheet of parchment paper larger than the biggest piece of fabric.

  8. Spread a fabric piece (or pieces, depending on size) flat on parchment paper.

  9. Brush mixture lightly onto fabric. It might solidify, which is fine, as you'll be able to redistribute later. It’s easy to oversaturate, so remember that it’s easier to add more than take the excess away.

  10. Put the cookie sheet in the oven for 2 minutes, or until the fabric looks wet.

  11. Remove from the oven and look for any dry spots. Brush mixture over these uncovered areas, applying more coating as needed. If you notice unevenness after adding more, you can place it back in the oven for a few minutes to smooth.

  12. Place the next wrap(s) you are going to make on top of the finished fabric to soak up any excess coating mixture. Work quickly, as you don’t want the wax to begin to solidify.

  13. Once you’ve pressed any excess onto the new cloth, peel apart and hang your completed wrap(s) to dry. Drying only takes a few minutes.

  14. Repeat steps with additional pieces of fabric until you are out of coating mixture.

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