This was one of the hardest cravings to satisfy, without employing single-use plastics. Crisps are delicious, but try finding some that don’t come in a plastic bag – and we drew the line at purchasing a deep fat fryer to make our own. So what alternatives could we find?
First up, we discovered seeds. We bought a mixture of pumpkin and sunflower seeds from our local zero waste store and thought they were pretty good raw – but then (doh!) we realised there was an easy way to enhance them. We drizzled them with a mixture of rape seed oil, paprika, salt and pepper and roasted them in the oven for twenty minutes or so. The result: obviously, they tasted twice as good. We then started roasting the seeds from the butternut squash we regularly use to make soup and adding that to the mix. Melon seeds soon joined the party – although these can be a bit hit and miss. Still – delicious.
Next up, my mind turned (as it invariably does) to peanuts. We were already purchasing them directly from the Eco Larder, but – raw and blanched – once again, they tasted a bit… meh. Could we apply the same technique to peanuts? Yes, as it turned out, of course we could – and maybe even scatter in a touch of chilli powder to give them extra kick. Wow! Once again, the flavour was intensified and the only problem was to dissuade ourselves from reaching into the tin every time we went past.
And we’ve just had another thought. Popcorn! Easy to make, the kernels are available in eco stores, and just waiting for whatever flavourings take our fancy. Early days on this one, but we’ll report back once we’ve had a chance to experiment…
We’ve now been down the popcorn route – and it’s been more successful than we could have hoped. Popcorn kernels are ridiculously cheap to buy and so easy to transform into a savoury (or sweet) treat, we feel like fools for forking out all that money for the pre-prepared stuff. Our first batch is flavoured with a little bit of butter, and a sprinkling of salt and smoked paprika. A tiny amount of kernels transforms almost instantly into a huge batch of delicious popcorn (makes you realise how much profit the cinema chains are making). Store them in an airtight container and you’re sorted.
Here’s a link to the handy recipe we used: