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  • Writer's pictureJessica McQuistin

Sustaina-Minis, Muffin Edition: Zero Waste Make-Ahead School Snacks

One of the areas I tend to focus on when it comes to the "zero waste" (or more realistically, reduced-waste) lifestyle, is food. I'm naturally passionate about cooking, baking, grocery shopping, and nutrition, so this is a great fit for me. One way to reduce household waste is to make things at home instead of buying them pre-made and packaged. With the start of the school year just around the corner, I thought I'd share one of my favourite (and yummiest) waste-free snacks: homemade muffins.

Here are a few reasons I love making my own muffins:

  • They don't come in a plastic container

  • They're typically much healthier than store-bought muffins or snacks, depending on ingredients used; I usually make them with whole wheat flour and sweeten them lightly with maple syrup or honey

  • They freeze well and are easy to pop into a reusable container to-go (no need to thaw first, as they thaw quickly)

  • They are individually portioned by nature

  • They're fairly easy to make and the kids like to get involved

  • The kids love them (and so do the grownups)

To prepare for the school year, I'll be making several batches and freezing them.

If you want to make homemade muffins even more eco-friendly, here are some next-level suggestions:

  • Try making them without muffin liners; just grease the muffin tin (I use coconut oil)

  • If you have a bulk store in your area, purchase your baking ingredients package-free, using your own containers

  • Make a double, triple, or quadruple batch to save energy (yours and the oven's)

  • Use up overripe bananas and other fruits or veggies in your muffins (i.e., zucchinis, carrots, leftover pumpkin puree) to avoid food waste

  • Consider making your muffins dairy-free and/or egg-free (Cookie and Kate has many great muffin recipes, including Maple-Sweetened Banana Muffins with vegan substitution tips, like using flax eggs)

Video: These are Cookie and Kate's Maple-Sweetened Banana Muffins (link above) with chocolate chips added. I greased this muffin tin with coconut oil. Look how easily the muffins slipped out!

So, what are you waiting for? Time to get baking! Come September (a.k.a. school-lunch season) you'll be glad you did! And if you don't have school-aged kids? More muffins for you. :)

What are some of your favourite waste-free lunch and snack options? Let me know in the comments or on social media. (Did you know the blog has its very own Facebook page now? I'd love to see you there!)

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