CLEVER COOKING WITH ZERO WASTE
  • CLEVER COOKING WITH ZERO WASTE

    Schlauer kochen ohne Müll

    In Germany more than 18 million groceries end up in the garbage every year. It's a disaster. This is why the zero-waste philosophy is on the rise. And Sophia Hoffmann is one of their pioneers.

    She is committed to sustainability and against food waste - as a vegan cook, cookbook author and entrepreneur. In her new work "Zero Waste Küche" (ZS Verlag, € 24.90), she shows us, in addition to recipes, a wide range of ways to consume more consciously and avoid waste: from purchasing to recycling and storage.

    Zero waste Küche von Sophia Hoffmann

    YOUR BOOK IS MORE THAN "JUST" A COOKBOOK, YOU DESCRIBE IT AS YOUR "PERSONAL COOKING PHILOSOPHY". WHAT IS BEHIND IT AND WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE WITH IT?
    It was only when I wrote this book that it really became clear to me that you can only fight food waste if you feel appreciated. Whoever chooses consciously, also throws away food less easily. Unfortunately, in our affluent society the opinion prevails that food must be cheap and always available in abundance. Bread is the perfect example here: from one of the historically most important groceries of mankind, it has become a disposable product of poor quality.

    One in five bakery products ends up in this country's garbage. That is 1.7 million tons. This corresponds to the harvest of a field larger than the area of Mallorca.

    This waste entails enormous ecological consequential costs. The reduction of wasted food together with the reduction of waste is one of the most urgent challenges of our time, which we have to face in society as a whole. Of course, politics is also in demand here, but 40% is thrown away in private households. Each of us can make a difference. I want to convey in a simple and tangible way how this can be done within one's own four walls: With storage and shopping tips, utilization ideas and concrete recipes. And an exciting information section on food - because knowledge is the secret spice of a good cook.

    WHAT TIPS CAN YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE WHO ARE GENERALLY INTERESTED IN THE TOPIC OF "ZERO WASTE" BUT DON'T REALLY KNOW WHERE TO START?  
    First of all: buy less. In general, we all buy too much and are always afraid that we will run out of food. It's best to buy only as much as you can carry yourself (one bag per person) and after shopping consider what needs to be consumed first. Consciously take time to prepare food and preserve it. Preserving, boiling, drying, recycling - you can also involve your children in this. I still benefit from having learned these things at home! Cooking apple sauce, chocolate pudding from old Easter bunnies ... In addition, I recommend buying organic food without any restrictions, as the exposure to pesticides and antibiotics in conventional food is enormous and also harmful to the environment. On the market or in an organic food store, because this also minimizes the plastic packaging. Anyone who makes regional seasonal purchases and schedules can do so on a small budget.

    WHICH FOODS ARE BEST SUITED FOR RECYCLING?
    Of course, all foods can be used deliciously as long as they are not affected by fungus or rot. These short cuts almost always work:
    Puree: Boiled or raw, for use in soups/sauces/dips/spreads/sweets/sweets/smoothie and ice cream.
    Crushing: Whether grated, sliced, crumbled, crushed, raw, roasted or marinated. As an addition to salads, main courses, as topping. Many slightly tired foods still have enough freshness crushed for further use.
    Drying: Herbs, vegetable chips, fruits - whether in the hot summer sun, in a drying machine or at low temperature in the oven, an aromatic preservation.
    Pickling: Sweet and sour, boil down to jam or compote. Make syrup from it.
    Freezing: Whether raw or blanched, many foods can be kept longer for a short time by freezing, e.g. before a trip or after a party, if too much is left.

    YOU SAY YOU SHOULD RELY MORE ON YOUR GUT FEELING WHEN PREPARING FOOD AND LESS ON EXTERNAL INFLUENCES. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?
    I clean up the myth of the best before date. A German family recently ate an 18-month-old yoghurt under scientific supervision - it was flawless. Foods like mustard, ketchup and the like last for decades, we have forgotten to trust our gut feeling and blindly believe what is written on the packaging even though it is only a quality recommendation. In most cases we notice very quickly when food is still good and when we should rather compost it.

    HOW CAN WE SWITCH TO ZERO WASTE IN OTHER AREAS OF THE HOUSEHOLD? FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN CLEANING?
    Advertisements like to tell us that we need twenty different cleaning, washing and dishwashing detergents. Vinegar and citric acid are ideal for descaling and a universal cleaner makes the bathroom and kitchen equally clean. The most sustainable are homemade cleaning agents made from vinegar, citric acid, soda, sodium bicarbonate and curd soap. There are also great online instructions on how to do this. When buying cleaning products, be sure to use ecological cleaning agents that are made from vegetable raw materials and do not contain any chemicals or dyes. They are more easily degradable, healthier, contain no micro-plastic and many manufacturers use recycled packaging material. In unpackaged shops there are cleaning agents for filling.

    WHAT ARE YOUR THREE FAVORITE RECIPES?
    Brotlinge - a pastry made from old bread, basically a meatball without meat - simple and delicious. The simplest cake in the world - made from five basic ingredients that you always have at home, deliciously varied with fruits, chocolate chips, nuts... there are no limits to your imagination. Berry yoghurt ice cream - perfect for the berry season - a great use for squashed berries and yoghurt leftovers.

     

    Zero Waste Küche

    BROTLINGE WITH CRISPY OVEN FRIES

    Personally, I find the word "Bratling" a bit unsexy, but I haven't found an alternative word to the German equivalent of "Patty". With bread, however, it simply becomes a brotling.

    Quantity
    2 PORTIONS

    Preparation time
    40 MINUTES

    INGREDIENTS
    200 g old baked bread in slices or dice
    1 medium onion or 3-4 spring onions
    3-4 tablespoons breadcrumbs
    optional 1 handful of spinach / rocket / parsley / capers /
    dried tomatoes / mushrooms / olives
    salt, pepper

    FRENCH FRIES
    250 g potatoes
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil (sunflower, rape)
    1 tsp paprika powder
    1 tbsp polenta
    salt, pepper
     

    Preheat the oven to 200 °C top / bottom heat. Bring water to the boil in a kettle. Pour water over the old baked bread in a bowl so that everything is well covered. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the bread pieces. Wash the potatoes, if they are from organic cultivation, keep the the peel on. First cut them into slices, then into chopsticks. The easiest way to do this is to place the potato on the board and see which side it stays on by itself. Place the potato sticks together with the oil, the paprika powder, the polenta and some salt and pepper in a food container. Put the lid on it and shake well.
    Place all on a baking tray and bake in it in the oven at 200 °C for 10 minutes. Then turn over and bake for another 10 minutes until the chips are tanned and crispy.
    In the meantime, prepare the bread rings. Drain the soaked bread in a sieve. Peel/clean and finely dice the onions/spring onions.
    Knead the bread pieces together with the breadcrumbs. Knead other finely diced ingredients as desired. Season with salt, pepper and any other spices. It is important that the mixture is not too moist but mouldable. If needed add more breadcrumbs to absorb the moisture.
    >Form the patties. Fry them in a pan with enough oil on both sides until crispy.
     

    TIP
    Fresh salad, pickles,
    Ketchup, mustard or other sauces.

     

    Zero Waste Küche

    THE SIMPLEST CAKE IN THE WORLD

    Yes, I love superlatives, especially when they're true! This cake consists of just 4 basic ingredients, assuming that water and salt are always available at home. On this basis all imaginable variations are possible. In this photo you can see the amount of dough you have baked into many small cakes:

    - Cocoa and some rum or as marble cake
    - With Matcha
    - With blueberries or raspberries
    - With lemon zest and a few drops of lavender oil

    Quantity
    26 CM DIAMETER FORM,
    A GUGELHUPFFORM
    OR 12 MUFFINS

    Preparation time
    1 HOUR

    INGREDIENTS
    400 g wheat or spelt flour
    240 g sugar
    1 sachet baking powder
    1 pinch salt
    180 ml mild vegetable oil
    400 ml water
    optional and depending on what is there cocoa, matcha, berries, lemon zest, ...

    Preheat the oven to 180 °C top / bottom heat. Mix the flour with the sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Mix oil and water in a second bowl. If you want to use additional liquid flavour ingredients such as lemon juice, add them to the liquid ingredients. Using a hand mixer, work the dry mixture in several steps into the wet mixture, stirring only until an even dough is formed.
    Add other ingredients such as cocoa, berries, nuts and Matcha. Pour the dough into a greased baking form and bake at 180 °C for 40-50 minutes until no more dough sticks during the chop test. To do this, place a knitting needle, shashlik stick or chopstick in the middle of the cake.
    Allow the cake to cool and only then turn out of the mould.

     

    Zero Waste Küche

    BERRY YOGHURT ICE CREME

    Frequent observations in summer: You buy fresh berries, you can't eat them all at once and the next day they often become muddy. However, you often also have such a small amount of (vegetable) yoghurt in the fridge that is hardly enough for a portion of muesli. These two ingredients can become a delicious ice cream. It couldn't be easier. Either you freeze the berries and puree them together with the yoghurt directly to frozen yoghurt or crush both at room temperature and then fill it into ice moulds. Both are super delicious, simple and refreshing.

    Quantity
    6 ICE CUBES

    Preparation time
    5 MINUTES
    + FREEZING TIME

    INGREDIENTS
    150 g berries (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, gooseberries)
    150 g (vegetable) yoghurt
    2 tbsp liquid as required
    Sweetener (I use apple syrup, but it's possible to use maple syrup)

    Put a few whole berries aside to decorate the frozen yoghurt/stalk ice cream. Using a blender or food processor, chop the remaining berries and yoghurt into a creamy paste. When using frozen berries, spoon away the frozen yoghurt immediately. For ice-cream with stems, add the mixture together with the whole berries into the appropriate moulds and let them set in the freezer for a few hours.

    PHOTOCREDITS: Annabell Sievert
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