Looking for snacks to reduce food waste? Try this simple, homemade snack mix that’s perfect to add a personalized touch to a tasty snack for every day or even big parties. It’s a great recipe to refresh stale crackers or pretzels in your pantry and help reduce food waste too!
A few years ago around Christmas, I gathered up six of my favorite recipes that my grandmother used to make. I asked her to write the recipes in her own handwriting, and then printed those handwritten recipes on tea towels.
Handwritten Family Recipes on Tea Towels
I made a few copies of the tea towels. I kept a set for myself, gave one to my mom, and shared a few of the tea towels with my sisters who wanted them. I still have that set, and I’m hesitant to use them because I want to preserve the recipes written in my grandmother’s handwriting. My grandmother passed a couple of months ago, and we’ll remember her in many ways, not the least of which will be through her recipes and the mountains of food she always made for the family.
One of the recipes she wrote for our tea towels was this seasoned snack mix she often made when we traveled to visit her. She lived over a thousand miles from us, so we didn’t see her often. But when we did, she always made our trip special, most often with food. She let us eat whatever we wanted, even if that meant chocolate cake for breakfast (I’m 100% not kidding).
Toasting To Refresh Stale Food
She was always so resourceful and knew that toasting up old crackers, pretzels, and Chex-mix would freshen them and prevent food waste. This recipe is a really easy version of her classic take on Chex-mix, though I used crackers and snack foods that we already had on hand.
It’s a really easy snack to reduce food waste that includes wheat and multi-grain waffle cereal as the base of the mix, mini pretzels for a hearty crunch, cashews to provide a dose of healthy fats, duck-shaped cheese crackers for a fun twist, and a few seasonings that are likely already in your pantry.
The full recipe is at the bottom of the post, but basically it’s:
Mix it up. Toast it up. Eat it up.
Why Care About Food Waste?
We waste an enormous amount of food around the world, and especially in wealthy countries like the United States. Some statistics estimate that we waste 40% of food produced between production and final consumption.
Can you imaging buying five bags of groceries at the store and tossing two of them straight into the trash every time you shopped?! That’s crazy, right? But that’s what we do.
Food is wasted for a variety of reasons as it travels from cradle to grave. Being mindful about the types of snacks we eat can significantly reduce the food we waste at home. Food waste at home is just one of the many channels of unfortunate disposal, but it is an opportunity for us to gain agency in the culture shift we need to see in order to rethink how we value our food and make the most of it.
If you’re not sure how much food you waste, you might want to try a simple food waste audit at home. This food waste audit we did with our boys took just a few minutes a day for a week and highlighted (especially for my boys) how much food we put in the trash.
Favorite Snacks To Reduce Food Waste
Over the years, we’ve compiled a list of a handful of snack ideas that are popular in our family and also help us limit the amount of food we throw into the trash (or our trusty composting bin). In addition to seasoned snack mix, some snacks to reduce food waste we like include homemade dried apple chips and dried apricots, homemade popcorn, smoothies, and popsicles.
If you haven’t tried your own seasoned snack mix, give this recipe a try. You can follow it as I’ve shared it below, or you can use whatever “toastable” snack foods you have in your pantry, especially if they’re a bit stale and could use a refresh.
Do you have any favorite snack recipes you use to reduce food waste? If so, share them in the comments!
If You Like Snack Ideas To Reduce Food Waste, You Might Also Like
- 2 cups mini pretzels
- 1 cup wheat waffle cereal
- 1 cup multi-grain waffle cereal
- 1/2 cup cheese crackers
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 275°
- Cover a baking dish in foil. Spray foil with cooking spray or a thin later of butter to prevent food from sticking to the pan.
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl until all the sauce has been absorbed.
- Bake mixture for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring 15 every minutes.
- Allow to cool and enjoy.