Since having a kid 2 years ago (2 years ago? whaaaat!), I’ve noticed that the amount of waste we make has, as it does with children, gone up. Some of this is unavoidable, but some of it has just become bad habit. Namely, the waste situation in our home.
Before Ruthie, I had things organized a bit better and we had a bigger kitchen, so it was easier to find places for our waste in the blue/black/green/compost bins. Lately, it seems our garbage bin is piling high and our green bin just sits there, barely close to half full. Something had to change. The more I understand the impact of that wastefulness, as well as realizing the amount of waste that comes from having a toddler, the more guilty I feel. As a result, I’ve been trying harder and harder to get more life out of the food we buy, because we all know that food isn’t cheap and we may as well be dumping our wallets into the garbage when we waste it. So we’ve been working hard to change our bad habits and make smarter choices when it comes to our waste.
A few things we’ve discovered through this are:
5. Expiring fresh herbs can be put into ice cube trays and topped with water for beautiful ice cubes or olive oil as a starter for recipes or dressings
It’s been a gratifying experience and we’re noticing our garbage and green bins haven’t been filling up as quickly which only reassures us we’re moving in a better direction than we were.
This is my second month working with President’s Choice Black Label‘s #PlayWithYourFood campaign and I’ve been introduced to four innovative products that I’ve been able to play with in the kitchen and come up with some fun new recipes with. Last month I made a Antipasto & Strained Sheep’s Milk Yogurt Plate where we strained some sheep’s milk yogurt to create a thick, creamy base for our antipasto. The liquid we were left with when you strain yogurt is called Acid (or Sour) Whey. In keeping with my promise to myself to waste less, I wondered what I could do with this by-product rather than toss it down the drain.
To lacto-ferment something, in simple terms, means to use friendly bacteria, Lactobacillus, to ferment something. Lactobacillus has various strains and is present on the surface of all plants and are also common to the gastrointestinal tracts, mouths, and vaginas of humans and other animal species. These bacteria have the ability to convert sugars into lactic acid, which is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria as well as preserving the vitamins, enzymes and digestibility of fermented foods. Many of your favourite pickled foods are traditionally lacto-fermented. Dill pickles, saeurkraut and kimchi all get their tangy, distinct flavours from lacto-fermentation.
Here, I’ve used those beneficial bacteria to create a tangy, tropical natural soda using PC Black Label Passion Fruit Condiment. The sweet/sour condiment is made with real passion fruit juice as well as white wine vinegar, so the resulting soda tastes vaguely similar to a shrub, with the tangy vinegar flavour just barely coming through in the finished product. It reminds me a little of a sour beer, with some obvious funk and earthiness to it, too. On it’s own, it shines. Added to sparkling water, sangria, or like we did here, a shandy, it adds a sunny zing that plain old juice or soda alone wouldn’t. The added bonus is that it’s full of gut-friendly bacteria and enzymes that help you digest foods more effectively and absorb more nutrients from the food you eat. The shandy I’ve made with the soda is, again, very similar to the flavours you’d expect from a sour beer. It’s light and crisp, clean in the mouth, funky and sour and just lightly carbonated. It begs to be sipped on a warm summer evening over some salty snacks.
Since I’ve been having such a great time with the #PlayWithYourFood campaign with products from President’s Choice, I thought one of you might enjoy your very own to experiment with! Details on how to enter to win your own #PCBlackLabel Black Box below. The Winner will be announced on Friday June 30that 12pm.
::: GIVEAWAY :::
2. Be sure to name the product and use the hashtag #PlayWithYourFood and #PCBlackLabel in your comment
3. Tweet about the contest (1 extra entry per tweet) with “I’ve entered to win a #PCBlackLabel Black Box from @thegoudalife. Check it out: http://bit.ly/2t5Zir9 #PlayWithYourFood” and add an extra comment telling me you’ve tweeted. Passionfruit Whey Soda
makes 2 tall glasses, 4 Shandy
1 cup acid whey*
1/2 cup PC Black Label Passion Fruit Condiment
1.5 liters filtered water
Add all ingredients to 2L sealable jar and stir to combine. Cover the top loosely with a clean towel/cheesecloth and secure with an elastic band. Let ferment for 1-4 days, checking for visible signs of fermentation, like bubbles, each day. The longer it ferments, the less sweet it will be so taste after 2 days and see how you like it. I like mine a tad sour so I left if to ferment for 5 days in our very warm kitchen. If your kitchen is cool, you may need to ferment for longer to get some decent fizz. Just keep tasting until you’re happy with the flavour. Pour into an airtight bottle and refrigerate until cold. Serve over ice. Will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.
makes 4 servings
crushed or cubed ice
4 cups Passionfruit Whey Soda
2 tall cans pale ale
*In order to get 1 cup of acid whey, you’ll have to strain a plain, unsweetened 750ml yogurt container. In order to do so, place a few layers of cheesecloth into a colander set over a deep bowl. Spoon the yogurt into the cheese cloth, cover loosely and place in the fridge for 12-24 hours. The liquid collected in the bowl is acid whey and can be used to make soda full of good bacteria and enzymes.
Disclaimer: I am part of the #PlayWithYourFood Campaign sponsored by Presidents Choice Black Label and receive compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. Regardless, I only work with brands I use personally and enjoy.