Mr Green makes seeds

Filed in Blog by on February 20, 2009 17 Comments
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zero waste seedsMr Green is a bit partial to the Food Doctor original seed mix. In case you’re not familiar, it’s a selection of seeds (sunflower, sesame, hemp, linseed and pumpkin) roasted in soya sauce.

You can buy them in plastic jars with plastic lids <sigh> at the sum of £3.99 for 300gms; which is a bit of a King’s Ransom for a few seeds in a pot.

I was browsing through my trusty Suma catalogue a few months back and discovered that they sell a plain seed mix. For the same price as a pot of Food Doctor seeds, you can buy 1kg of mixed seeds in a polythene bag, which results in much less packaging and considerably less cost.

We bought one bag to experiment with, mixed a few with some soya sauce, spread them on a baking tray and put them in the oven for about 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times whilst cooking. The house filled with the delicious aroma of roasted seeds and in half an hour we had created our very own version. What’s great is that we can add herbs and spices to taste and create something unique.

Less waste; less cost. What things have you created in the kitchen that result in less waste and less financial outlay? With the credit crunch in full swing, let’s share ideas for economic meals and snacks which help the environment too!

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (17)

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  1. maisie says:

    I make a donut dough in the bread machine and then fry off in the deep fat fryer. Roll in caster sugar and hot donuts just like the seaside.

    Costs a similar amount to that of making a loaf of bread.

    Great when the boys have their friends round.

  2. Kris says:

    Not as creative as you, but I saved waste by re-roasting some cashew nuts that my DH had been given. Normally I find paper bags are fine for short-term storage, but the particular ones these were in seemed to disagree with the fat of the nuts, resulting in them all going soft. As they were the groovy flavoured sort that I’m lucky to see maybe twice a year, this was quite a blow!

    Similar to your seeds, I spread them out on a baking sheet for a few minutes at low heat, let them cool and was amazed that they completely got their mojo back!

  3. Kris says:

    Am thinking of making friends with your boys Maisie 😉

  4. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:

    On a lighter note, I love eating pumpkin seeds, fried, chilli sauce, sea salt. Very crunchy and savoury; beats hula hoops most days.

  5. Layla says:

    mmmm, this sounds yummy!!

    I know raw is supposed to be healthier, but am not big friends with ‘plain’ pumpkinseeds or sunflower kernels or such, so this seems interesting!!
    (I do wonder how much nutritional value they preserve, pthey’re supposed to be a great source of magnesium, zinc etc!)

    Well, as for cheap and yummy, I could say homemade icecream: yoghurt (or cream) plus raspberries (or strawberries) we have at home anyway.. (some family members insist on sugar, not obligatory though)
    I sometimes skip even that version and have been known to nibble on frozen strawberries, raspberries or blackcurrants (when too little stomach acid). Yum!

    You avoid heaps of iffy packaging this way!!

    Also, ‘just cocoa’ (like for baking) + milk = better than bought individual satchets or stuff in plastic packaging!!

  6. Katy says:

    Great stuff – and thanks for the tip on Suma, I have emailed and asked for their price list.

    My favourite would have to be flapjacks and other yummy healthy bars. I haven’t bought a cereal bar in weeks now, and will be experimenting with a new recipe this weekend. If you buy in bulk and stick to staples like sultanas, they can be ultra cheap. I’ll post the recipe next week if it works!

  7. Sarah says:

    I’m about to get a pasta machine for my birthday – the kids have hidden it until The Day and I’m not allowed to play before then!

    1. We were all dead impressed by the lack of packaging on it – it’s a metal manual roller thingy with attachments for tagliatelle and fetuccine and it comes in a box. I was expecting all the bits to be in plastic bags but they’re not. There is ONE small bag with the smaller bits in and that’s it. No instruction book either, it’s all on the box, which is a nice size for reusing through the business…. (It’s a Judge if anyone’s interested)

    2. We’ve been sitting planning what sort of pasta to make and we were most pleased to work out that with the hens eggs and stuff growing in the garden we can make all sorts of colours and only have to buy the flour – everything else will be home produced!

    A bit off topic but very cool….

  8. Poppy says:

    Sounds yummy! I remember having something similar when I was little.

  9. Oooh, good job, Mr. Green! It’s lovely when you can save money and the earth at the same time.

  10. Mrs Green says:

    @maisie: Oh Maisie, now you are transporting me on holiday again! The place we go to has a donut shop underneath our apartment. They sell chips too and the mix of vinegar and donuts means ‘holiday’ to me!

    @Kris: that’s a great idea Kris; it’s fab when we can rejuvenate things like this and saves throwing them away.

    @Rob Whittle,Nail2: Oh my – they sound gorgeous, Rob. Pumpkin seeds are a favourite here too.

    @Layla: Hi Layla, I’m not sure how roasting alters the nutritional content either, but I guess there is still a lot of good trace minerals in them. I’m with you on eating frozen raspberries – I do that too! And the only hot chocolate we have is milk and cocoa. I’ve never bought ready made stuff as we don’t like things too sweet and I can use fruit sugar or agave syrup for LMG.

    @Katy: Hi katy, I’d love to see your recipe when you have made the flapjacks; LMG loves things like that. I hope you like Suma. There are two other co-ops to look out for: essentials trading in Bristol and Infinity foods.

    @Sarah: When is your Birthday? Is it soon? You’ll have lots of fun with the pasta machine I’m sure! It sounds great and lovely that you can use home made ingredients. I look forward to hearing about all your adventures.

    @Poppy: we’ll have to bring you some to try, Poppy 😉

    @[email protected] Frugal Girl: Hi Kristen, I agree – these simple things make such a difference and have a real ‘feel good’ factor attached 🙂

  11. Sally says:

    ooh this is a topic after my own heart. Since the new year we have been trying tomake lots of things from basics, so much cheaper tastier and definetely less packaging. I m no where near zero waste but my wheelie bin was less than half full for two weeks waste.
    We are converts to home made pasta with only a paper flour bag and egg shells to recycle rather than plastic bags. Hubby is in charge of pasta making and the first few attempts resulted in swearing-hes found a new recipe and the odd short cut now and its a non swearing formula.
    We like oat cakes but find the brand we like over packaged and compared to home made very expensive. So i whip up a batch once a week and store in an air tight jar, just oatmeal, water, a drop of oil et voila

  12. Mrs Green says:

    @Sally: Hi Sally, good to see you; your rubbish for two weeks is amazing! Well done! You’re right in that making your own stuff is tastier, cheaper and has less packaging. Not to mention healthier! You can control exactly what you put in the dish.
    That’s really good about the pasta; it’s something I’ve never fancied trying but everyone who does loves it. Maybe I need to be convinced.
    I’ve never managed to successfully make oatcakes – do you have a fail safe recipe? Mine end up crumbly and inedible but I’d love to be able to make them, because there are no zero waste brands out there.

  13. Katy says:

    Mrs G – I contacted Suma but could not afford to order (and have nowhere to store!) £250 worth of stuff at a time 🙁 How on earth do you manage it? I will have a scout round more locally for other options.

  14. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Katy;
    I set up a group and six families shared the Suma order and the cost. Fortunately, I have room to store things; I’m very lucky in that respect.
    It might be worth advertising locally for like-minded families or setting one up with work colleagues?

  15. Sally says:

    Katy roughly what geographical area are you living in? Its still firmly on my to do list to set something up in my area Derbyshire. I have started an account with fair trade clothing supplier Nomads and order for a group of friends to maximise discount for everyone.

    Oat cakes, its a bit vague i know and my first batch looked and tasted how i imagine dog biscuits would-far far too salty and grey and crumbly. Now I add 4 heaped table spoons oatmeal a pinch of sea salt, a dash of olive oil and then slowly a little cold water until the mix just holds together. press it out on the worktop dusted with more oatmeal and then cut out cirles with a fairly small cutter. Pop them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 25 mins 170 c

  16. Mrs Green says:

    Thanks for the recipe Sally – I’ll give it a go.
    Nomads – yum! I might be knocking on your door; I love their stuff, along with the Namaste clothing.

  17. Sally says:

    Ive just placed an order with Nomads which should be arriving any day, so it will be a while before the next order but i will drop you a message in advance.

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