So, it isn't even 8am on my first Vegan Monday and I am already learning so much. I am currently drinking my second cup of coffee made with oat milk that I bought from the supermarket - in a Tetra Pak container - and I am sat here wondering why I bought it.
This is nothing to do with the taste of the 'milk' (it has actually left me using less sugar which is an unexpected bonus) but more to do with the cost to both me and my plans to reduce plastic usage. I came across this a lot yesterday when I was shopping for supplies for today. I have decided to make my own and I will be adding the recipe to the bottom of this post for those who are interested.
So, I planned my three vegan meals, but I planned them last minute, so I have been held to ransom by the supermarkets who sell vegan products at a premium. Lesson one learned. I must be organised. I must make sure that I have everything in to make what I need to. Yesterday I bought the obligatory vegan burgers, humous and milk to go with my fruit and veg. I could easily have made all of these if I had only thought ahead.
My small supermarket shop left me feeling deflated if I am totally honest. There was much more plastic in my trolley than I had wanted. The Tetra Pak, The humous container, the lettuce packaging and some other bits too. I bought loose veg where I could, onions, tomatoes, cucumber, all without plastic. Loose lettuce does not exist in Morrisons and this was a complete surprise to me if I am honest.
Up until now, I have always bought bagged leaf lettuce. It's just easier. One handful on your plate and there is no prep, nothing. I had assumed that I would be able to walk into the shop and pick up lettuce that was not wrapped in plastic, but I was wrong, so I bought a packet of two little gem lettuces. One for me and one for the guinea pigs.
Morrison's have, however, introduced cucumbers without the plastic shrink wrap so I bought one of those which was actually 30p cheaper than one wrapped in plastic, they looked a bit wonky but I have always been an advocate of wonky veg and, if anything, this made me feel like I was cutting back on plastic as well as helping to reduce the pointless waste of vegetables in the farming industry. Shopping in supermarkets when you're buying vegan and trying to reduce your plastic consumption really does leave you in need of these little victories.
Now, if you read my previous blog post, you will be aware that I had said I was boycotting supermarkets in favour of small shops and this is still the plan, but again, the convenience of everything in one place got me. Again, I need to be more organised in preparation for the next Vegan Monday. I have realised that I am going to need to change a lot of my habits to make this experiment a way of life.
I have done a lot of reading and I have been forced into the decision that this is going to have to be a gradual process. I am not willing to remove all plastic from my home as this would really defeat the object of what I am trying to do. Instead, I will use the time I have to plan zero waste alternatives.
I already use shampoo bars and bamboo toothbrushes and there are lots of other things I have already started doing to reduce my own use of plastic. I am just going to expand on it and slowly work this new lifestyle into my existing one. I am not doing this because it is fashionable, I am doing it because I want to change my habits which are needlessly wasteful. A big incentive for me, if I am completely honest, is to save money and the way I tackled today did not do anything to support this goal.
Anyway, enough rambling, after all, it is Monday morning and I promised you the recipe for oat milk so here it is. If you have any alternative recipes, I would love for you to pop them in the comments.
- 75g Rolled Oats
- Water to cover
- 700ml Fresh Water
Place the oats into a bowl and cover with water. Put to one side and allow to soak for a couple of hours or overnight.
Drain the oats using a sieve and pop them in a blender with the 700ml of fresh water. I did this gradually, to get a consistency that I liked so don't feel you have to use all of the water. Turn the blender on for a few seconds at a time until smooth.
Drain through a piece of muslin cloth or a nut milk bag. Use as you would your usual milk.
Store your milk in any way you like. A plastic milk bottle can be reused for this purpose or you can use glass bottles, jars or even an old Tupperware tub.
And yes, I bought a litre of this stuff and paid £1.80 for it!
Apparently, you can add dates to the recipe, but I find that oat milk is already fairly sweet so I don't see the point.
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