Condiments, Spreads and Bread
This post is part of our Easy, Waste-Busting Food and Drink Recipes resource.
This page includes recipes for:
- Vegemite/marmite alternative (GF, V+, OF, NF)
- Nut or seed butter (GF, V+, OF, can be NF)
- Apple Cider Vinegar (V+, GF, OF, NF)
- Sourdough Breadmaking (V+, OF, NF)
Scroll down to find the recipe you’re interested in.
Vegemite/Marmite Alternative (Gluten-free, Vegan, Oil-Free, Nut-free)
- 1 cup of black sesame seeds
- 6 tablespoons of nutritional/savoury yeast flakes
- ½ cup of tamari
- Toast the black sesame seeds in the oven or in a pan for 10 minutes or until fragrant (take care not to burn as it is hard to tell just by looking because the seeds are black!)
- Add toasted sesame seeds and the nutritional yeast to a blender/food processor/spice grinder and blend them up until it’s a powdery consistency.
- Transfer powder to blender/food processor (if you used a spice grinder for step 2) and add tamari. Blend until well-combined and texture reasonably consistent.
- Store in a glass jar. Not necessary to refrigerate (though you can keep in the fridge).
Recipe adapted from this one by Unconventional Baker. We don’t use black tahini as it’s easier to find black sesame seeds (especially unpackaged). Furthermore, the quantities suggested in this recipe are way too small so we increased the quantity size.
NB, you can use regular sesame seeds if you wish, as they can be slightly easier to find than black ones. The taste is identical, but the off-putting downside to regular sesame seeds is that the final product comes out looking a lot like poo. We tried this once and genuinely found the visual struggling to get past, so quickly reverted to black sesame seeds!!
Nut or Seed Butter (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Oil-Free, can be Nut-free)
- All you need are the seeds or nuts you want to use (we find that peanuts, macadamias, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds all work quite well) – remember you don’t have to make it 100% one type of nut or seed, you can do a blend! You can use whatever quantity you want, but probably at least 2 cups of the nuts/seeds (any less and you won’t make enough to justify the effort!)
- Roast the nuts/seeds on an oven tray. Roast until the nuts/seeds become fragrant and look lightly toasted. Probably about 15-20 minutes.
- Transfer the roasted nuts/seeds to a food processor and blend (you can use a blender but it’ll take longer and it’s probably not very good for the blender). Patience is a virtue for this exercise – it will take about 10 minutes of processing. For the sake of your food processor, and also the evenness of the blending, every so often you will have to stop the food processor, scrap the nuts/seeds off the sides and towards the blades, and blend again.
- The process will go a bit like this. First, the nuts/seeds will turn to a bit of a crumble powder. Then it will seem like nothing’s going to happen. Persevere. It will then start to clump together and maybe stick to the sides. Just stop the blender, scrap off the sides, break up the clumps, and then keep going. Eventually, the nuts/seeds will begin to release oil – this is the moment baby, keep going. It MAY start to turn into a big clump/ball. If so, you’ll need to break it up a bit occasionally so that it continues to blend rather than just rolling round and round on the top of the blades. By this point, you’re basically there, just go until you get the smoothness/creaminess that you like.
- You’re done! Ka pai 🙂
NB: if you like a crunchy nut or seed butter then you can follow a slightly different process. After the first 10 to 20 seconds of food processing, take out a quarter (rough guesstimate) of the nuts/seeds. Leave them aside while you blend up the rest of the nuts/seeds. Once those have turned into a finished butter, then add your crunchy bits in – easy!
Apple Cider Vinegar (Vegan, Oil-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free)
Apple cider vinegar is soooo easy to make – you don’t even have to sacrifice whole apples as you can just use peelings and cores. Here’s the process.
- Chopped up apples or conserved peelings and cores – we remove all pips (if you are going to use peelings and cores but find you are going through your apples slowly, simply put cores into the fridge/freezer until you have a decent stash to make vinegar).
- Water (enough to fully submerge your apple bits)
- Sugar (a tablespoon for each cup of water you use)
- Fill a large sterilised jar, fermenting pot or similar with your apple pieces until it’s 3/4 full (choose a smaller container if you don’t have heaps of apple bits!)
- Dissolve the sugar in the water. You won’t know how much water you’ll need because it will depend on the size of your container. We just add a cup at a time (with the tablespoon of sugar predissolved in it).
- Ensure the apples are fully submerged under the water to stop any touching air and then going mouldy. You can do this by putting a sterilised glass jar or similar on top.
- Leave for THREE weeks covered with a cheesecloth/teatowel/breathable fabric.
- After the three weeks, strain out the apple pieces and compost them. Conserve the liquid (of course!), bottle it (we use upcycled wine bottles) and leave for another 3 weeks before using.
Sourdough Breadmaking (Vegan, Oil-free, Nut-free)
Making sourdough is the best low-waste way of making bread (and the cheapest way to get fancy artisan bread in NZ). You don’t need to buy yeast in packets because you raise the yeast yourself with just flour and water (yes, really). This little yeast you raise is called your “sourdough starter”. Once it comes to life (takes just 7 days), that’s what you use every time you make your bread to make it rise. Some people have sourdough starters that their grandmas raised that are decades old.
To make your bread, the only additional ingredients you need are flour, salt and water.
We learnt everything we know about making sourdough from this awesome blog The Perfect Loaf, by Maurizio Leo. So, rather than reinventing the wheel, we just suggest you check this blog out. To know where to start and what to look at first, check out his post on getting a sourdough starter going. If you want to start with an easy loaf, choose this one.
Some things to note about The Perfect Loaf: though we love this blog, it does make sourdough breadmaking seem way more intense/complicated than it needs to be, which carries the risk that you might look at it and feel put off. Please don’t feel put off. We can assure you that if we can do it, anyone can! We should add too that despite all Maurizio’s baking tools recommendations, we don’t have flash equipment like his. The only possibly non-standard kitchen things you DO need are:
- Scales to weigh things out.
- An appropriate oven dish with a lid to bake your bread in, but it doesn’t have to be an expensive dutch oven. A casserole dish is fine. The main thing is that it’s oven proof, has a lid, and is roughly the kind of size you’d want your loaf to be.
For your starter, any upcycled glass jar is fine (you don’t need a weck glass jar). For our proofing we don’t have those fancy proofing bowl things, we just use salad bowls (!)
And, just in case it’s not obvious, we NEVER wrap our proofing breads in plastic bags like this blog suggests (we cover them with tea towels). No plastic, or disposables of any kind, go near our sourdoughs! They come out delicious and wonderous and we are perfectly happy about it. So give it a try if it sounds like you 🙂