Hack or Hassle? Beyond Plant Milk

All the recipes for leftover nut and oat pulp - tested and rated.


By Emily Young




Food Waste - The Facts


UK households throw away around 4.5m tonnes of food waste a year. A huge proportion of this is perfectly edible. Considering the scarce or harmful resources expended in producing and transporting food products (such as water and pesticides), not to mention the 25,000 people who die every day due to hunger, it seems especially absurd that relatively wealthy countries like the UK waste so much food.


Thanks to lockdown, many of us have already rescued over-ripe bananas to make endless loaves of banana bread this past year. You may even be feeling like an extra-smug Greta Thunberg with your delicious, earth- and animal-friendly homemade plant milk (imprint's very own recipe here!).


But as you stand there looking at your leftover nut/oat pulp smushed into your muslin cloth you can't help thinking it feels wrong to throw it away. Google says there are thousands of weird and wonderful recipes for using the leftover pulp but which are worth the faff? That’s where imprint comes in to split the ‘hassles’ from the ‘hacks’.


A quick note on quantities: The volume and moisture of pulp from a batch of plant milk will vary depending on the types of oats/nuts used, and how firmly you have squeezed out the liquid. You might need to add a little more or less moisture/pulp depending on the re-use purpose: don’t be afraid to experiment!


Face Mask


Your options seem to be pretty open here; you could either slather the pulp directly on to your skin to moisturise and soothe, or mix with yoghurt, honey, used coffee grounds, clay powder, avocado, banana - there are so many choices! Once mixed use within 3 days, or immediately if using banana/avocado. I really dig this hack as an easy excuse to pamper myself while also avoiding adding to my compost bin.


Verdict: Hack 6.5/10

Pros: You feel like you just stepped out of a Glossier ad.

Cons: With the mask still on your face you look weird answering the door to the postie. It also makes a large quantity of face mask, especially if you’re combining the pulp with other ingredients, so this might be best if sharing the mixture with housemates/friends (safely re. household mixing regulations of course) if you don’t want to end up throwing any more away. N.B. Be prepared to get mucky!


Smoothie


This one is really simple - literally just add as much or as little pulp in with your fruit/veggies/juice/milk in a blender, and benefit from some yummy natural protein and fibre in your morning smoothie. My favourite recipe includes a handful of blueberries (fresh or frozen), a few teaspoons of honey/maple syrup, a banana, a cup or so of plant milk and a few tablespoons of the plant milk pulp.


Verdict: Hack 7/10

Pros: Extra protein = extra energy for your daily lunchtime walk.

Cons: Slightly grainy texture takes a little getting used to. Depends what you’re into! Also, depending on how much pulp you add, you might not use up a full quantity of pulp in one go to make one smoothie. Another one best made for using over consecutive days, or sharing with housemates.


Nutty Body Scrub


This is divine for giving your skin a gentle pick-me-up coming out of a seemingly never-ending winter. It will gently exfoliate and moisturise your skin - it’s also particularly good for dry hands!


Ingredients:

¼ cup Nut or Oat Milk Pulp

¼ cup White Granulated Sugar

⅛ cup Olive Oil

Essential oil (optional)


Method:

  • Mix everything together.

  • Add a few drops of essential oil is desired.

  • Store in an air-tight jar, like an old (clean) jam jar.


Note on storage:

There is no preservative in this homemade product, so it won’t last forever. For best results store your scrub in the fridge and use a clean spoon to dollop out your desired amount. It should last about 2 weeks.


Verdict: Hack 8/10

Pros: Great exfoliation so you feel like a mermaid.

Cons: A bit faffy having to keep it in the fridge because of the fresh ingredients. Again, a little mucky too.


Oatcakes


There are hundreds of recipes for oatcakes on the internet, but this is one I pieced together and is as flexible as possible to allow for varying amounts of pulp. I accept no liability for you eating all of these in one sitting. They are incredibly moreish and are very versatile; you could enjoy them savoury with cashew-cheese, or sweet with a vegan chocolate spread.





Ingredients:

1¼ cup/100g Oats

¼ Cup/30g Flour (plain/wholemeal/granary)

¼ tsp Table Salt

½ tsp Sugar

¼ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

¼ - ⅓ cup/90g Nut or Oat Milk Pulp

2 tbsp/30g Butter/vegan alternative

40ml Hot Water


Tools:

Measuring spoons

Measuring cups/kitchen scales

Metal baking tray

Baking paper

Mixing bowl

Spoon

Rolling pin/wine bottle

Cookie cutter/small drinking glass/used tin with lid removed


Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 190C (fan).

  • Line a baking tray with baking paper.

  • Mix together the oats, flour, salt, sugar, and bicarbonate of soda.

  • Mix in the remaining ingredients.

  • Add a little flour to a clean work surface.

  • Knead the mixture lightly on the surface. Add more flour if it's too sticky or more water if it’s too crumbly.

  • Cut out the oatcakes and place on the baking tray. They won’t spread out like cookies, so you can snuggle them up quite close if you’re short on space.

  • Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for 20-30 mins until the oatcakes have browned slightly and feel firm.

  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

  • These oatcakes don’t last very long in my house, but I should think they would be good for about 2 weeks kept in an airtight container.


Verdict: Hack 10/10

Pros: They are incredibly delicious and make for a brilliant snack at any time of day. Very good at a picnic too - they’re a real crowd pleaser. I also make these as homemade gifts.

Cons: They disappear too quickly.



The Final Verdict:


In my humble opinion all the leftover plant-milk pulp options proved themselves undoubted hacks. If you’ve already made the (minimal) effort to make your own plant-based milk, then these will be a doddle. They’re great for altering depending upon what you’ve got in the house and despite the extra care storing the fresh ingredients, I didn’t struggle using up the leftovers with so many different options! Let us know if you find any other great hacks by contacting us on IG @imprintmag_ or send in some pictures of your success stories!




Emily is a bored Civil Servant working in the transport sector and enjoys reading, podcasts, soap-making, baking, running and whinging about socio-political issues in her free time. She also has a cat called Annie who is a furry dictator. Follow Emily at @youngemilyf, and read her previous articles: In Defence of Used Books and Nutty about Nut Milk.