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A responsible home part 2: jeanette's food for thought

17 March 2016

Jeanette, Peter and their daughter, Eja, rent a home surrounded by nature in the Swedish countryside. They’re dedicated to living a responsible and healthy life at home. In part 1 of the series, Jeanette shared her furniture philosophies. Now she’s showing us her kitchen.

Close-up of raw chocolate muffins on a serving tray
A family photo of a mother, father and daughter

About 4 or 5 years ago, Jeanette started focusing on her health after ‘too much stress, too little time, bad food, no motion.’ She began cooking from scratch and eating more vegetarian, vegan and raw foods. These changes were also to make a difference to the planet. ‘I think the unity of responsibility and health is key, acting responsibly toward nature, ourselves and all other living beings.’ Check out how Jeanette’s thoughts about food go beyond what they eat to how they buy, cook and reduce kitchen waste. 

A woman grabbing a container from a kitchen trolley

NOT WASTING FOOD IS A BIG FOCUS in Jeanette’s kitchen because she says a third of fully edible food is thrown away. She uses a RÅSKOG trolley to make it easy to see and use what they have. When she’s cooking, she moves it to the stove for the top level of spice bags and seasonings. In the bottom levels, she keeps dry goods like seeds, nuts and dried fruits in transparent plastic containers. ‘Sometimes we’ll roll it out to the dining table so everyone can make their own breakfast cereal.’

Fruits in a produce storage bag and fresh herbs in a fabric shopping bag

BEFORE SHE SHOPS FOR FOOD, Jeanette writes a list, so she only buys what they really need. As much as possible, she buys ecological or local foods. And instead of using plastic bags, she brings plenty of reusable fabric bags. When she gets home, she puts fresh produce in cloth bags and stores them in a cool, dry place so the fruits and vegetables last longer.

Close up of seeds in a sprouter

‘IT’S ALWAYS NICE TO EAT FRESH FOODS from your kitchen, especially in the winter.’ So every week, Jeanette usually fills her ANVÄNDBAR 2-tier sprouter with a new batch of seeds like alfalfa, lentils, radishes, chickpeas or almonds. ‘The plants are very rich in nutrients.’ 

“For my family to stay as healthy as possible, we see that we move enough, eat right and have little chemistry in our food and home products.”
A woman in a kitchen making muffins
FINDING NEW WAYS TO USE LEFTOVERS is a part of Jeanette’s daily routine,  especially when it comes to the pulp from her juicer. Sometimes she’ll spread a thin layer of pulp onto wax paper and let it dehydrate to make a dried fruit snack sheet. We got to try Eja’s favourite raw chocolate muffins, made from ingredients like leftover beet pulp and dates. If you want to try, too, here’s the recipe: 
For the muffins:
2 medium-sized red beets or 2-3 dl of leftover red beet pulp
12 dates without the pits
3 dl coconut flour (bought or finely ground from coconut flakes) 
15 ml agave syrup
1-2 teaspoons vanilla powder
60 ml cocoa powder
2 dl coconut oil (carefully melted in a water bath) 
For the glaze:
30 ml coconut oil
22 ml honey
40 g cocoa mass
1. Peel the beets. Put them in a food processor. Process them until finely grated. Add in the dates. Process again until finely grated.
2. Add the coconut flour, agave syrup, vanilla powder, cocoa powder and coconut oil to the food processor. Mix until it’s a sticky and fine dough.
3. Grate the cocoa mass. Make the glaze by carefully melting the coconut oil, honey and grated cocoa mass in a water bath. Wisp the glaze mix until everything is evenly distributed. Set to the side and let it solidify a bit.
4. Fill small muffin cups 2/3 full with dough. Put the glaze on top to create an even surface.
5. Skip the baking! These are raw muffins that just need to rest in the fridge for a while before they’re ready.
This recipe was created by Jeanette. 
All rights are reserved by raw & veggae.
Close-up of scooping out ingredients for raw chocolate muffins
Close-up of raw chocolate muffins in a tin
A woman and a child eating a chocolate muffin
A plastic bin in a drawer that holds bags for recycling
THEY MAKE LESS THAN 5 LITRES OF WASTE per week, which Jeanette says is combination of the family’s actions. ‘We have the smallest size waste bin the community has to offer and it’s never full.’ They have a plastic SAMLA box in the kitchen to hold their different waste sorting bags for cardboard, paper, plastic, metal and glass. When a bag or the box is full, they bring it with them into town to recycle. 
empty space

Things we’ve learnt

Examine your waste
Make a list of what you throw away. Is it food that goes bad? Lots of packaging? What habits or routines could you change to reduce your kitchen waste?
Plan your meals
Lots of food is wasted when we’re busy. Plan ahead for what you buy and the recipes you’ll make. Spend one night cooking a big meal or lots of meals that you can divide and eat during the week. 
Measure your results
Give yourself a kitchen challenge with results you can track. Can you make a vegetarian meal once a week? Can you reduce your kitchen waste by a certain amount? Can you buy more local produce?
Ready for more ideas to bring home? Check back in an upcoming post to see what Jeanette does with her family’s clothes. 

Made by

Copywriter: Marissa Frayer
Photographer: Johan Månsson, Sandra Werud
Editor: Linda Harkell