I got sick of the snacks available near me in bulk within the first year of going zero waste, I think. Garlic and herb cashews? Good in theory, but I'll be happy if I never have to eat another. Wasabi peas? Overdosed on 'em way back in college. Sesame sticks? Never liked them. Trail mix? Ditto the cashews, eaten so often it completely lost its charm. Dried papaya? Delicious, but leaves my mouth reeling from the sugary after-taste.
I think all of us who try to focus on buying food without packaging encounter some form of this: eventually, the options can get kind of... boring. For you, maybe the issue is the grains you can find in bulk, and the thought of eating quinoa for another meal makes you want to scream a little. Maybe you're tired of drinking the same old black tea that your co-op stocks on its small wall of tea. Maybe you've eluded this completely and are perfectly happy with the options available, or maybe you have a magical bulk aisle near you that always seems to spring fresh offerings anew. Either way: for me, the area where I can't find bulk things I like anymore seems to be the snack aisle.
The upshot of this is, when I'm hungry, I'll look in my pantry and see grains and beans and nuts, then look in my fridge and see leeks and carrots and kale. There's plenty of food, but there's rarely anything snack-like. I could make a pot of stovetop popcorn, eat a square or two of dark chocolate, munch an apple, eat yesterday's leftovers: the latter is usually my choice. But I miss the saltiness, the sheer fun-ness of foods meant especially as snacks. Let's just say if I could buy pretzels and hummus near me in bulk, I might be hard-pressed to ever eat anything else.
Unwilling to just spoon plain cooked beans into my mouth any longer, the last few weeks I've been taking snacking matters into my own hands. Sure, I don't like the bulk snacks available to me, but there are plenty of bulk snack ingredients available to me. I'm trying to make a few different things each week to keep on hand to fill the gaps between lunch and dinner. I've been favoring a mix of salty and slightly sweet, and switching up the recipes helps keep me from feeling like I'm sliding back into the boring routine of same-old, same-old.
A few things I've been making:
-Curry-spiced cashews (salty, and a good way to use up extra curry paste), pictured above.
-Breakfast cookies from this favorite cookbook (sweet).
-Chia pudding made with homemade almond milk (sweet).
-Homemade hummus to eat with raw or blanched veggies (salty).
-Coconut curry almonds (salty).
-Crunchy roasted chickpeas (salty).
I'd love a few other ideas to add to my rotation too. Have you been making anything these days?