The year 2020 was, for lack of a better word, a doozy. Things changed dramatically, rapidly, and many of us spent more time in our homes than ever before. But one thing that also meant was that we adopted some new kitchen habits, healthy ones that support ourselves and our environments.
Some of the big things that defined our shifting attention to food this year? Self-sufficiency and maximizing our ingredients: leading to less waste, more kitchen projects, and a whole lot of learning. Of the things we tried in 2020, there’s actually quite a few that we’re hoping we can bring into the New Year:
1. Making all the sourdough.
Seriously, all of it. From pasta to drinks to brownies and beyond, this was both the year we realized we could make our bread with nothing but flour, water, and patience (and these tips, honestly) and the year we realized we could add a bit of fermented goodness, to, well, everything.
In the new year, we’ll continue experimenting with crazy loaf additions and work on trying out flour blends to get even more nutrients out of our favorite new hobby.
2. Growing from home (even in tiny apartments).
With the uncertainty of grocery supply during early lockdowns, people started doing everything they could to extend the life of fresh food—including growing more of it from scraps, when possible. This was the year we all started growing scallions on our windowsills, and while that might not seem like much, it can make a definite difference.
Going forward, we’re planning to be a little more intentional about our gardening endeavors: whether that means picking out the herbs we love to cultivate on our tiny windowsills, building a bed in the backyard, or looking into supporting or joining a community garden.
3. Baking with fruit.
We’re talking about banana bread, people—but going into the new year, let’s do more than that.
So going into 2021, consider trying out these alternatives to banana bread for less-than-perfect bananas, swap in a bit of fruit for oil in a favorite recipe, or at the very least try a new (healthier!) banana bread recipe, please.
4. Being our own barista.
Without our daily commute, many of our trips to the coffee shop decreased, too. And while we still do our best to support our favorite local spots, we’re doing it more through buying beans and less through that daily oat milk latte. This is the year we learned to maximize the taste and benefits of our homebrew, how to DIY perfect cold brew, and new favorite brands to support for beans.
In 2021, we’ll not only keep on supporting our local cafes but also dive into understanding the supply chains that get coffee to us and support the farmers, too. And please, let’s maybe leave those sugary whipped coffees behind?
This article originally appeared in MindBodyGreen.