Over the past few years, the Bay Area has become increasingly more vegan-friendly, with countless locals and visitors alike embracing a plant-based lifestyle. In fact, San Francisco was named the most vegan-friendly city in the USA in 2019 by PETA. There is no short supply of plant-based foods in the region, with restaurants, fast-food outlets, caterers and supermarkets constantly upgrading their range of vegan food offerings. Home cooks, meanwhile, have discovered that many common plant-based food items are not only used extensively in cooking, but can double up as eco-friendly cleaning agents as well.
Lemons pack a powerful cleaning punch
Lemons are a wonderful addition to a plant-based diet, as they pack a heap of flavor and are also an excellent source of Vitamin C. The rind, juice and pulp of lemon can all be used in the creation of scrumptious plant-based sauces, dressings, cakes, drinks and desserts. Lemon juice is also one of the most versatile of natural cleaners. It can be used to remove rust from clothes and banish soap scum from a shower. It can also be mixed with warm water, white vinegar, and a bit of eco-friendly dishwashing soap to create a powerful all-purpose detergent that won’t harm the environment. An additional risk with chemical cleaning products is the aggravation of allergies, but without the added perfume and chemicals, a natural lemon cleaning solution sidesteps this risk.
Vinegar is a versatile commodity
White vinegar is often used in plant-based cooking. It is not only budget-friendly, but affordable as well. Although many people sprinkle it straight from the bottle onto their fries, it is also perfect for brining, pickling, and making delicious salad dressings. Vinegar also makes for a superb eco-friendly cleaning agent, and is particularly effective at cleaning windows when mixed with equal parts water. White vinegar can also be used to dissolve greasy build-up and minerals in automatic coffee makers, and to remove food residue from a microwave.
Baking soda is a plant-based essential
Baking soda is a staple in any plant-based kitchen, both as a baking ingredient and as an eco-friendly cleaner. Baking soda serves as a potent raising agent in cakes and loaves when it is combined with an acid like lemon juice or vinegar. This is particularly helpful, considering that plant-based baking does not allow for the use of any eggs or butter. As far as eco-friendly cleaning is concerned, baking soda is cheap, effective and versatile. A simple paste made from baking soda and water can be used to remove sticky residue from pots and pans, remove stains from linen, and help disperse bad odors in the fridge.
There are countless superb plant-based ingredients to choose from when preparing mouth-watering meals. Some of these ingredients also double up as very effective green cleaning products.