We’ve been doing this for 2+ years. Along the way, we’ve found some products have really helped us.
While we want to be environmentally-friendly and not buy more stuff, these items help us to live palm oil free by doing one or more of these:
- Saving us time
- Helping us shop, cook & clean
- Keeping us organized
- Giving us a way to make products at home
These are our favorite things. They have made a difference for us and perhaps can help you. See our tips to avoid palm oil as well.
Items to make it easier to live palm oil free
Palm oil free apps
We love the Spoon Guru app.
While many palm oil apps note the foods that contain sustainable palm oil, Spoon Guru filters out the foods that contain it, even in the form of palm oil derivatives.
With our son’s palm oil sensitivity, this app is helpful to verify we didn’t miss one of the hundreds of names for palm oil derivatives. When he gets older and gets a phone, it will help him as well.
Please note, we don’t rely on apps but use them to double-check we haven’t missed an ingredient.
Dishpan for baking supplies
We bought two dishpans which we use to organize our baking supplies. You can find them at Target and Walmart.
Did you know most all desserts you find in stores contain palm oil and palm oil derivatives?
After we learned about our son’s palm oil intolerance, we couldn’t buy premade confections and desserts anymore. Prior to this, at best, we made boxed cake and boxed brownie mixes. We bought canned frosting. All of these contain palm oil.
So we learned to bake from scratch. At first, we had a mishmash of baking supplies. It was a stress to even make homemade pancakes.
Now, we have a miscelleanous bin for random baking ingredients. We have another with ingredients for foods we make often, such as waffles, cakes, brownies, etc.
It’s a lot faster and easier to pull out the dishpan and have all the ingredients we need.
Belgian waffle maker
Buying a waffle maker was one of the best things I did. You do need room to store it which may not work for all households.
For us, it has been a great way to enjoy palm oil free waffles. Most all waffle mixes and pancake mixes in stores contain palm oil derivatives. Owning a Belgian waffle maker has been a great way for us to enjoy them at home.
While the recipe book included several recipes, we use the original / basic one with the least amount of ingredients. Sometimes we add Enjoy Life Mini Semi-Chocolate Chips.
My son loves these homemade waffles.
It’s also an easy breakfast when we have company. I am so glad I bought the double one. It didn’t cost much more and enables me to bake them twice as fast.
We can make the batter in 20 minutes. The batter sits for 60 minutes (with occasionally mixing). The batter makes about 12 waffles in our maker.
I keep some in the refrigerator and freeze the rest. They are easy to pull out for breakfast when we need them.
Our waffle maker is: Cuisinart WAF-F20 Double Belgian Waffle Maker Stainless Steel
We use our Vitamix a lot to make smoothies. Buying frozen organic berries are economical and ensures we’ll always have them on hand. I’ll use these berries with whatever else we have, including greens and a banana.
In addition, we buy organic berries mixed with kale and spinach from Costco. We use this for when we are out of fresh spinach, spring mix, kale, etc.
There’s so much you can do with a Vitamix. We make applesauce in it as well as use it to chop onions, garlic, carrots, cauliflower, etc. It will help save you time and make it easy to eat healthier.
One of our favorites is blending frozen bananas, organic vanilla extract, and 100% cocoa powder for chococolate “ice cream.” Before we learned to find ice cream without palm oil, we made this often.
While you can typically find popcorn without palm oil in bags, popcorn-eating is more of a fun event when you pop it yourself. You can air pop it and then add salt, real butter, etc. for a palm oil free snack.
Sometimes we toss in Milk Chocolate M&M’s. Our popcorn popper is one from Hamilton Beach.
Once we melted marshmallows on the popcorn. It tasted like Rice Krispie Treats which is something my son hasn’t been able to eat with his palm oil intolerance.
Rice Krispies — like most cereals — contain Vitamin A Palmitate — a palm oil derivative. This means we can’t even make them at home. The pre-made ones in stores also contain palm oil ingredients.
See snacks without palm oil for other palm oil free ideas. When you know what you are looking for, it becomes easier to choose snacks and other foods without palm oil.
Our son doesn’t eat bread except for Dave’s Killer Bread for French toast.
The bread maker helps us live without palm oil but our son doesn’t eat it.
Most store breads contain palm oil. There are a lot of chemicals in breads to make them shelf stable. Even breads “fresh baked on-site” often contain palm oil.
By baking breads at home, we don’t worry about palm oil derivatives. We make pizza dough, rolls, and loaves of bread.
We just follow the recipes in the booklet. It’s easy and fun to make palm oil free breads from scratch.
We owned this product before we learned about our son’s palm oil sensitivity and have baked breads dozens of times.
The one we use is Oster CKSTBRTW20.
Products which make it easy to live palm oil free
It’s difficult to clean without palm oil because so many of the chemicals in cleaners contain palm oil. Using Norwex cloths means we don’t need them.
In the kitchen, we use Norwex EnviroCloths. We have different color towels for cleaning the bathroom.
To clean our windows, we use their EnviroCloth and Window Cloth which enables you to wash windows without spray cleaners. We also have the dust mitt for dusting.
Using these cloths eliminates the need for cleaners and also means we aren’t using paper towels making it more environmentally friendly.
I haven’t read the ingredients in their spray cleaners to know if they contain palm oil. However, we love the cloths because we don’t need them.
At some point, I hope to get the Norwex floor mopping system, EnviroWand, Optic Scarves, and their entry rugs.
In the meantime, we are using a Swiffer floor sweeper — but not the Swiffers. We aren’t sure what’s in them. We wrap a damp microfiber cloth around the Swiffer sweeper base, and use it for our floors.
There are times we need to take food on the go. EcoLunchbox containers make it easy to do that.
We have a set of three containers from EcoLunchbox we pack for school lunches. These enable my son to bring real, whole foods easily. The containers are made from food-grade stainless steel and are leakproof.
For school lunch, he brings two containers filled with fruits and some vegetables. Often I will put watermelon or pineapple in one. In the other, I will put a variety of produce. Some examples:
- Cut apple, snap peas, and pepper
- Peeled mandarin and snow peas
- Cut up strawberries and blueberries
- Carrots and peppers
I am happy I can wash these in the dishwasher. In addition, I’m thrilled they aren’t plastic. While most of the plastic containers available now are BPA-free, etc., I still much prefer his food in stainless steel.
He doesn’t usually bring the larger one to school because he doesn’t eat sandwiches, and he doesn’t bring leftovers to school. However, we use it a lot when we are out. I’ll pack salmon or ham and lettuce with peppers.
In addition to the above containers, we also have a set of LunchBot Dips. These are perfect for our son to bring to lunch as well.
They are leakproof, lightweight, and don’t take up a lot of room in his lunchbag. They are easy to open and close. In addition, they are dishwasher safe.
They come in a set of three. Some of the things we use them for are:
- Figs, dates
Our son doesn’t use ketchup or dressing but these are an easy way to pack ranch dressing, etc. for your child’s lunch or to bring to work.
Easy-to-use containers to pack healthy snacks and foods for when you are away from home are essential for us. They make it easy to not have to rely on restaurants and fast food.
Lotus Produce Bags
Now that we’ve been avoiding palm oil, we buy more fruits and vegetables than ever before.
While much of the produce in stores is already packaged, we try to buy it loose. But we don’t want to have to use the disposable plastic produce bags from the stores.
We try to bring Lotus Produce Bags with us when we go to the grocery store. They are mesh bags that list the tare weight on them as well.
You can store your vegetables and fruits in them at home too. They allow for airflow which is helpful when storing produce. They are machine washable so you can use them as cheesecloth and for other purposes.
Soap holder ~ SoapStandle
You may surprised to learn how common palm oil is in self-care and personal care products.
We only use bar soap because all the liquid soaps we found contained mulitple palm oil derivatives.
When you buy soap, shampoo, and conditioner in a bar or block, it has a better chance of not containing palm oil.
The issue, however, from these blocks is that they sit in water when you are done using them.
This leaves a mess — but even more importantly — it breaks down and disintegrates your soap bar. Your soap and shampoo won’t last as long when it’s sitting in water.
The SoapStandle is a small plastic that rests on your countertop. You keep your block of soap, conditioner or shampoo on it so that it can be lifted out of the water and so that air can circulate around it.
We have a SoapStandle at every sink and in every shower of our home.
Stainless steel water bottle
For sports and other activities, our son can only drink water.
Once, a sports drink with a palm oil derivative made him so sick, we don’t even read the ingredients on them anymore. He just knows to not have them.
Therefore, having a water bottle is important for him at school, when we are out, on vacation, etc. Everyone in our household brings them.
Coffee pot and coffee tumbler
While our son doesn’t drink coffee, the adults in our house do. Having a coffee pot means we can make our own coffee at home. In addition, having a stainless steel coffee tumbler means we can take it with us.
Many “naturally flavored” coffees — such as Vanilla Creme Brulee, Caramel, etc. — can contain palm oil derivatives. The creamers and whipped cream do as well. When you make it at home and take it with you, you have a better chance of having less palm oil and less impact on the earth in general.
List of palm oil derivatives
This is a very helpful item to live without palm oil. It’s been a game-changer for our family so we wanted to share it with you in case you or someone you know suffers from a palm oil allergy or palm oil intolerance.
This list of the ways palm oil is in foods and non-foods has helped us learn more about the ways companies use palm oil.
It’s helped us to be able to read ingredient labels to know what not to buy.
The International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme (POFCAP) has a list of palm oil derivatives which helped keep our son safe when we didn’t know all the ways palm oil was hiding in foods and non-foods.
We are forever grateful for this list. We have a condensed version you can bookmark. Even though we’ve been avoiding palm oil for over two years, we still reference this list.
Companies continue to find ways to hide palm oil in products so we reference it often. Learn palm oil uses and products that contain it so you can learn how to avoid it.
Products to make it easier to live without palm oil
We do our best to live palm oil free.
Palm oil is more common in foods now because the FDA banned artificial trans fats from foods. Many companies turned to palm oil as an alternative. Why? Palm oil is trans fat free and it is inexpensive.
When you avoid palm oil, you most likely end up living a less-waste, healthier life overall. Remember, palm oil isn’t in fresh foods.
Reading labels is a great start. Be loyal to companies who make products without it. See our list of products without palm oil.
If you are interested in trying to live without palm oil for environmental reasons or health reasons, choose one area to focus on. Then, add another.
It’s a lot easier to live palm oil free when we have these items to help us.
While it’s certainly challenging to reduce your dependence on palm oil, there are products you can use to make it easier. They can help with making food, storing ingredients, shopping, making products last longer, cleaning, etc.