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FOOD

They’re turning leftovers into organic, gluten-free flour

Renewal Mill transforms what’s left from soymilk production and makes a positive impact on the environment

Renewal Mill transforms what’s left from soymilk production and creates flour and mixes.
Renewal Mill transforms what’s left from soymilk production and creates flour and mixes.Handout

The heaps of nutritious pulp cast off after juicing fruits and vegetables always troubled Claire Schlemme, co-founder of an organic juice company. While she could use some of the fibrous leftovers for muffins and other baked goods, the quantity of pulp was daunting. Frustrated that so much food and production waste often ends up in landfills, Schlemme and Caroline Cotto, a Cape Cod native, moved to Oakland, Calif., to launch a new company called Renewal Mill. Working with soymilk and tofu producer Hodo Foods in Oakland, Schlemme and Cotto transforms the company’s pulpy leftovers from soymilk production called okara (long used in Asia). Renewal Mill dries and mills the pulp to make their flagship Organic Okara Flour, a gluten-free, high-fiber, and protein-dense flour that works best blended with other flours for pizza dough, muffins, and cookies. Recipes for using the flour are found on the company’s website and elsewhere online. Also available are several other products: 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Four, a blend using okara flour that can replace white flour, and Oat Milk Flour created from pulp tossed away after producers churn out oat milk. Baking mixes are also offered that combine the okara flour with other gluten-free flours, like brown rice, chickpea, and tapioca. The simple mixes call only for oil and water. Their Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix bakes into rich, fudgy squares that feature Guittard chocolate and upcycled vanilla. The Sugar Cookie Mix yields crispy cookies with a soft, chewy interior. They’re a delicious way to make a positive impact on the environment. Sclemme and Cotto’s mission is to help create a better food system for the planet. “Our message is really tied to climate change,” Cotto says. Several of the products are available at Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-566-6660; Common Crow Natural Market, 200 Eastern Ave., Gloucester, 978-283-1665, or visit renewalmill.com.

ANN TRIEGER KURLAND

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Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at anntrieger@gmail.com.