Recipes to reduce your food and plastic waste
No one wants to waste food and many of us are concerned about the amount of plastic in our oceans and littering the beaches. This July millions of people around the world are taking part in the Plastic Free July challenge to stop using single use plastic for a month. A way to reduce single use plastic is to stop buying processed, packaged food and start making our own. Check out these zero waste recipes which will help you avoid single use plastic and reduce food waste.
You can buy bread plastic free from your local bakery or to save money try making your own. This is a simple basic bread recipe using yeast as the rising agent. In some parts of New Zealand its tricky to buy yeast plastic free so here’s a quick bread recipe you can make in the oven which uses eggs instead. Bread lasts longest if stored in the freezer or alternatively in the fridge. Keep it in paper bag or make a reusable cloth bag. If your bread begins to go stale or dry out then check out our 8 delicious ways to use it up.
Making crackers is even easier than making biscuits. This quick recipe uses any combination of seeds and flour – a great way to use up those odds and ends in your pantry. If you are baking in bulk, then you can freeze excess crackers. Just defrost and reheat for a couple of minutes in the oven or 30 seconds in the microwave when you want to use them. Reheating is also a great way to revive stale crackers.
Making your own wraps saves money and also reduces your soft packaging. With pumpkins in season at the moment why not make pumpkin falafels at the same time? Any leftover wraps can then be toasted to serve with dips.
Homemade hummus is easy to make plastic free. Use leftover roasted pumpkin, kumara or beetroot to flavour it. Hummus also freezes well so if you have made more than you need pop it in a jar and freeze it for the next time. Other easy zero waste dips include olive tapenade and cauliflower and white bean dip and, when avocados are in season, guacamole.
If you love pesto it’s easy to make it plastic free as long as you swap out the parmesan for nutritional yeast, which you can buy at most bulk food stores. Use about half the amount of nutritional yeast as you would parmesan. For a winter pesto try using broccoli stalks or if you are gardener try this one that uses cauliflower leaves.
If you drink cow’s milk, then buying milk powder in bulk and making your own milk is the simplest switch. For a dairy free alternative, it’s easy to make nut milk, but make sure you use up the leftover pulp. You can dry the pulp and turn it into almond meal or just freeze until you need it. Use it in a smoothie, these healthy energy bites or make these vegan chocolate brownies.
It’s often tempting to pick up a box of vegetable stock from the supermarket as it’s quick and convenient to use. But if a recipe only calls for a cup of vegetable stock you can end up wasting the rest. This recipe by Elien Lewis for vegetable stock paste uses vegetable scraps, will last in your fridge for 4 months and unlike conventional stock recipes you don’t throw away the veges at the end.
It’s not always easy buying pasta plastic free. There is no need to go out and buy a pasta machine if you want to try making your own. This pasta fettucine is made with pumpkin and can be rolled out by hand. Swap out the feta and parmesan for other salty flavours like capers and olives to be completely plastic free. Gnocchi is another type of pasta which can be easily made by hand.