It's Plastic Free July and we're supporting the challenge by sharing ideas and advice on how to live with less waste in different parts of the home. For week 1, we're starting with the kitchen.
Whether you’re on the go or at home most of the week – finding plastic free alternatives for some food products can be hard. You'll probably see some familiar packets, bottles and cartons in your kitchen of staples you need, but which are also a source of plastic waste.
We can tell those brands and small businesses that we don't need the plastic packaging or we can find an eco-friendly replacement product. In some cases, though, the simplest option is to have a go at making our own.
Here are two simple recipes we used to replace plastic-packaged products in our kitchen:
Whether you go for dairy or plant-based, most milk in supermarkets comes in plastic bottles or Tetrapaks. This is a problem as, while recyclable, only 9% of plastic does get recycled and this can be harder for Tetrapak as it will go to landfill unless you take it to a designated recycling point.
To avoid all this, many are switching back to glass as the greenest option. Ordering milk from the milkman is increasing in popularity again. However, milk in glass bottles is substantially more expensive - and there are very few providers of plant-based milk in glass.
1. Soak the oats in water for at least 30 minutes. We usually soak them overnight, but it’s not necessary. Soak almonds and tiger nuts overnight.
2. Drain the oats, almonds or tiger nuts, discarding the water you soaked them in (or use it to water a plant).
3. Add fresh water to the mix on a 50:50 ratio (the same weight of water as there are oats or nuts) and blend until smooth.
4. Pour the milk into a cotton bag or milk bag or over a cheesecloth and strain.
5. Your plant milk is ready! Store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Over time, you can adapt your plant milk to how you like it, with more or less water, half a date for sweetness, vanilla essence or even cacao. I find home made oat milk is great served hot or cold, perfect for your morning coffee and cereal. You may find some leftover pulp in the milk bag, which can be used for pancake batter, to top porridge or be added to any kind of cake or protein ball mix.
2. Sandwich wraps
Lunch on the go is often near impossible to do plastic-free, unless you bring your own or sit in at a cafe. Even in the supermarket, we couldn't find any sandwich wraps without plastic packaging.
This clever recipe for making your own homemade wraps is quicker than making your own bread and so good we've been making them for months now! These wraps are delicious, vegan and can also double as naan bread in curries (just make the wrap thicker) - another way to avoid more single-use plastic. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Here is the recipe: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You will need 250g wholemeal flour 250g plain flour 250ml water 4 tbsp olive oil 1/2 tsp salt
Combine the ingredients in a bowl. The dough will be moist which keeps the wraps soft. Knead the mix in the bowl until the dough starts to hold its shape. Take a piece of dough and roll in your hands till about the size of a small apple. Press it with your fingers into a small circle. Add to a frying pan at high heat (no oil needed) and turn the dough, pressing it flatter with a wooden spoon, until each side takes on a dappled colour.
You don't need to make all the wraps at once, as the unused ones will go stale. It's better to keep your dough covered in the fridge for up to a week and make more wraps fresh as needed.
We hope you enjoy these simple recipes. Let us know if you try them!
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