I’ve often bought ready-made sauces, dips and ready-made food products from supermarkets for convenience. Given that they often come in non-recyclable plastic packaging, I thought I’d have a go at making some of my own. What’s great is that they take very little time at all, and are good for people with the busiest of schedules.
I’ve listed a few very simple recipes below for making them, mostly with 3 ingredients or less. They are not perfect, but where I’ve used ingredients that do come in packaging, it is at least recyclable. And that’s OK – after all, this is a journey about learning to be more eco friendly and conscious of the impact that we as humans have on our environment.
Here are a few which can be made in under 15 minutes:
Garlic, chive & mayonnaise dip
Time needed: less than 5 minutes
- 1-2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon of garlic infused oil (or crushed garlic if you prefer)
- 1-2 teaspoons of chives
So how have I made this with ingredients that are free from non recyclable plastic? It’s very simple…I bought the mayonnaise in a glass jar, which I know can be recycled an unlimited amount of times without the quality of the glass degrading. It’s also handy for reusing and storing dry food in.
I bought the garlic infused oil in a plastic bottle (which I know can be recycled at the kerbside. Although the bottle tops can’t, I collect them and take them to the local council recycling centre).
The chives are available in a glass jar with a metal lid from most supermarkets. Again, much easier to reuse and recycle than plastic. Simple!
Time needed: less than 15 minutes
- Potatoes, cut into wedges
- Coconut oil
- Any one of mixed herbs / paprika / chilli powder (optional)
This one is about as simple as it gets! Instead of buying frozen oven chips from the supermarket (which usually come in non-recyclable plastic bags), I buy loose potatoes, cut them into wedges and cook them. My preference is to boil them for 5 minutes before putting them in the oven for approx 20-30 minutes to finish cooking. I use coconut oil, which is available in glass jars. I’ve found that it goes much further than vegetable oil, and so is more cost-effective anyway.
What’s also great about this is that the cooked wedges can be frozen, and are easy to add to any meal quickly by just heating them up in the oven.
Fruit & nut chocolate bars
Time needed: less than 15 minutes
- 1 bar of chocolate
- Sultanas or raisins
- Hazelnuts and/or almonds
Again, this one is very simple and quick to make. I buy bars of chocolate wrapped in metal foil and a cardboard box (the foil can be recycled at the local council recycling centre but unlikely at the kerbside). I get my sultanas and nuts from Holland & Barrett, as they have a pick ‘n’ mix section, where nuts and dried fruit are available to buy loose. There are also a number of eco friendly online shops such as Plastic Free Pantry and an A-Z zero waste shop directory which lists the zero waste shops in the UK.
To make the bars, melt the chocolate, and mix in the sultanas and nuts. Put the mixture into moulds and put in the fridge to set. Simple!
Homemade sweet potato wraps
Time needed: 15 minutes approx.
- 50% Sweet potatoes
- 50% Water
Peel the sweet potatoes, and cook them in a saucepan. Drain, and put them into a bowl. Add the water and mix together until they form a dough.
Divide the dough into smaller pieces and roll each one into a flat, circular shape. Fry each one for a few seconds on each side, and, voila! You have sweet potato wraps, a quick and simple alternative to bread.
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