Category Archives: Package free recipes

Keeping packaging free back at work

Holiday is over and I’ve been back at work for two weeks now, but junk free January continues…

I’ve managed to stay packaging free, but this has involved quite a lot of use of cafes for lunch, so far. Rather than buying some packaged food, I’ll either sit down in the cafe (hardly a hardship, it’s very relaxing), or take my lunch box along and ask if I could have the food in that. They take us out for lunch at work quite a lot too which is excellent!

People have been surprisingly ok with the lunch box, and my regular places now don’t raise an eyebrow. I’ll definitely keep on with this after January. It feels really good not to have a pile of plastic & card containers going into the bin, take away work lunches were one of the biggest causes of junk in my life.

One big change is the lack of lack of black tea at work. We have a regular tea round, maybe 4 or 5 a day, and though I love herbal tea, it’s not the same. I hadn’t realised how big a role milky tea plays in stopping me getting hungry. However, it’s good to cut down on caffine a bit, and rosebud tea, lemon verbena tea and green tea from Food for All are delicious.

Outside of work, I’ve been having muesli with rhubarb, baking apple, ginger & raisin puree instead of milk for breakfast, and baking a bunch of potatoes on the weekends as the basis for quick & easy evening meals when I traipse home late.

Yesterday was a big baking day – potatoes, rhubarb concoction, and a Jamie Oliver recipe for blackened aubergines (cook whole in the over for an hour, scoop out the middles and mix with cumin, garlic, lemon, oil etc, to make a topping). Also got hold of some fish from a fishmonger using my trusty lunchbox.

Highlight of the weekend was getting hold of loose cocoa nibs from Mother Earth in Newington Green – they are as addictive as chocolate and I highly recommend them!

 

 

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Making my own packaging-free almond milk.

It’s difficult to find milk without packaging and although it’s possible to get nice organic milk by the glass at my local farm-shop, (so it’s possible to fill your own container there), I’ve decided to make my own almond milk because I’ve done it before with delicious results and I can get loose almonds at Save a Packet.

Ingredients:

Whole almonds

Process:

Soak your almonds in water for 24-48 hours

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Drain and then blitz in a whizzer with a bit of water.

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You’ll get something looking a bit like this:

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Put a colander or sieve in a bowl or pan, and line it with muslin, cheese cloth, or a thin tea towel, and squeeze out the milk like this:

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You’ll end up with some dried bits of nut in your cloth, and lovely almond milk in your dish.

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Then you can bottle it and put it in your fridge. You could add a bit of agave syrup, or something similar if you wanted to sweeten it up.

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And then make some nice coffee

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With the dried bits, you can either find a yummy culinary use for them (it tastes good in flapjacks) or you can find some lovely ladies who might appreciate it.

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Enjoy!

Experimenting with packaging free deserts and snacks

Five days in to our no packaging challenge and I’ve become a bit obsessed by food. I have a sweet tooth, and would often pick up some kind of chocolately desert to eat for tea at home. So what can fill the void, when anything in a plastic or paper container is banned?

I’m hoping to sometimes buy cakes without wrappers, but so far I’ve not been organised enough to take an empty container with me to work to take one home… and cake slices without packaging are harder to find than you’d think. Today I wandered round the train station thinking I’d just sit down and have some cake on a plate, but all the cakes & muffins had wrappers, and I ended up with an apple (and a free sample from a chocolate shop 🙂

Until I get a bit more organised, this month is making me healthier, not such a bad thing after all!

Bananas have taken on a new significance as a snack, I try and make them more interesting by slicing them up and adding nuts and the like. The excellent Mother Earth shop in Newington Green, which does a huge range of healthy refills, also sells chocolate button type sweets from a jar, so those got added too.

They also sold cocoa powder, so I have plans to make ‘raw’ chocolate brownies, something like the ones described here. As well as the cocoa powder, I’ll need dates, walnuts, something sweet (banana?), and coconut oil (this seems to be a recurring theme). My partner in junk free-ness is working on a cunning plan to get hold of this precious substance.

The best proper desert so far was a rhubarb and bramley apple bake with ginger – this is a bit tart (haven’t got sugar yet) but makes you feel really good. I’ve managed to find loose oats and muesli so next time I’ll use this as a topping.

For savoury snacks, I’ve been toasting pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and eating lots of olives which a kindly local shop sold me in my own box.