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Wanna Lead A Zero-Waste Lifestyle? Check Out These Recipes To Replace Packaged Food Items

  • IWB Post
  •  June 25, 2019

Homemade substitutes for food items brought from the market can help in protecting the environment. As we all know, fancy plastic packaging that renders them resistant to many natural processes result in slow degradation affecting our planet, so we are taking a step towards making our planet plastic-free.

The minute we step into departmental stores, the quick access of ready-made food items packed in tonnes of plastic tempt us into buying them. But unaware of the harmful effects they have on us (due to their preservatives’ content) and the environment (due to plastic waste which they come in) we unconsciously contribute to the growing environmental hazards. According to researchers, it is estimated that 500 billion plastic bags are littered around the planet each year, and it can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfills.

The fancy packaging, which is quick to catch our attention, not only ends up clogging drains and causing death of animals who consume it along with food remnants, but it also has its negative effects on the ecosystem. So in order to create awareness to cut down on the use of plastic, we are promoting the idea of making certain food items at home.

For this, we invited food bloggers from across the country to contribute a recipe each, along with three ideas that can be adopted in the kitchen that are environment-friendly.

So friends, let us all pledge to make our planet a more sustainable and livable place to be in, by incorporating a zero-waste environment-friendly lifestyle.

Check out these five delectable food items that you can make at home:

For Shalini Digvijay from Mumbai, the only thing that makes sense to her most of the time is food, and one scroll through her Instagram page will leave you drooling over the bakes she makes. Giving a twist to the usual bread, Shalini shares with us the recipe for her chutney braided babka bread.

Recipes

Chutney Braided Babka Bread

 Ingredients:

  1. 450 gms all purpose flour
  2. 50 gms oat bran/wheat bran
  3. 4 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
  4. 4 tbsp raw cane sugar
  5. 4 tbsp neutral vegetable oil
  6. Plus extra to great bowls and tins
  7. 300-350 mils water or as needed
  8. 2 tsp salt
  9. 2 tbsp honey and water mix
  10. 3-4 tbsp soft room temperature butter
  11. 3-4 tbsp prepared green chutney-thick and not watery
  12. 2 tsp sesame seeds

Method:

  1. Grease and line two loaf tins with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, place the flour, bran, salt, sugar and knead with the water. Knead till you get a soft, pliable, elastic dough.
  3. Knead in the oil until it is fully incorporated.
  4. Make the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl and cover.
  5. Set aside the dough for an hour or till doubled.
  6. After it has doubled, punch it down. Divide into two.
  7. Shape the first ball of the dough into a rectangle and roll into a log.
  8. Place seam side down in one tin and then cover it and place in the fridge to rest till you shape the second.
  9. Roll out the other dough into a rectangle of 8*12 inches in size and spread the softened butter all over it.
  10. Spread the chutney and roll up along the length.
  11. You’ll end up with an 8-inch long log. Place on a parchment paper and chill covered in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  12. Remove from fridge. Along the center, cut the log into two parts to expose the cut chutney filled layers.
  13. Braid the two strips together by lifting one half and bringing it over the other. Repeat till you get a rope.
  14. Carefully tuck the ends under. Place the braid on the parchment paper and then place in the tin.
  15. Remove the other load tin from the fridge.
  16. Brush both the loaves of bread with the honey water mix and sprinkle over sesame seeds.
  17. After 10 minutes, turn on the oven to preheat the oven to 180 C.
  18. Pop the tins into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the tins around once. If you feel one is baking faster then cover it with a piece of aluminum foil till the other one is done.
  19. Your loaves of bread will be ready in 10-15 minutes.
  20. Remove from oven and cool them for five minutes before removing them from the tin.
  21. Let them sit on a wire rack to cool it further before you slice the bread.

Recipes Recipes

Suggesting three ideas that can be adopted in the kitchen that are environment-friendly, Shalini shares,

  1. Plan your baking or cooking ahead. In that way, you’ll be completing all the shopping in one go. Also, you’ll know exactly how much to purchase, which will ensure that no ingredient goes waste.
  2. Purchase locally grown vegetables from your local stores, so that you don’t use too many processed vegetables.
  3. Compost your vegetable and fruit peels and also daily kitchen wastes.

Uma Raghuraman is a doting mother and a passionate chef from Delhi. With more than 900 recipes from cuisines around the world, Uma’s food blog MasterChefMom is a one-stop destination to find out food recipes using fresh local ingredients. Take a look at the recipe she shared with us of her delicious spring onion dip.

Recipes

Spring Onion Dip | Three Ingredient Spring Onion / Scallion Dip Recipe:

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Storage: Keeps good for up to a week when stored in a clean, odor free and dry container.

Special vessel/equipment: Mixer/food processor

Ingredients:

  1. 5 spring onions ( roughly chopped)
  1. 2 teaspoons  spring onion greens ( chopped)
  2. 1 teaspoon lemon juice ( adjust according to taste)
  3. 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder ( if you are not using dry red chilies)
  4. 1/4 teaspoon powdered jaggery ( optional, you can even use brown sugar)
  5. salt to taste

To dry roast:

  1. 1/4 cup peanuts
  2. 1 teaspoon sesame seeds ( white or black)

For garnish:

  1. 2 teaspoons oil ( of your choice, adjust)
  2. chili flakes

Method:

  1. Dry roast the peanuts and sesame seeds separately and add it to the jar of a mixer or food processor.
  2. Add the washed and chopped spring onions and leaves, spice, salt, jaggery powder ( if adding) and lemon juice. Chef tip: Use less amount of leaves for better flavor.
  3. Grind them smoothly without adding any water. Chef tip: You can add oil to grind smoothly
  4. Taste and adjust the salt and spice.
  5. Transfer it to a clean jar /container and add oil to seal the freshness.

Three environment-friendly tips that can be adapted easily in the kitchen according to Uma are as follows:

  1. Use a big mud pot during summer months to drink water from instead of plastic pet bottles.
  2. Compost your vegetable discards and fruit peels.
  3. Buy milk directly from milkman/farms that sell them in bottles and avoid plastic packets.

A passionate Indian food blogger, Hina Gujral’s blog Fun Food Frolic is dedicated to everyday comfort food. With delicious sweet to savory food recipes, Hina’s blog is an answer for every foodie out there for whom home food is the best food. Check out Hina’s Indian Curry paste recipe here: 

Recipes

Indian Curry Paste: Makhani Masala 

Ingredients:

  1. 1 medium-size onion roughly chopped
  2. 2 – 3 large-size ripe tomato diced
  3. 2 tablespoon butter
  4. 2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  5. 1 green chili
  6. 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  9. 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  10. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Method:

  1. Heat butter in a pan.
  2. Add the onion and green chili. Saute over low heat till onion become soft and light brown.
  3. Next, add the ginger and diced tomato.
  4. Cook the masala till the tomato turns soft and mushy.
  5. Add salt, sugar, turmeric powder, tomato ketchup, and Kashmiri red chili powder. Stir to combine.
  6. Fry till the oil starts separating from the masala. Turn off the heat.
  7. Allow the masala to cool down completely before blending into a smooth paste.
  8. Store in a clean, dry jar for upto 2 weeks in the fridge.

Recipe Notes:

*These ingredients yield approximately 1 Cup of masala sufficient to make curry for 4 adults.

Three environment-friendly kitchen ideas by Hina are as follows:

  1. I prefer using the banana leaf in lunchboxes instead of aluminum foil as it is a more eco-friendly and healthy choice.
  1. Wash, clean and sun-dry glass bottles of store-bought jam or any other condiments. These bottles/jars with lid can be used in the kitchen to store spices and herbs.
  1. Used green tea leaves can be added to the plants as organic manure. It works like a miracle for plant growth.

A food blogger, photographer, and food stylist based in Odisha, Alka Jena’s food blog Culinary Xpress is a compilation of simple and quick-to-make cuisines from around the world. With locally available ingredients as per the season, she loves to express herself through food and photography. Check out Alka’s Aam panna kiwi popsicles recipe here:

Recipes

Aam Panna Kiwi popsicles

Ingredients:

To make aam panna preserve:

  1. 1 large raw mango
  2. ½ cup sugar adjust as per taste
  3. 1 tsp freshly roasted cumin powder
  4. 1 medium size lemon

To make aam panna drink:

  1. 2 tablespoons aam panna preserve
  2. ¾ cup of chilled water
  3. Mint leaves

To make aam panna kiwi popsicles:

  1. 4 glasses of aam panna
  2. 1 kiwi fruit
  3. Mint leaves

Method:

  1. Select a firm green mango and peel the skin. Grate or chop the mango, leaving out the seed. Pressure cook or boil the mangoes very well till they are very soft and almost dissolved in water.
  2. Mash the mango pieces very well with a masher along with the water. Cook in low flame for 5 minutes. Add sugar and mix well. Continue to cook for 10 minutes in low flame till the syrup thicken and reaches a saucy stage.
  3. Add the roasted cumin powder. Mix well and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Once the syrup boils and thicken, remove from flame and add lemon juice and mix well. Store aam panna preserve in a clean bottle and cool thoroughly before refrigerating.

Aam panna drink recipe:

  1. Take 2-3 tbsp of aam panna preserve and add ¾ cup water. Mix well and add crushed mint leaves.
  2. Peel the kiwi fruit and cut in slices.
  3. Place 1 or 2 slices of kiwi in each popsicle mold and the aam paana over it. place mint leaves on top.
  4. Freeze the popsicles for 4-5 hours till set.
  5. After an hour, insert an ice cream stick into each mold. Since it takes more than an hour for the mixture to be frozen completely, the ice cream stick can be inserted into the mixture easily. Now let the mixture freeze until the pops turn solid.
  6. To release the popsicle from the molds, keep them in a warm water bowl for a couple of minutes.

Kitchen Tips:

  1. Keep your staples in glass jars/ceramic pots instead of plastic bottles.
  2. Take your own cloth bags to buy groceries and vegetables.
  3. Use earthen pots for your kitchen garden.

Based in Jaipur, the dynamic sister duo Ratika & Richa started Cauldron Sisters in 2015. Masters of all cuisines, their forte lies in experimenting and creating fusion foods. Check out Claudron sisters Mango chili jam recipe here:

Recipes

Mango chili Jam (Makes 500 gms)

Ingredients:

  1. 4  large ripe mangoes chopped
  2. 1/2 Cup honey
  3. 2 cinnamon sticks
  4. 1 tbsp. chili flakes
  5. 1 tbsp. lemon juice

Method:

  1. Take a non-stick pan & put mangoes in it.
  2. Keep stirring for 10 mins & add honey.
  3. Cook for 20 mins till its bubbly thick.
  4. Add cinnamon, chili flakes & lemon juice.
  5. Turn off the gas when it’s thick enough.
  6. Transfer to a glass jar or bowl once it cool.
  7. Store the jam in the fridge.

Three kitchen ideas:

  1. We use steel, glass jars or aluminum foil containers for packaging.
  2. While buying groceries we make sure they are carried back home in paper bags.
  3. To save water, we fill a container with water for washing vegetables & fruits, after which the water is poured in our garden.

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