Easy ways to make your kitchen and baking more sustainable!
It can be a hard habit to break, we are all so used to its convenience that sometimes we reach for cling film without even thinking. For me, when wrapping up half an avocado or onion it used to be a ‘no brainer’ to grab the nice airtight plastic wrap and pop the leftovers in the fridge. But this habit is wasteful, unsustainable and pretty much one of the least eco-friendly things we can be doing.
So, here is a quick list of swaps you can use instead of that nasty plastic wrap. The first four are aimed with baking in mind. When baking (especially proving bread) most recipes call for covering your dough with cling film. These top 6 are aimed at you kicking that habit. The last 2 are general kitchen swaps for your leftovers and any food prep you might be doing.
1. Tea Towel
A classic, easy swap. Self-explanatory, just make sure you have a clean tea towel and drape away!
2. Wax Wraps
Wax wraps are great for storing your food in the fridge or covering your bowl while you’re baking. When you wrap your hands around the bowl the warmth of your hands slightly melts the wax on the fabric and helps to hold its shape. The only issue I’ve had with wax wraps is that you really can’t clean them with hot water so personally I don’t think these are suitable for anything wet, smelly or raw. But they are perfect for bread, baking and covering bowls of food. Also, they are fantastic at wrapping avocados as they help to seal the flesh and halt the inevitable blackening! Another great thing about them is that you can buy wax refresher blocks to re-wax the cloths when they get a bit soft and stop clinging to the bowls.
3. Fabric Bowl Covers
I’m not afraid to admit it, I’m IN LOVE with these fabric bowl covers. They are hands down one of my favourite swaps out there. In fact, they are actually one of my favourite things we sell in the shop! Very simple, rounds of fabric with natural rubber elastic in the edge which clings to whatever bowl you are covering. These work for storage in the fridge and they are perfect on salads or anything you may be leaving out on your kitchen counter. One thing I love about these is that because they are made of breathable fabric, they don’t make your food sweat (no one wants a sweaty potato or pasta salad). They are also great because you can whack them in the washing machine and they come out beautifully clean and free of any germs that may have been passing by. Remember the fact that they are breathable means they may not be suitable for some food, like the avocado scenario. These will not stop the blackening!
4. Compostable Caddy Liner Bags
This one is purely aimed at proving or resting food. If you have a kitchen food compost you probably have these biodegradable caddy liners kicking about. I sometimes use these when proving bread in the fridge overnight. You can pop one on the proving bowl and when you’re done, you can line your worktop compost caddy with it. To be honest, this works with all bin liners. Not a perfect solution but at least the plastic will be reused and ideally composted.
5. Old Fashioned Plate Over A Bowl
This is another very self-explanatory option. Place a plate on top of a bowl, that’s it. This covers any food that might be leftover and makes stacking leftovers in the fridge really easy and stackable.
6. Shower Cap
If you’ve been to a hotel and like many people hoard all those miniature things they give you, this is the time to use that random shower cap! Use it again and again in fact. Perfect for proving bread because you can see through it, just like the fabric bowl covers but made in plastic. Pop it over your bowl and they can be washed and reused over and over.
7. Containers With Lids: Glass or Plastic Boxes With Clip Lids / Recycled Takeaway Boxes & Jam Jars
This option is great because it’s super easy and we all tend to have these bits and bobs lying around the kitchen. Perfect for taking to the bulk shop to refill your products! You can use for packed lunches, dressings pots and those little bits of leftovers.
8. Silicone Food Storage Bags
There are lots of these on the market now and they are great. You can fill with snacks or leftovers. Dry or wet food and they can be washed in the dishwasher. Easy Peasy lemon squeezy!
Hopefully this has inspired you to break the cling film habit and play with some easy alternatives.