Aluminium foil, baking paper and plastic wrap are for tossers.
Now now, don't yell at me in retort. I'm not calling you a tosser. I'd never do that.
I mean, al foil, baking paper and plastic wrap are products that you use once then toss in the bin off to landfill. It's a senseless waste of resources when you consider all the metal, water, tree pulp and chemicals gone into their manufacturing. Not to mention they don't bio-degrade. In fact, every single bit of plastic every produced still exists today.
You can recycle al foil by bunching it into a ball, but it's still a waste of resources for such a one-off use. You can't recycle baking paper or plastic wrap.
I mentioned briefly in a previous post that I'm gearing up to live completely waste-free. That's zero waste. That means I won't be able to use disposable items, unless it's vital and it can be recycled.
That means, al foil, baking paper and plastic wrap will no longer be an option.
So I've done my research and compiled these tricks to avoid using these products altogether. Thought you might like to consider giving them a go too?
1. Use a glass jar, glass tupperware container with lid or a plate to cover food
In fact, instead of plastic wrap my mum's always used the plate-over-the-plate technique. There are also a plethora of alternative products available for purchase, if you do a quick interweb search. These linen covers by Ambatalia are pretty snazzy (you could DIY something similar if you prefer). I don't see why you couldn't use shower caps as an alternative:
|photo via remodelista|
2. Wrap cut fruit and vegetables, sandwiches and bread etc with reusable wrap sheetsThere are several on the market. Abeego, a US brand, make wrap sheets out of hemp and cotton infused with beeswax. Biome sell an Australian made version of the same type of sheet (I've just bought this myself). There's also a brand called BeesWrap, in the US. All these sheets are washable and reusable and can last for over a year. When they've finally run their course, they can be composted. They're also very versatile.
3. You don't actually need to cover food in al foil to roast or bake it
Not even potatoes. If you're baking sweet potatoes, just ensure you poke a few holes in them and place another dish or tray underneath to catch any drips. If you're roasting meat, just ensure you baste it frequently and turn if necessary. Use bicarb soda to make scrubbing off the bits that stick to the bottom of the roasting tray a lot easier.
|image by my little celebration|
4. Grease with oil then dust with flour when baking cakes or cookies
Instead of lining with baking paper, grease your baking tin or tray with butter or coconut oil, then dust lightly with a little flour. Prevents sticking and makes cake removal a breeze.
5. Use banana leaves or paperbark instead
If you really want to wrap and roast, you can wrap fish, meat or veggies with banana leaves or paperbark instead of al foil, then safely dispose of the wrapping in the compost bin. You can find banana leaves at most Asian grocers and paper bark on paperbark trees around the hood (just ensure you strip the bark from the upper half of the tree so there's no chance it's covered in dog pee). Here's what a paperbark tree looks like.
6. Blind bake using a reusable silicone baking sheetThere are a few available, including this one or the one below by Silpat.
Any tips, questions or comments? Fire away!