For those of us wanting to REDUCE the amount of plastic waste we produce, finding plastic-free alternatives to snack foods can sometimes be challenging. The easiest way, of course, is to MAKE YOUR OWN. And to make our snacks 100% plastic-free, we must purchase the ingredients without plastic packaging.
One of my favorite summer snacks is ice cream. Since the locally-produced-and-packaged ice cream is not very tasty in my opinion, it it easy for me to REFUSE. Instead, when I am craving something cool and creamy, I head to Nirvana Indian Restaurant for their tasty homemade ice cream. As far as a take-away snack, I think this is a great option – you can order the ice cream in a cone and it’s plastic-free!
But is it truly a 100% plastic-free snack? What plastic packaging is thrown away by the restaurant when they make this ice-cream? Which milk are they using and how is it packaged?
I often make my own yogurt at home and will mix it with fruit and honey to make my own frozen yogurt. But making my own yogurt involves buying milk in Tetra Paks, which are not recycled here in Dahab, so I began to wonder how I could make a frozen snack without any plastic waste. I found the answer in bananas!
It was news to me, but it probably won’t surprise any vegans out there – bananas make a deliciously creamy frozen dessert!
Basically, you chop and freeze bananas and then blend or process them until they are smooth and creamy. You can refreeze the mix if you want or eat it straight away. I followed this recipe and added a dash of nutmeg and a few drops of vanilla oil to the bananas. (I purchased both the nutmeg and vanilla oil in bulk in my own containers so there was no plastic packaging. I did not use a bag to purchase the bananas, just carried them in my hands.) The possibilities, though, are endless when it comes to other flavors and ingredients you want to add. For my next batch, I plan on adding peanut butter.
The only drawback to making this plastic-free “ice-cream” is, of course, the fact that you have to have a decent quality blender or food processor. I don’t have the best blender, but it did the job. I think next time I will not freeze the bananas overnight before blending; I’ll just freeze them for a couple of hours instead. If you don’t have your own blending or processing device, ask a friend who does. Sharing these kitchen appliances is also good for the environment!
What are you waiting for? Buy a bunch of bananas and have fun experimenting with different flavored “ice creams”!
Refuse ~ Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Recycle