Sustainable Snacks

Guest Blog by Dorothy Barrick

Hello everyone my name is Dorothy and I run Dotscookin. I am a Mom, a holistic chef and a healthy cooking fan. While trying to juggle it all I recently had  a major realization that packaging, plastic and trash was really getting out of control in our house. Part of it I saw, was my dependence on ‘convenience’. Those cubed mango bits…in a plastic tub. That rolled up yoyo…in a packet and a card that is used once. That school lunch….wrapped in cling film. You see where I am going with this.

I would love to add that I have been a true fan of Small & Wild since I spotted them at our local deli. I just fell in love with the flavors, branding and all around healthy, happy image of the brand. Henry my 7 year old adores his sleepy time tea [Snoozy Fox] and I have found that my sweet craving after dinner is calmed with a cup of Happy Toucan. A great after school treat is when I remember to make Happy Toucan Iced Tea!

I hope none of this feels preachy, as that is not at all my point. What I would like to show you are really easy tips that worked for me and my family. I understand some of you may work full time and it may be harder for mid week shops or carrying a trolley around but with a bit more organization we can all do better regardless of our busy schedules. Follow along as well over @dotscookin for fun, easy recipes and sustainable lifestyle tips.

1.              Sandwich – Yes the old fashioned sandwich is my pick up from school saviour. Quick, easy and you can even sneak in greens such as homemade pesto here. Wrap it up in a tea towel. Find lovely vintage cloth napkins at your local Oxfam. Tie it up with those birthday or Christmas ribbons you saved (or may now start saving).

cheese and pesto sandwich
wrapped sandwich

2.         Sushi: yes you can make it. I may not make it every week but once a month I often do. A can of wild salmon + mayo mixed up with a few slices of avocado. All you need is to learn how to make sushi rice. It means really rinsing it well and measuring the exact amount of water. Store the cooked rice in the fridge and then just roll & go.

3.          Bulk-buying: Our local Planet Organic has dried fruit such as my son’s favorite mango but they also have apple chips, figs and pineapple. I always pack a few cubes of cheese, just make sure not to overdo the dried fruit as the dentist warned me against that…

dried mango and cheese

4.         Bread: be like the French and search for the best bread you can find. There is generally a bakery on every high street. Bring your cloth bag, stock up and freeze it in the bag. This will eliminate plastic bread bags, I always buy 2 or 3 and freeze them, sourdough freezes well.

5.         Glass containers: in the last year I have completely replaced my plastic Tupperware with glass jars and containers. Your local charity shop once again is always a great place to look £1 Kilner jars. I find them often! Jam jars are also really useful. Collect them, then boil them in hot soapy water for 5 minutes to sterilize and remove the labels. A spoonful of almond butter with a few carrot sticks is a great on the go snack or the nut free herb pesto here:

Nut Free Herb Pesto
·      2 large handfuls herbs of your choice, here I used dill but you could use basil, parsley coriander or a mix
·      3 or 4 tbsp soaked sunflower seeds. Soak them overnight in sea salt and water or if you forget the overnight part just pour boiling water and let sit for 5 minpine nuts in glass jar
6.         Fruit and cheese: The perfect combination and so easy. You can slice it and pop in a jar or just wrap a few chunks in a small piece of fabric and tie it up. I know it can feel somehow ‘safer’ in plastic sealed containers or cling film but clean fabrics and ties seemed to have worked well for us.
fresh mango
wrapped mango
7. Drinks: Water and iced herbal teas. Henry thinks he has won the lottery when I pick him up from school with an iced tea Happy Toucan! Just pour boiling water in a large jug or jar the night before and let cool.