Completely abolishing plastic from our home is not something that is feasible at the moment for an array of reasons so I’ve been trying to do what I can and reduce it as much as possible. One of the things I’ve been doing is choosing groceries with the least amount of packaging where possible as well as going for paper or cardboard packaging over plastic in a bid to not break my bank account in the process.
Buying organically is the dream for most families but quite often, buying organically in supermarkets leaves one hell of a dent in your pocket as well as your rubbish bin drowning in plastic so I went in search of ways to eat well with minimal effort, without increasing your plastic wase.
I was contacted by Riverford who asked if I’d like to try out one of their seasonal fruit + veg boxes and I was pretty excited, not gunna lie. Riverford is a fantastic brand, dedicated to keeping everything they do to the most environmentally friendly options as possible including reducing a lot of packaging. The box the produce comes in is reusable ten times over and if there are any tears along the way, they will fix it for you! There is *some* plastic packaging but only where food waste would be an issue should there not be a plastic wraparound it and/or were producing a paper alternative would be creating more of a carbon footprint than it’s a plastic alternative. All plastic used (which is a heck of a lot less than supermarkets) is recyclable and can even be sent back to the farm for them to recycle if you need to.
In addition to the seasonal organic fruit and veg boxes, they do a wide array of variations from 100% UK produce, meat boxes to vegan foods to recipe boxes and boxes where you choose all the items plus loads more! The quality of the fruit and veg was great, we had a couple of apples that had gone a bit mouldy at the bottom from condensation by the look of things from the hot muggy weather we’ve had recently but everything else was spot on and lasted ever so well!
To give you a little insight into the plastic usable compared to the supermarket I normally shop in, everything in the box would have been wrapped in plastic if I had gone for the organic options in-store. The Riverford box, however, only had plastic around the summer greens, lettuce, and green beans, so that’s three small plastic bags compared to around seven plus punnets from your average supermarket.
a bag of potatoes
a H U G E bunch of lettuce
x2 cucumbers (the lovely spiky “straight from the tunnel” kind, as my Grandad would have said)
The box comes with a little leaflet of recipies you could try, I am going to give the picked cucumber one a go for sure but here are a few tasty things I made with my own recipes with some of the lovely bits that came in my box:
120g fresh cherries
100g sr flour
60g rolled oats
1/4 tsp fine salt
70g dairy-free marg (I used Flora)
1/4 tsp baking powder
50g granulated sugar
20g muscovado sugar
01. mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl
02. add the butter and then rub the mixture together with your fingertips. Think crumble topping type consistency!
03. take 3/4 of the mixture and press it down into a square baking tin. This did an 8×8 tin but just double the recipe for bigger tins or even a roasting dish! Just make sure you line it with baking paper or an alternative so it doesn’t stick!
04. remove the stones from the cherries and cut in half.
05. place the sliced cherries on top of your pressed down crumble mixture.
06. sprinkle the remaining mixture over the top.
07. bake in the oven at 170 degrees Celcius for 20 minutes or until the top is golden.
These are super yummy and great for breakfast! You can use any fruit you like, I can’t wait to make a nice apple and cinnamon one when the apples start growing here!
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp veg oil
salt + pepper to taste
01. peel and cut the turnips into chip shapes
02. parboil for 10 minutes.
03. coat them in the oil and seasoning
04. roast in the oven, turning once midway, for 20 minutes at 200 degrees Celcius.
These were actually so amazing! I wasn’t expecting them to be as tasty as they were I will be honest but they are going to be on our plates a lot judging by home much everyone liked them!
1 tbsp veg oil
1tsp minced garlic
salt + pepper to taste
01. wash and prep the green beans
02. transfer them into a roasting dish and use your hands to coat them in the oil, salt, pepper and garlic
03. roast in the oven for 20 minutes at 200 degrees Celcius.
I think my next venture with these veg boxes is with the 100% UK produce just to reduce those miles even more. I love seasonal fruit and veg, it always means that I don’t get stuck in so much of a rut with cooking because the things in season change often so everything is exciting and new! Plus, organic produce always tastes better, doesn’t it?!