HERBS, SPICES & OILS
KEEN COOKS REJOICE!
Keen cooks rejoice! There are plenty of ways to jazz up your creations without the need for any plastic. you just need a little bit of imagination.
Herbs were definitely one of my bad kitchen habits. I bought them often. Then they would vanish into the black hole of the fridge, only to be found rotting in their plastic bag weeks later.
These days I buy them bunched and unpackaged and store them in a jar of water in the fridge door. This keeps them fresh AND visible.
You’ll find them loose in lots of places - greengrocers (often out the back - ask), street-markets, big Sainsbury’s. Even my local corner shop has bunches. Just not as part of an online shop.
In the summer, it’s worth buying potted basil, as it will last for ages (winter ones are grown hydroponically so will die too quickly in your kitchen).
pots and jars
This is a good back-up for when you can’t find loose fresh herbs.
The coriander paste works well in all kinds of Asian dishes.
A dollop of basil paste, or even good old pesto, is a brilliant sub for fresh basil in tomato based Italian dishes.
And mint sauce, mixed with yogurt and cucumber, makes a pretty decent raita or tzaziki.
You’re welcome :-)
oil & Vinegar
The moral of the story is look along the shop shelf and you’ll find what you need. About a third of oils come in glass bottles.
Rule of thumb seems to be that bigger bottles and lower quality oil tends to come in plastic. If you’re ordering as part of your weekly online shop, it’s not always clear in the pic. Check the product details.
Oil is also readily available in BYO bulk stores. I’m filling up my empty gin bottles (because they are just too nice to put in the recycling) at Bring Your Own in Nunhead, AKA my favourite place to shop.
It’s easy to find spices in glass jars.
But did you know it’s also pretty easy to find places where you can refill them? There are bulk stores popping up all over the UK and most of them will have herbs and spices. Take your own empties (I’m a fan of Sainsbury’s spice pots - they look nice on the shelf) or most have jars for sale.
You can also order spices in compostable paper from the brilliant Plastic Free Pantry.
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