Four Recipes to Help You Cut Down on Plastic

Orly Keiner, TPSS Board of Representatives

Anyone looking to learn more about plastic packaging reduction is welcome to join Orly at the Co-op’s Earth Day celebration, where she’ll lead a short plastic-free shopping tour of the store!

One of the best ways to reduce the use of single-use plastics in the kitchen is learning to make your own food out of ingredients that come without plastic packaging. The key is identifying those recipes that will allow you to reduce the greatest amount of plastic for the least amount of effort. Here are four extremely easy recipes that have driven the greatest reduction in my household’s plastic use!  

  1. Homemade Yogurt: If you can heat a liquid and let it cool, you can make thirty-two ounces of plain yogurt and stop buying yogurt in plastic tubs. Use a half-gallon of milk that comes in a returnable glass jug (such as South Mountain Creamery), the Co-op’s yogurt starter, Yogourmet Live Cultures with Probiotics in Aisle 3 (or a big dollop of the non-sweetened active-culture yogurt of your choice), and this recipe.  I use my Instant Pot’s yogurt setting, which makes the process even easier. Boil and cool the milk before bedtime, and yogurt will be ready for you in the morning.
  2. No-Knead Bread: It is SO easy to make your own bread at home, and this recipe is the lowest effort one I have found. Mix it up before bed out of ingredients that don’t come in plastic and it’s ready to bake in the morning. Your house will smell amazing, you will get to eat warm bread, and you will feel great about all the plastic packaging you are avoiding. I double the recipe and freeze a loaf each time.
  3. Stovetop Popcorn: This is a life-changing, high-impact recipe, as it substitutes for chips, crackers, and so many other plastic-wrapped snacks. Get your popcorn kernels plastic-free from the Co-op’s bulk aisle, and then the sky’s the limit. Make a basic recipe using olive oil and salt, or go super deluxe by popping in butter and topping with nutritional yeast and black pepper. 
  4. Granola: Homemade granola is not only so tasty and healthy, it can also help you avoid those awful plastic pouches and cereal bags. All the components for this recipe can be purchased plastic-free from the Co-op’s bulk aisle. Take it a step further and make your own granola bars, which can eliminate a lot of plastic wrappers from your life.

Food is very personal and individual, but hopefully we all share the goal of reducing the plastic we use every day. Maybe these recipes will work for you too, or maybe they’ll just get you thinking about other plastic-reduction substitutions you could make based on the way your family eats! 

Orly Keiner serves on TPSS Co-op’s Board of Representatives.