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Oddbox: the future of sustainable produce?

I recently started getting produce from Oddbox, which rescues fruit & veg that would otherwise go in the bin and deliver it to folk like me who want to eat lovely food and help save the planet at the same time. It’s pretty awesome: much of what they rescue is simply surplus, others don’t meet the supermarket beauty standards and have absolutely nothing wrong with them (to be honest so far I’ve not even really had anything odd-looking at all, just a few particularly small apples!)

What’s more, Oddbox keep up their green credentials by delivering overnight and to a schedule that means they’re not running around all over the place every day (for instance, they only deliver to my area on Tuesday night). So, no guilt here! Most I’d their stuff comes without packaging, though there is an occasional plastic wrap to certain items. Hopefully they’ll change to a more bio-based plastic-like material soon.

The contents of my fruit & veg box

As for the produce itself, it’s great stuff! I’ve not had a single thing to complain about so far. Perhaps if choosing myself I’d go for a slightly different selection on occasion – e.g. one recent week was confined almost solely to root veg – but actually in part that’s the point: I’m getting what’s in season, and so I should! It’s encouraging me to embrace a greener lifestyle, and I’m happy about that.

What’s more, getting unexpected items is a great opportunity to try new dishes! This week we had Jerusalem artichokes, which I’d never tried before. I did some research and ended up making them into a gratin with leeks also from Oddbox. Yummy!

Admittedly when I first signed up to Oddbox, I opted for a fortnightly delivery as I wanted to choose my veg the in between weeks. The advent of the second wave of COVID, very high rates in my area and a desire to avoid supermarkets as much as possible made me think differently. II’ve just switched to weekly – which I also think I’d a good step for me in loving greener! – and from veg only to fruit and veg. I don’t regret it; I’m well impressed with the variety and quantity in my first box!

Jerusalem artichoke and leek bake

Top tip: for best value for money, choose a fruit AND veg box. I didn’t know what I was missing till I did!

Want to give it a go? Do it! Also, we can both save money if you sign up via the refer a friend scheme here.

eco friendly products, Recipes

Making my own snacks to save on waste!

I love making my own tasty, clean and eco-friendly sweet snacks, which is both healthier for me and reduces the amount of packaging I have to buy and dispose of! I’ve enjoyed experimenting with some fun energy ball flavours these last couple of weeks… Let me know if you’d like to see recipes and be sure to follow me for updates when they drop!

Crunchy Nut bites
Chewy date, nut & oat bars
Dark chocolate, apricot & pistachio balls
Gardening, Recipes

Summer Hummus with Garden Herbs

I love using home-grown ingredients and the satisfaction that comes from that little bit of self-sufficiency. It’s too early for any fruit and veggies yet but my herbs are going strong and I wanted to share with you my summer hummus recipe that’s perfect for this time of year.

Hummus is my go-to lunch item as I try to stick to a high proportion of plant-based food. Given that I make it every week, the traditional version can get a bit samey, so I enjoy trying out different flavour combinations.

This lovely green hummus makes a great alternative to the classic recipe and is alive with the flavours of summer. I make it without tahini which gives it a certain lightness, but you can always add a tablespoon or two if you like. Mint and lemon verbena really give it that summery zing, but you can use whatever herbs you like from your garden; feel free to experiment with different combinations. Some of the quantities are deliberately vague as I like to be relaxed and go with the flow whilst making this, and encourage you to do the same!

Equipment:

Ingredients:

  • 400g tin chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or 125g dried chickpeas
  • Large handful of frozen peas
  • Handful of spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • Small handful of mint and lemon verbena leaves (or other fresh herbs)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • A good glug of olive oil
  • Salt, pepper and chilli powder to taste

Method:

If using dried chickpeas, cook or sprout them according to your preferred method ahead of making your hummus. Otherwise, drain the can of chickpeas and save the aquafaba.

Put your frozen peas in the saucepan on a medium heat for a few minutes. Once warmed through, rinse with cool water to bring back to room temperature.

Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Add it to the food processor with the chickpeas, peas, spinach and herbs. Whizz up until very finely chopped, scraping down the sides with the spatula occasionally if needed.

Juice half the lemon and add the juice to the processor along with a good glug of olive oil (a couple of tablespoons) and a splash of the aquafaba. Blend for a good few minutes until smooth (it takes patience!). Add more aquafaba if needed to get the desired consistency.

Taste and adjust: add lemon juice/zest, olive oil, salt pepper and chilli powder and continue to blend until you’ve reached your ideal flavour balance. Transfer to your container and store in the fridge. It’ll keep well for about 5 days.

Top tip: if your food processor has an accessory designed to help get a smooth consistency, use it! In the case of Magimix, I use the BlenderMix which stops the ingredients flying up the sides of the bowl, keeping them close to the blade an ensuring more effective blending.

Serve simply with pitta and carrot sticks or as a refreshing side to a summer salad.

A great alternative is to use broad beans in place of the peas & spinach, and add some green chilli for extra zing, Yummy!

I’ve got some other lovely home-grown recipes up my sleeve, so be sure to follow me to be the first to know about new recipes when they drop!

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