This week we’re chatting about how to be more sustainable by some small changes to your baking habits 🥧🎂🍪
The kitchen is an easy place to find small ways to cut down on waste and/or choose more sustainable/eco-friendly materials. If you think about it, there are a handful of small items that are single-use in the baking process (depending on what you’re making, obviously). Some good examples: parchment paper, foil, paper muffin cups — none of which are recyclable. Plus, even if you do clean them enough to be recyclable + your city recycles that particular material, the world is in a bit of a recycling crisis where we don’t have the capacity to recycle everything + many recycled items get down-cycled to lesser versions of their original state. As of right now, depending on the material and where you’re located, recycling is not too much better than throwing something in the trash. ☹️
So, for all you bakers/cooks out there, both in the home kitchen and professionally, let’s try to make some minor changes in our baking habits. Like many recommended sustainable changes, investing in reusable alternatives to single-use items in the kitchen, it may be more of an investment up front or require a minute or two of more time, but it’s #worthit in the long run 🙌
Thinking of being sustainable whilst baking, there are a random spattering of small habits or objects that you can modify to be a tad more sustainable in the kitchen. For the sake of this post, let’s split it into two categories: purchasing ingredients & materials used in the baking process 🥧
Purchasing ingredients 🥐
This one is pretty straightforward — buy in bulk when possible and avoid packaging that you can’t throw in the compost bin. If you have any sort of grocery store with a bulk aisle (at least in the US), it’ll often be split into bulk mixed snacks/candy and bulk flours, nuts, and grains. Take in reusable containers and fill ‘em up! Depending on the store, you may have to find an employee to tare your containers for you. It’s annoying, but worth it. You shouldn’t have to pay extra for bringing in reusables!
Materials used in the baking process 🎂
This centers more around pesky single-use items that get thrown in the trash. Think: paper muffin cups, foil, parchment paper, etc. Here’s where you can find reusable replacements, like a non-stick muffin tin, a silicone baking sheet, or flexible silicone wraps. While these all should be pretty non-stick, a word of advice: oil is your friend! Whether it’s veg, olive, (coco)nut, avocado, or even lard or butter if you aren’t vegan, lube it up with an oil for extra non-stick-iness. This works for any sort of tin or pan or sheet, you’ll thank yourself later when trying to pop out your muffin, cake, or pie 🍰
Have any other portions of the baking process where you’ve gotten more sustainable? 🤔 Please share! #sustainyourshit
This week’s topic: Baking 🍰
Baby step: Reusable silicone wrap 🍪
While not everyone is a fan of silicone, if you’re someone who uses it in the kitchen, you need to check out this wrap by @agreenaworld. A silicone baking sheet is great for sheet-specific situations, but this wrap is way more versatile. Use it as a sheet, as a liner for deeper pans, or to cover the top of your pan/tin. Some quick notes on silicone: 1. There’s some green washing — it is made from sand, but it require chemicals commonly found in fossil fuels to turn the silicon into what you use 2. Some claim it’s toxic while others (including the FDA) agree that it’s 100% food safe — this is up to you to decide on whether you want to be cautious or take the risk 3. It’s not easily recycled (plus recycling in general is messed up right now) so use it as long as possible and gift it to someone else when you’re done!
You’ve got that Whole Foods $$$: Ceramic non-stick muffin tin 🥧
@oxo has a $25 muffin tin made from ceramic with a non-stick PFOA-free coating that is decently scratch-, stain-, corrosion-, and abrasion-resistant. It’s way more of an upfront investment, but with the use of a little bit of oil, you can make your muffins paper-cup-free and have a durable tin that will have a long lifespan!
Recommended best option: Oil it up + use it straight 🎂
This suggestion is to literally just ditch using extra parts and use the pans/tins/sheets as you have ‘em. For this, all you need is a little extra lubrication (for non-stick purposes) and elbow grease (when cleaning up afterwards). Use an oil appropriate to your bake’s heat level + one who’s slight taste you won’t mind. If you find yourself in an extra dirty situation at the end, try washing to pan normally, then create a paste of baking soda + vinegar and let it sit on the pan for about 10 minutes. Repeat as needed. It should help get the gunk off, but also we should all just accept that things like sheet pans will never stay pristine and that’s ok! 😅