Another sweet act is respect for the environment. That is why we categorized our present article in the Sweets of Serenity, the section with our social, charitable and pedagogical articles.
At Eat Dessert First Greece we do not like to throw food at all, we consider it a great sin. We try not to buy more food than we intend to eat. When we cook we try to utilize foods that will expire soon, while practicing our creativity. We eat all our food and if there is anything left over we eat it at our next meal. By this logic, when the holidays are over we try to use the leftovers in fresh recipes. In our first ecological article, then, we will learn a few things about the zero waste movement, we will see an ecological, handmade wordless book for children and we will make a zero waste cheesecake with a base of melomakarona left over from the holidays. Melomakarona are traditional Greek cookies baked for Christmas, you can find our recipe here.
We read that the zero waste movement is based on ideas that are not new, but have existed since antiquity or even prehistory. Man lived with what he had available from nature. Only modern man has been occupied by the spirit of overconsumption. Even in the modern era, the traditional recipes of every place in our country are an example, since they utilize products that they have at their disposal depending on the season.
The zero waste movement also includes innovative ideas that respond to modern society and the modern way of life. It is intertwined with recycling, although the main goal is to anticipate not producing waste instead of looking for ways to manage it. Zero waste is an idea that was started by experts and ecologists and in the decade we are going through it has become a way of life. The French-American Bea Johnson is considered the founder of the zero waste lifestyle, starting with her family of four and her blog Zero Waste Home which has now become a best seller book.
We too can live this way, changing small things and small habits. Let’s focus on the kitchen which is our favorite area of the house. Bea Johnson suggests:
- To replace the consumables with alternative solutions, such as instead of napkins to have towels, instead of plastic straws straws made of glass or metal and so on.
- To shop in bulk with our own bags, bottles and containers.
- If there is no product in bulk, to find the supplier, for example to go with our own bottle to the winery or to make the product ourselves if possible (mayonnaise, cookies, etc.)
- To shop in the public market. Producers will reuse their crates.
- To drink water from the tap and not from plastic bottles.
- When cleaning utensils, use dishwashing liquid in bulk, baking soda and a biodegradable sponge.
- To compost (it has been proven that 35% of household waste can be composted). Composting is the aerobic biological (oxidative) process of degradation and stabilization of organic materials. It is practically a bin in which we throw organic materials, such as leftovers, and leave them there until they decompose. Then we use them as fertilizer.
- To choose to make recipes that produce zero waste. For example, when making a meringue with egg whites, think about where to use the yolks (eg in a pastry cream).
- To invest in a pressure cooker, which reduces cooking time and therefore energy waste.
- And many more such as reusing printed paper for the supermarket list or using the water with which we rinse the vegetables to water our plants.
You will find similar tips for the other areas of your home. The thought for us is that some small changes in our daily habits can be very good for the environment, so why not try it? Let’s start with the easy, not to throw food but to use it in another recipe and if we do not find a way then to compost in a special bucket or a large container that closes well (so it does not smell.)
And since in this article we are talking about ecology, I would like to share with you a book without words that I made as part of a children’s literature lesson. The book is in the shape of an accordion to be read conventionally, page by page, or alternatively to be opened in its entirety and read as a whole. The title of the book is “An angry bird travels” and its protagonist is an angry bird, which is hidden in various parts of the book that are left to the reader to discover. We will not describe the book anymore, since the books without words give the reader space to read his own story… For the book I reused magazines and brochures, as an ecological practice that matches the meaning of the book.
A story that is read in the conventional way…
But it can also be read as a continuum, if we unfold the accordion:
And since we are in an ecological climate, it is time to make our own zero waste dessert, a cheesecake with melomakarona that are left over from the holidays.
Zero waste cheesecake
Ingredients for the cheesecake
|For the base:|
|For the cream:|
|Cream cheese||300 gr|
|Greek yogurt||200 gr|
|Heavy cream||200 gr|
|Powdered gelatine||4 gr|
|For the topping:|
|Honey or jam or fruit preserves|
How to make the cheesecake
First prepare the base. Grate the melomakarona in a grater or blender and place them on the bottom of the form. Melt the butter and pour it over the grated melomakarona. Press the mixture to make it compact and place it in the refrigerator.
Now it’s the cream’s turn. Pour the gelatin in a bowl with a little cold water to soften.
Then start beating the cream in the mixer until it acquires the texture of yogurt.
Beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Combine the sour cream, cream cheese and yogurt, stirring in a circular motion with a spatula. Add the honey and stir.
Now, to incorporate the gelatin you have to dissolve it in a little boiling water and then add it to the cream and mix well.
Remove the base from the fridge and spread the cream on top of it. Place them back in the fridge to stabilize the cream.
After several hours you can garnish the surface of the cheesecake with honey, jam or fruit preserves. We chose forest fruit jam.
Enjoy everyone! And a wish, to try in the new year to make small changes in our habits for a more ecological way of living!
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