54 million litres of ice cream were sold in the UK last year showing that frozen treats are amongst the nation’s favourite summertime desserts.
However, while everyone loves a frozen goodie, many forget these products often come with excess packaging which can be difficult to dispose of.
One way to enjoy them responsibly is to make your own. While traditional ice cream can be time consuming, there are plenty of other options for quick, tasty treats.
Surprisingly, you can whip up many of these recipes with leftovers, foraged fruit, and even excess vegetables!
Zero waste ice cream and lolly ideas – Use old bananas to make ‘nice cream’
‘Nice cream’ is the term given to banana ice cream, aptly named as using bananas instead of cream, full fat milk or other heavy dairy products is much better for your health.
As recipes for nice cream often avoid the need for animal products and require super ripe bananas you may otherwise throw out, it’s also way better for the environment.
To make your own, simply take four really ripe bananas, cut in to chunks and freeze. Once completely frozen put in a food processor and whiz on high speed. Once ready the mixture should look similar to soft serve, if it needs loosening just add water slowly and blend.
To spruce up your nice cream try adding extras like coffee, nuts or matcha. If bananas aren’t to your liking, you can try out other bases such as pineapple, berry, or mango.
Zero waste ice cream and lolly ideas – Foraged wild berry lollies
Making your own ice lollies is super simple, all you need is a mould and stick. Theres plenty of fruity flavour options, but why not for berries and forage your own?
Blackberries, elderberries, and raspberries are all in season and make for great flavours for ice lollies. Just remember when foraging to stay safe, responsible and sustainable by following the Woodland Trust guidelines.
To turn your foraging finds into tasty treats, simply blend up your berries with cold water. Add in any flavourings to taste such as lemon juice, honey (agave syrup if you’re vegan), or coconut milk to add a creamy texture. Pour into your moulds and freeze overnight.
Zero waste ice cream and lolly ideas – Turn leftover yoghurt into froyo
Frozen yoghurt is not only a quick and easy recipe to make, but it’s also healthy. It’s another desert which is completely customisable with endless flavour options. If you’re looking for something traditional opt for fruit, however if you’re more adventurous why not try avocado or ginger.
Once you’ve decided on your desired flavours, simply add them to a blender with yoghurt and any sweeteners such as honey or agave syrup, as needed. Blend the ingredients until it becomes thick and creamy, this should take around 5 minutes. Put in the freezer to chill.
If you’re vegan or following a dairy-free diet, don’t fret, dairy alternatives such as soya yoghurt work just as well!
Zero waste ice cream and lolly ideas – Create ice cream from vegetables
Vegetables aren’t often the first ingredient that springs to mind when it comes to desserts. However, they shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to whipping up ice cream.
While many associate beetroot with the picked variety in a jar, it actually has a naturally sweet taste which lends itself well to desserts. Beetroot ice cream is not only impressively vibrant, but its earthy taste also means it pairs well with a number of sweeter ingredients such as mint and chocolate.
Another great option is carrots, which may come as less of a surprise given their popularity in carrot cake. Carrots also make a great addition to ice cream as they have a natural creaminess, allowing them to thicken up recipes. Pair with walnuts, orange or even add a kick with a little bit of white rum.
There’s plenty of recipes available for both carrots and beetroot and a whole host of other vegetables. To keep ice cream vegan, coconut milk and cacao nibs can make handy a replacement.
Zero waste ice cream and lolly ideas – Use moulds and reusable containers
Whatever you chose to make, just ensure you consider how sustainable your storage options are. Don’t use single-use plastics such as cling film or sandwich bags when you’re prepping your creations.
Instead look to use freezer safe boxes, mason jars or reuse old tubs you have lying around. When making ice lollies look for reusable moulds or sticks. Bamboo sticks can make for a great, reusable option.
“You only have to look at recent weather events to see that climate change has already begun to impact our lives. From wildfires in the US to flooding in Europe, the signs are all around us.
Over 2.2 million tonnes of plastic packaging waste is generated every year, with much of this stemming from the food sector. As a result, it’s vital we look at how we as consumers can be more responsible.
Opting to create your own snacks and desserts is a great way to cut down on excess packaging and using leftover ingredients means we can tackle food waste too.
Besides, creating your own frozen treats can be fun, rewarding and often healthier!”
Scott Hawthorne, Managing Director at SkipsAndBins.com