Budget,  Garden,  Recipes,  Zero Waste

#FoodHack: making full use of a 600ml pot of cream

A zero waste guide to using all the cream and the container in a single-person household.


I cannot control how products are packaged and, because I live below the poverty line and in a rural area, I have limited choice. I cannot avoid plastic. Instead, I purchase the largest size possible and in a container I know I’ll be able to upcycle.

I buy a 600ml pot of budget cream ($2.90) once a month. A 600ml pot of cream is hard to finish in a single-person household but I adore scrambled eggs made out of cream and the occasional treat of a homemade scone slathered in it. I also despise cheap ice cream and I never seem to be shopping when the expensive stuff is on special. Stockpiling ice cream when it is on special is not an option for me as I know I’ll end up having it for breakfast!

First up, I put around 90ml of cream (you need to reserve 500ml plus a little extra) in a bowl which I whip with some icing sugar. I put this to one side for my scones. Or, you can make a small amount of a cream-based sauce for pasta. Or, you can make a small amount of salted caramel to drizzle through your vanilla ice cream. This is superb and I highly recommend it, although you may end up eating this for breakfast.

I do not have an ice cream maker. Instead, in the same bowl I whipped the cream for my scones I tip 500ml of cream and whip it with a tin of condensed milk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. I splurged and bought vanilla extract instead of vanilla essence. If you have vanilla essence, add one teaspoon plus a little extra (slowly, a little at a time) to get the required taste. I spoon it into clean jars and freeze the day before I want to start eating it. The use of a series of jars maximises freezer space and reminds me to think about portion control. It is also a good idea to take the ice cream out of the freezer for a few minutes prior to serving and, by using smaller jars rather than a single container, I only have to partially defrost the ice cream I want to use. The use of condensed milk helps in the prevention of ice crystals and is a required ingredient in no churn ice creams. Homemade no churn ice cream is denser than store bought commercial ice cream but it is delicious and you know exactly what is in it.

Now you’re left with the remnants of cream in your pot. Whisk some eggs and add to the pot. Give it a good shake. I freeze this mixture in individual servings using a tray I purchased from Biome.  I pop the portions out when frozen and place in clean jars which go back in to the freezer. This has the added benefit of ensuring eggs are used before they too go off.

Finally, wash your empty cream pot. Add some holes and bury in the garden. You now have a watering system for heavily mulched beds.

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