Zero waste cheese straws!

Filed in Blog by on March 2, 2011 7 Comments
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Home made cheese straws - plastic free!

Home made cheese straws - plastic free!

Cheese straws are naughty little fellows when it comes to packaging.

I’ve not yet seen any cheese straws which are not swathed in unmarked cellophane. Whether or not the cellophane is compostable or whether it’s plastic based I don’t know, because the manufacturers don’t seem to tell us. So I’ve stopped buying them.

The other week Little Miss Green was having, what’s known as, ‘a hungry week’. All parents will testify that on some weeks your kids eat barely enough to nourish a sparrow and the following week they’re eating as much as three adults. During aforementioned week LMG was riffling through the cupboards looking for something ‘snacky to nibble on’.

There is little point giving your children something that fills them up for a couple of minutes when it’s a ‘hungry week’ – it needs to be something far more satisfying than that. But at the same time you don’t want them to fill up so much they can’t eat their meal because then you get food waste.

Enter a cheese straws recipe. I figured that by making cheese straws and giving them the added yumminess of rolling them in sesame seeds they should satisfy a ‘I’m hungry’ pit stop between meals. Not only that, but by making them yourself you can save money and reduce packaging!

Cheese straws recipe


30 gms butter
150 gms self raising flour
75 gms grated cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
sesame or poppy seeds for coating (optional)


Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs

Stir in the grated cheese, salt and paprika

Beat the egg and milk together and stir into the dough mix

Roll into 1cm thick and cut out your shapes – you can either stick to traditional ‘straw’ shapes or cut with cookie cutters.

Brush on the remainder of the milk and egg (there’s always some left in the bottom of the jug), sprinkle with seeds and pop in the oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes until golden.

What about you; what do you make at home to reduce packaging and save money?

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (7)

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  1. Hazel says:

    Crumpets and English muffins, though they’re not quite right yet- the recipes need tweaking. They taste very nice, but the crumpets in particular aren’t …crumpet-y enough!

    The rest of the family don’t mind testing them though, it has to be said :o)

    I do try to make most cakes and biscuits otherwise DH buys family packs of custard creams…

  2. Jen says:

    Self raising flour? What is that? Does it have yeast or baking soda added to it?

  3. Jo says:

    Jen, you can make self–raising flour yourself: for each cup of all-purpose flour, add 1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I believe you are supposed to leave out the salt in the recipe when you use this substitution. If you are using this substitute to make a bread recipe, you must also leave out the salt and just make it using flour and baking powder. I hope this answers your question.

    Mrs G – did you use the additional 1/2 tsp of salt called for in this recipe? How did it turn out?

    I make pizza crust to avoid paying an arm and a leg for the store-made kind. I never thought of it as a means of avoiding the packaging, but I like that it does. (I’m fairly new to the zero waste site.)

  4. Alyson says:

    I have made croissants and pain au chocolat. Nice but I must admit a bit time consuming. Doughnuts, so much cheaper, but do need to be eaten fresh.Jam tarts,how do shops justify the price of jam tarts?! Great success with jaffa cakes. chocolate makes it more expensive to make but my family prefer them .I’ve tried crisps and slightly overcooked them. Not brave enough to try those again. Bread, using stoneground organic flour. Price? I used to be able to make it for 21p a medium loaf, about 3yrs ago so I’m guessing it could be about 50p. I just know it’s alot cheaper than shop bought. Lemon dizzle cake, yummy. My ambition this year is to make muffins and vegan marshmallows, successfully. My first attempt at marshmallows turned out to be fat free fudge! Nice. My second attempt, tried last week…well, it’s a fat free something that’s sitting in my fridge wondering what to do.

  5. LJayne says:

    Yum yum Mrs G. Love cheese straws and always make them when we have them – should make them more often!

    We make our own pizza. Not saying we don’t ever order in (it comes in a cardboard box after all ;D) but I never buy pre-made bases. Either in the bread maker or a more scone-type base that you don’t have to prove if I’m short of time.

    Still trying to find the perfect flapjack recipe….

  6. Hazel says:

    @Alyson: I’ve tried croissants too- definitely something for when you have lots of time! I’ve now found them frozen loose at our local farmshop, so I’ve bought those for an occasional treat.

    I make pretty much all our own bread, pizza etc. I buy flour in bulk from a local mill, and all the flour comes from my county in paper sacks! Perfect!

    @LJayne: Try this recipe. It usually gets compliments (and I can’t take any credit- it comes from my friends old Winnie the Pooh cookbook, though it doesn’t contain honey!)

    250g butter
    250g soft brown sugar (or white sugar mixed with molasses or black treacle to avoid plastic bag. See Sunday Stories post)
    4 tablespoons golden syrup

    Melt together in a large pan. When bubbling (I like it to have bubbled for a few minutes) turn off heat and stir in 500g oats. Pour into baking tray and bake 180 C for 15 minutes or until golden brown. It crisps as it cools.

    I do lots of variations of this- cook some chunks of eating apple in the syrupy mixture for a few minutes before adding the oats. Or add seeds, dried fruit, chopped banana etc when adding the oats, I put in a handful or so. Chopped dried apricot and grated fresh ginger is very tasty.

    Hope you like it!

  7. Mrs Green says:

    @Hazel: I’ve never managed to make crumpets, but our drop scones are a big hit. I’ve always been a bit scared of yeast baking, but now I’ve figured out how to make bread I might give crumpets a go as I’ve never seen them in decent packaging, they always come wrapped in plastic.

    @Jo: Hi Jo, I tend to use a pinch of salt in recipes that stipulate an amount like this one. In bread I tend to halve it. Glad to have you on board and thanks for helping Jen with her query πŸ™‚

    @Alyson: Good luck with the marshmallows. Would love some of your recipes – my doughnuts didn’t turn out terribly well (they were a bit like fairy cakes really), croissants I would love to have a go at and how do you make jaffa cakes??

    @LJayne: I made pizza for the first time last week and it was a huge success; I was so proud of myself and I’ve realised just how expensive a shop-bought pizza is now I’ve made my own! My flapjack recipes is similar to Hazels but I never let the buttery mix bubble as this, for me, results in a hard flapjack. *just* melting everything results in a chewier, softer flapjack.

    @Hazel: Thanks for sharing your recipe Hazel, I like the thought of adding some healthy stuff. After a busy weekend indulging in Birthday Food, LMG has a few spots and is very tired and grumpy, so it’s back to healthy eating next week. I might just try some additions to flapjack as per your recommendation πŸ˜‰

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