Given we’re smack bang in the middle of party season I wanted to check in with you and raise the topic of ecotaining.

When I talk about ecotaining I’m referring to the process of keeping the environment in mind when you entertain your friends and family. In a nutshell it’s entertaining with real foods and being super mindful of the waste generated… be it food waste or waste from packaging, decorations and even items like plates, cutlery and cups.

It’s a topic I’m super passionate about….. that’s why I gave it a name (ecotaining!!)….. and in this post I want to give you a couple of super simple ideas how you can use fruits and vegetables to cut down on your party waste, including your washing up!!

Sound good?

Let’s dive in!


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Throughout the month of December my Self Sufficiency in the Suburbs members have been getting into the monthly ecotaining challenge.

This has involved them becoming more creative with their entertaining, making sure they keep the environment in mind when throwing a party, having friends over or preparing a Christmas feast!

There’s been some great tips shared and come January I’ll be picking one winner who’ll receive an amazing eco party pack from our challenge sponsor, Eco Toys.

It’s been a heap of fun and is the perfect self-sufficiency challenge at this time of year, especially since we’re all entertaining anyway!

Now there’s one theme of ecotaining that I find particularly exciting, and that’s using fruits and vegetables as serving containers or even cooking implements and I wanted to share some of my favs with you today.

So let’s start with serving containers…..

When entertaining it’s normal to just grab a bowl, platter or container to put the food on, or in.

But have you ever thought of placing what you’re serving inside a fruit or vegetable and serving it that way?

A classic example here is the popular dessert, fruit salad.

You could serve it in a large bowl OR you could dish it up inside a watermelon, pineapple, honeydew, rockmelon or even a coconut shells cut in half!

My friend Jen Shaw from Barefoot Kitchens also shared another great idea with me recently, and that’s to serve a guacamole dip inside the avocado skin. I love this simple and effective idea!

Large sea shells are another option for serving food. Just check local regulations if you’re allowed to take them from the beach and of course make sure there’s no sea creatures still living inside!! I first saw this idea when Paul and I were on honeymoon in Vanuatu and we ordered a casserole and it came out inside a large shell. It looked amazing!

But it’s not just serving dishes where fruit and vegetables can make a statement. They’re also simple and fun to use in the process of cooking dishes as well.

Take a sprig of rosemary and thread lamb cubes on it for a family BBQ (another of Jen’s favourites). It saves using single use bamboo skewers. We have stainless steel skewers in our household but a massive rosemary bush, and while I’ve used rosemary as skewers in the past I’ll be honest and say I’ve forgot all about it in recent years!

One of our favourite ideas for breakfasts is to fry an egg inside a ring of red capsicum. It’s impressive tidy, and of so tasty! And there’s no dirty egg ring to wash afterwards.

Using fruit and vegetables as serving containers or cooking implements is a fun and smart ecotaining idea as it cuts down on waste and washing up. Gotta love that!

I’d love to hear if you have some other ideas to share for using fruit and vegetables in this way – feel free to post in the comments below.

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year period ecotaining!