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Life & Style

10 Non Consumerist Valentine’s Day Ideas

10 alternative valentine's day ideas

Walk into any shop right now and you’ll likely be bombarded with a load of Valentine’s Day tat.  It’s not my most favourite of times, so I’ve been brainstorming some non consumerist Valentine’s Day ideas, for those of you, like me, who seek an alternative to the commercial version of Valentine’s Day that shops try to sell us.

Valentine’s Day hasn’t always been the tat filled consumer laden day that it is now.  One of the earliest recorded ‘celebrations’ of Valentine’s Day, in the Pre Christian Era, was where young men would strip naked and use goat- or dog-skin whips to spank the backsides of young women in order to improve their fertility.  Fun.

Here are ten non consumerist Valentine’s Day ideas that don’t involve spanking.  Or maybe they do, depending on your preferences…

10 Non Consumerist Valentine’s Day Ideas

non consumerist valentine's day ideas

Embrace Local Arts

Go and see a local live comedy show, band or theatre show.  In times of cuts to local arts funding, it’s good to support the arts, and you might see something you otherwise might not have known about.  We saw Rob Delaney at The Stand in Edinburgh last year and we’re still laughing at some of his sketches now.

Brush Up on Your History

Speaking of the arts, alternatively you could visit a museum or gallery together.  There are a wealth of free museums and galleries in the UK, all with some spectacular collections.  In Edinburgh my favourite is the National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street, and in Glasgow I have a soft spot for the Kelvingrove Museum.

Go On A Ramble or Bike Ride

Go on a walk or bike ride some place new together.  Ramble along an unfamiliar beach, path or neighbourhood.  Bonus points if you stop in a local cafe for a warming cup of tea.  Or super bonus points if you take a flask of hot chocolate and some cake with you!  February can still be a cold one.

Ditch The Restaurant

Don’t want to be in a packed and overpriced restaurant surrounded by couples proposing?  Me neither.  Why not prepare a your favourite meal together at home and enjoy a quiet and relaxing candlelit meal together?

Bake A Cake

We all know the way to man or woman’s heart is through baked goods, right?  Here’s an amazing chocolate cake recipe, and a vegan chocolate cake recipe, depending on your lover’s preferences.

Make Each Other Laugh

The ability to make each other laugh is apparently vital when it comes to romantic attraction.  However, a few years or decades down the line, when you’re knee deep in household chores, paying bills and looking after the kids, it’s easy to forget what you once found funny about each other.  This Valentine’s Day, why not try and make each other laugh.  Have a joke telling competition.  See who can tell the best (or worst!) joke.  Best played over a bottle of wine!

Watch A Film

At home, or at your local independent cinema.  I’d personally skip the romantic ones.  Nobody need’s Hollywood’s version of romance looming over you on Valentine’s Day, when your own version of romance is probably just perfect.

Make A Playlist

The chances are that at some point in your life you made a compilation tape for a significant other (or the person you hoped might be your significant other).  Wasn’t it fun carefully selecting the songs to make the other person think you were cool and knew all the right bands?  Why not do the same now?  It could be fun picking songs from all the various points in your life together as a couple.

Have Sex

There’s no need to go out for meal, when all you want to do is get straight to the dessert!

Show Your Love For Others Less Fortunate

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just be about the love between couples.  It can, and should be about showing your love for others, especially those less fortunate.  You and your partner could consider volunteering together at a local soup kitchen or food bank.  If you don’t have the time, why not take what you might have spend on a meal or a gift and donate to a charity of your choosing?

Would you add anything to this list of alternative Valentine’s Day ideas?

Food & Drink, Good Reads, Kitchen Staples, Life & Style

Zero Waste Crisps Recipe

my zero waste kitchen dk books jane turner

zero waste crisps recipe

Dorling Kindersley have recently released My Zero Waste Kitchen, a really useful zero waste cookbook and guide by Kate Turner.  Full of smart and simple ideas to shop, plan, cook, and eat waste free, as well as with ten recipes to use up leftovers and food scraps, it’s a handy guide to have at your fingertips.

Dorling Kindersley have kindly let me share this great recipe from the book for zero waste crisps with Moral Fibres readers.  Kate’s recipe lets you transform potato peelings or old veg into these moreish crisps, creating a healthy zero waste snack from leftover veg!  Each recipe in the book contains three zero waste twists to give suggestions on how to customise the recipe depending on what you have to hand, and to encourage you to get creative with the contents of your fridge.  This recipe is no exception – you’ll find three zero waste twists at the end.

SERVES 2

Ingredients

50g potato peel from around 2 large potatoes
½ tbsp olive oil
A generous pinch of chilli powder
½ tsp sweet smoked paprika powder
¼ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
50g kale leaves

FIRST MAKE THE BASE
  1.  Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF/Gas 2) and line 2–3 baking trays with baking parchment.
  2. Place the potato peel in a mixing bowl with half of the oil, spices, salt, and pepper.  Using your hands (wear gloves if necessary), gently rub the peel until it is completely coated with oil and spices.  Set aside.
  3. Using a sharp knife, remove the tough, woody kale stems and roughly chop the leaves in to bite-sized pieces.
  4. Place the kale in a mixing bowl with the remaining oil, spices, salt, and pepper.  Gently rub the kale for 1–2 minutes until it is completely coated and starting to soften.
  5. Spread the potato peel and kale thinly on separate baking trays in single, even layers.  Set the kale tray aside.
  6. Place the potato peel in the oven and leave to roast for 25 minutes.  After 10 minutes, add the kale tray and continue roasting for the remaining 15 minutes, or until crisp.  Watch carefully to ensure they don’t burn.
  7. Remove the crisps from the oven and leave on the trays for a few minutes to crisp up before eating.
  8. The crisps are best eaten within a few hours, but can be stored in an airtight container for 1–2 days.  Re-crisp them in the oven at a low temperature for 3–4 minutes.

NOW ZERO-WASTE IT!

SWEET POTATO AND POTATO PEEL CRISPS

Swap the kale for the peel of 2 large sweet potatoes – about 50g.  Combine with the regular potato peel and season as per the recipe.  Roast both for 25 minutes, or until crisp.

TIRED PARSNIP AND POTATO PEEL CRISPS

Swap the kale for 1 parsnip – about 100g.  Slice very thinly, either with a mandolin or a vegetable peeler, including tops and tails.  Season, spread thinly on a baking tray, and roast for around 35 minutes, or until crisp.  Thicker slices may need an extra 5 minutes, but watch carefully to ensure they don’y burn.  Add the potato peel tray to the oven for the last 25 minutes.

TIRED BEETROOT AND POTATO PEEL CRISPS

Swap the kale for 1 beetroot – about 100g.  Slice very thinly either with a mandolin or a vegetable peeler, including tops and tails.  Season, spread thinly on a baking tray, and roast for around 35 minutes, or until crisp.  Thicker slices may need an extra 5 minutes, but watch carefully to ensure they don’t burn.  Add the potato peel tray to the oven for the last 25 minutes.

Or simply combine all the vegetables to create a rainbow of flavours and colours.

My Zero-Waste Kitchen by Kate Turner is published by DK. £6.99, DK.com