Happy B Corp Month everyone! B-Corp’s mission is to drive businesses to focus on progress before profit. To have goals outside of their own personal growth. Giving back to the communities they source from, fostering safe and ethical workplaces, and having a net positive impact on our planet. Be better, be a B-Corp.
With Springtime very much on the way, we’re set for brighter days and for nature to start its beautiful bloom once again. We can all appreciate its sacred beauty and to honour our appreciation for this Earth, we need to re-evaluate the impact we have.
We can start by looking at a place that is very dear to us… our kitchen cupboards. Many products on the market take more from our planet than they give back. It may not even cross our minds when we’re shopping for ingredients to make a cake (a very harmless thing to do) that the products we’re purchasing are more harmful to our planet than we could even imagine.
Finding alternatives that are better for the planet can be really overwhelming, so in this blog, we’ll be walking you through your next shopping trip.
From now onwards, you can make a cake with the peace of mind that you’re doing it sustainably.
1. Who needs eggs?
Eggs are a very important part of many baking recipes, so it’s hard to imagine what we’d do without them. However, the production of eggs generates negative effects on the environment through the emission of greenhouse gasses and the contamination of soil and water. [i]
These hard facts have led many to look for a plant-based alternative. Well, if you take a closer look in your cupboard, you may find that old reliable can of chickpeas. The water the chickpeas sit in is more commonly known as ‘aquafaba’. This starchy liquid is in an excellent binder, and what makes it magical is that it can be whipped to create foam. Trapping air and giving your sponge the picture-perfect fluffy crumb. A truly magnificent vegan egg replacement.
2 Move over dairy…
Dairy-free milk has been grabbing our attention over the last few years, and for very big reasons. Milk sourced from cattle[ii] (both free-range and confined cattle operations) causes terrible environmental impact by destroying land, waterways, and air quality (through the release of methane gasses).
We’ve researched many plant-based milk alternatives, but one that really stands out is Rude Health. They are a fellow B-Corp business, meaning that they champion sustainability and are always looking for ways that business can be done better, causing no harm, and benefitting all. Their range of plant-based milk is extensive, but we recommend their soya drink for your cake sponge, as the high protein content helps a sponge brown nicely.
We face the same environmental issues when we use butter in our baking. Fortunately, butter can easily be replaced with coconut oil (it has similar properties to butter such as being solid when cold and liquid when warm). You can use it as a 1:1 replacement, but if a recipe requires a substantial amount of butter, you may notice the coconut flavour a lot more. This should work fine for sweet-tasting bakes. Vita Coco is an excellent B Corp business that has coconut oil within its product range.
3. We believe in good-sweet…
Sugar has a huge environmental footprint, and it puts tropical ecosystems that are already under turmoil at further risk by depleting the quality of the soil, water, and air.[iii] In fact, lowering a cake’s sugar content by 30% lowers its entire environmental impact by 3%-11%.[iv]
At Bonraw we want to enact positive change to the sugar and sweetening world. We source our products from trusted farmers that use age-old rituals and sustainable farming to offer the finest taste experiences whilst protecting our Earth. We’re also proud to be carbon neutral, and the first UK certified B Corp business within the sugar and sweetener category.
If you’re seeking a sugar-free alternative, then our award-winning Silver Birch range makes ethical baking even easier. Our Silver Birch Caster and Silver Birch Icing are perfect sugar replacements for your cake sponge. Silver Birch contains 40% fewer calories than refined sugar and has a low GI of 7 making it a more suitable sugar for diabetics.
To add to the deliciously sweet taste of your sponge you might want to add some jam. We recommend you put your own hand to making the jam. You can combine some fresh locally sourced strawberries or raspberries (this will help lower the carbon-footprint of your baking), with Silver Birch Caster to make your homemade jam.
4. Let’s make that cake rise…
When shopping for flour it’s important that you source organic/non-GMO flour, as pesticides are very harmful to wildlife and ecosystems as it contaminates the soil, water, air, and plants. [v]
Doves Farm’s self-raising flour is certified organic by the Soil Association. They’re a family-run business, and their mission is to make quality organic flour with care. You can source their products from a fellow B Corp seller Cotswold Fayre.
Now you’ve gathered all your ingredients for your cake, it’s time to get baking. However, we can appreciate that baking isn’t everyone’s forte or you may feel like you don’t have the time for it. If this is the case, we’d like to introduce you to another B-Corp, Meg Rivers Artisan Bakery. A Cotswold-based bakery that delivers delicious cakes to your door.
Making very small changes such as swapping the products you normally use for products that are ethically sourced equates to such a big positive impact over time.
Shopping sustainably enables you to be kinder to nature. The ingredients you use don’t need to drain vital resources and damage ecosystems to enjoy delicious flavour.
Have your planet-friendly cake & eat it.
Take a look at our recipe for B-Corp month: Coconut Blossom Sponge with Maple Cashew Cream.