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Tips for Greening Your Kitchen
June 21, 2013
|J.R. and I hope you're well and adding natures super foods to your diet!
Today we'd like to share with you some tips for greening your kitchen and reducing your family's "footprint".
Summer is officially upon us and the kids are out of school.
Tips for Greening Your Kitchen
Four Ways to Cut Down on Kitchen Waste
1. Always recycle glass, plastic, and paper and keep a separate bin or bag for these items in the kitchen.
2. Try composting if you have an outside area to distribute your food-borne waste (peels, egg shells, fruit cores).
This provides nutrient-rich soil for other uses.
3. Recycle your leftovers by saving them and using them in other meals.
Leftover vegetables can be pureed to a great vegetable soup.
The remains of a rotisserie chicken can become chicken tacos or fajitas, along with some fresh vegetables.
4. Don't over-buy fresh foods, and limit your big-box store purchases to what your family can consume within a few days, to limit spoilage or share a larger bag with a friend or two.
Four Ways to Conserve Water
1. For drinking, save money and reduce the recycling overload by kicking the bottled water habit.
Ounce for ounce, it’s more expensive than gasoline!
Use water straight from the tap, or buy a filter for your faucet or a refillable pitcher with a filter.
2. Buy a reusable container for taking water on-the-go.
3. When cooking, avoid running water for cleaning vegetables, fruits and other foods.
Fill your sink with water, and soak/wash them in bulk.
4. Give your dishes a quick rinse right after eating to avoid caked on foods, which take a lot of extra water (as well as soap) later on (with or without a dishwasher!).
Three Ways to Reduce Refrigerator Energy Use
Refrigerators are among the top energy-users in the kitchen.
Here’s how to minimize your energy use.
1. If you’re in the market for a new refrigerator, buy one with the Energy Star seal.
In many areas you can even get tax deductions for Energy Star appliances.
2. Although newer fridges continue to be more energy efficient, you can optimize energy use in your current model by keeping both fridge and freezer compartments well stocked, but not stuffed with food.
3. Know what’s in your fridge to limit constant opening, causing more energy use to maintain a cold temperature.
Keep your fridge coils (on the back) clean by vacuuming at least once every three months.
Four Ways to Go Meatless
Vegetable proteins are as healthy as animal proteins, are eco-friendly, and reduce your carbon footprint.
Try eating a meatless meal a couple times a week.
1. For starters, a soy or veggie burger is a close replacement for beef, and prepared in the same way.
2. Experiment with combinations of beans and rice, along with some colorful vegetables, for a nutrient-rich meal in no time.
3. Try tofu in a stir fry; the mild flavor takes on the taste of your cooking spices.
4. Go "raw" with a colorful main dish salad, with canned white or red beans and low-fat cheese for added protein.
Three Ways to Buy Local (and Seasonal)
1. Save money and support your local farmers by buying fruits and vegetables at your local farm or green grocer.
2. Not near a farmers market?
Many supermarkets have a "locally grown" section, from regional farmers.
3. Choose produce that's “in season”, for greater variety, flavor, energy, and cost savings.
"Local" doesn’t only mean in your community; it can often include your region.
Locally grown produce can sometimes be organic, but let your budget be your guide.
Three Energy-Efficient Cooking Tips
1. One of our faves is to prepare meals in a Crock-Pot or Slow-Cooker.
Crock-Pots are optimal for energy savings (equal to that of a small light bulb) and use lower-priced, tougher cuts of meat, that need to be slow cooked to tenderize and maximize flavor.
Leaner cuts of meat are lower in fat (and cost) because of their extended cooking time in the slow-cooker.
For optimal flavor, avoid using quick-cooking proteins like chicken or seafood, that can turn rubbery after hours in the pot.
2. Avoid pre-heating your oven too early (those ten minutes often extend to 30 minutes or more).
Instead of turning on the oven before you prepare your foods for baking, wait until you’re ready to cook.
The most efficient way to use your oven is to test the pre-heating time.
Turn it on, and monitor the minutes to get to the desired temperature (with a beeping sound or light) then keep that information handy for the future.
3. Take the chill off of your foods before baking.
This results in better flavor, and more even and faster cooking times.
Unfortunately, that's all the time we have for today.
We truly hope this information helps and you found some value in this edition!
Until next time, we want you to,
have a great summer and live longer, live younger!
You can do it with
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