There are a number of ways you can create a more sustainable kitchen, but have you ever considered sustainable cooking tips for your weekly meals and meal prep? Here are six simple sustainable cooking practices you can begin implementing today.
#1 Cook Consciously
Cooking consciously may seem daunting, but it’s actually easier than you may think. Re-purpose food scraps like carrot tops and use them in a recipe for homemade bone broth. Turn old yogurt into homemade ricotta cheese to enjoy as a spread on toast. You can even save peels from fruits like lemons, limes and oranges and use them for a citrus infused addition to your favorite cocktail or spirit. Anything you don’t use, place in your garden or kitchen compost pile and let Mother Nature take it from there. Don’t have a kitchen compost pile? Start one!
#2 Create Your Own Nut and Seed Butters and Milks
When it comes to cooking, you may not think of making your own homemade nut and seed butter or milks, but in order to cut down on plastic packaging, consider creating your own homemade nut and seed butters and milks. Think of items like almond butter, cashew milk, oat milk and sunflower seed butter. All of these items are delicious, but they come in plastic packaging, so eliminate any extra kitchen waste by channeling your culinary creativity and whipping up your own homemade nut and seed butters and milks to use in your favorite recipes.
#3 Grow Your Own Garden
This tip may not be all about cooking, but before you can even begin cooking, you need ingredients, so instead of making a trip to the grocery store, grow your own garden instead. Whether you have a backyard garden or a few herbs on your windowsill, select your favorite fruits, herbs, and vegetables and channel your green thumb so you can enjoy garden fresh produce all season long. If you don’t have the space to grow your own backyard garden, look into local options like renting a garden plot at a community garden or research a CSA. If gardening isn’t your thing, you can always support local growers and farmers at your local community farmer’s market.
#4 Make Ocean Friendly Choices
If you are an avid eater of seafood, make ocean friendly choices. Organizations like Monterey Bay Aquarium have created the Seafood Watch list where consumers can access consumer guides, find sustainable recipes and become a more conscious consumer. You can even access their Seafood Watch App so you can research your seafood purchases before making them.
Tip: Larger fish like Ahi Tuna, King Mackerel and Swordfish tend to have higher levels of mercury and pollutants in their systems as these chemicals and foreign substances tend to accumulate and build up over time. Eating smaller seafood like anchovies, sardines and sea scallops are typically safer choices for both you and the environment.
#5 Research Brands
Before you begin consciously cooking, you will need to stock up on your favorite foods. Become a conscious consumer and home chef by asking questions to the brands you support and look for companies that employ complete transparency of their growing and farming methods. Support brands that offer high quality foods like grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, pasture raised pork, and wild caught seafood. Be on the lookout for companies that practice regenerative agriculture, which aims to restore the health of our nutrient-depleted soil and pulls carbon from the air, ultimately reversing climate change.
#6 Sip Sustainable Wines
What pairs best with cooking up a delicious meal to enjoy with family and friends? A glass of sustainable wine of course. Environmentally responsible wineries are committed to encouraging natural planting and harvesting processes that promote soil health, so whether you are cooking with wine or sipping a glass as you cook up a delicious dish, shop for sustainable wine options.
Start Cooking Sustainably Today
Start cooking sustainably today by incorporating these six simple cooking practices that are better for you, the environment and most importantly the planet.