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OATS FOR MOTHERS DAY
Planning a Mother’s Day brunch? Try livening up some old-fashioned oats with fresh spring fruits. Oats are wonderful for the earth, because farmers can plant them between different crop harvests to prevent erosion. By keeping the earth covered with living plants rather than leaving it bare, planting in-between crops like oats helps build up carbon in the soil. Oats are wonderful for your health, too, because they’re high in protein and fiber.
How To Enjoy Oats
Mid-May marks the very beginnings of peach season, so sneak some dessert onto the table with an oatmeal peach cobbler. If peaches aren’t your jam, oat and yogurt parfaits are a low-effort option, and you can whip up a versatile berry compote with blueberries, strawberries, or whatever fruit you have on hand.
How To Avoid Wasting Oats & Fruit
Oats are easy to store and will keep for several months in a cool, dark cupboard. Fresh fruit like berries and peaches, on the other hand, only stays ripe for a few days. With 40% of food in the US going to waste, don’t let your peaches become a statistic! To help them last longer, avoid washing until ready to use. Store unripe peaches and other stone fruit at room temperature, out of sunlight, and ripe peaches in a drawer of the refrigerator or in an open paper bag. To freeze, toss a pound of pitted, pealed, sliced peaches with a tablespoon of lemon juice, freeze on a baking sheet in a single layer, and then store in a zip-lock bag.
EGGS FOR EASTER
Did you know that eggs are a great source of protein with a lower climate impact than meat and dairy? Eggs are also easy on the wallet, so enjoy the warmer spring weather with a trip to the farmers market – locally-grown eggs might cost a little bit more, but you can chat with the farmers and learn about how they protect the environment while raising chickens. Bonus: farm-fresh eggs sometimes come in a rainbow of Instagrammable colors. If buying your eggs in a grocery store, look for “Certified Humane” or “Animal Welfare Approved” certifications to make sure they were produced in an ethical and environmentally responsible way.
How To Enjoy Eggs
Deviled eggs are a great way to enjoy eggs that have been hard-boiled and dyed for Easter weekend. Try adding food coloring to the cooked egg white halves for an extra festive spin. Or, if some get damaged during an Easter egg hunt, you can chop them up with some mayo and mustard for an easy egg salad sandwich with a lower carbon footprint than bacon, ham, or chicken salad options.
How To Avoid Wasting Eggs
Eggs might be climate-efficient, but they still use up a lot of resources! It takes over 50 gallons of water to produce a single egg. The good news is that raw eggs (in their shells) stay fresh for 3 to 5 weeks after their sell-by date, while hard boiled eggs will keep for about a week. If you’re not sure whether your eggs are still fresh, try submerging them in water — if they float, they’re no longer safe to eat.
ASPARAGUS FOR THE START OF SPRING
Spring is the perfect time to enjoy asparagus. While fruits and vegetables generally have a much lower climate impact than dairy and meat, this slender veggie has raised some eyebrows about its sustainability. Tender and easily-damaged produce are sometimes transported by air freight – which can produce more carbon emissions than shipping or road transport. Asparagus’ carbon-intensive journey begins in Peru, but between April and June, more of the asparagus eaten in the US is grown domestically.
How To Enjoy Asparagus
Asparagus is a versatile vegetable – it can be roasted, sauteed, steamed, served raw, or added to soups. Enjoy your asparagus in a spring risotto, like this one, or a veggie-rich omelette. You can also keep things simple by sauteing asparagus with almonds as a side dish or as part of a stir fry.
How To Avoid Wasting Asparagus
If food waste were a country, it’d be the third largest contributor to climate change. So buy fresh and store smart in order to make the most of your asparagus! When buying, avoid spears that look dried out and look for a bunch with bright colored, tightly closed tips. It will stay fresh for around 3 to 5 days. Keep asparagus chilled, and if possible, store it with the stalks upright in a glass with an inch of water. You can also trim the ends, wrap them in a damp paper towel, and refrigerate in a plastic bag. To revive sad, limp asparagus, soak them in cold water and consider adding a tablespoon or two of sugar to restore flavor.
BLACK BEANS FOR CINCO DE MAYO
Wondering how to commemorate the Battle of Puebla respectfully? Check out these articles — and then indulge in some creative and tasty authentic Mexican cuisine. By choosing vegetarian recipes instead of those heavy on beef, you can also help protect the earth. Legumes are healthy and protein-rich, and they’re much easier on our natural resources. Per gram of protein, producing beef takes about 20x more land and emits 20x more greenhouse gases than growing beans, peas, and lentils. Growing legumes in between other crops also returns nitrogen to the soil, meaning farmers can rely less on climate-damaging and water-polluting fertilizers.
How To Enjoy Beans
Fried pinto beans or black beans make a great side dish for a host of entrées, from huevos rancheros to tacos dorados de papa. Alternatively, let beans take center stage with something like enfrijoladas or molotes plantain patties stuffed with black beans & cheese. (Make sure to keep everything vegetarian by using oil instead of lard).
How To Avoid Wasting Beans
Beans, beans, the magical fruit… whether you buy them dried or in cans, they are almost impossible to spoil. Keep them in containers with tight-fitting lids in a cool, dry place, and they can last for years – even decades.