Good Content from: Saucony Ambassador, Elyse Kopecky, 2x NY Times best-selling cookbook author
It’s been such an honor to represent Saucony this past year because I’ve gotten an insider look into a company that is truly doing good for our communities and our planet. It’s so good to see more and more companies taking a stance for what’s right over simply driving profits.
I’m pumped about the launch of the new Jazz Court RFG, Saucony’s newest shoe made with zero plastics and 100% natural materials. Not only is this style gorgeous (I plan to rock them all summer long), but they start a conversation that can inspire us all to be more environmentally conscious in our own homes.
To celebrate Saucony’s sustainability movement, I’ve come up with my own list of ways to use less plastic and save other valuable resources in the one room in our houses that is the least eco-friendly….the kitchen!
Elyse’s 10 Tips to Conserve Resources in the Kitchen:
1. Reduce water. Save water by rinsing your dishes as soon as you’re finished eating. Less food stuck to the plate means you’ll need less water to scrub clean. Only run your dishwasher when it is completely maxed out.
2. Cook once, eat twice. Double recipes and get creative with leftovers so that you can buy less ingredients, run your oven less frequently, and stretch meals further.
3. Meal prep. Reduce food waste by prepping your fresh ingredients in advance. You’ll be a lot more likely to use up that bunch of kale or head of lettuce if you wash and chop it all at once and then store it in an airtight glass container.
4. Minimize plastic. It can be really hard to completely eliminate plastic in our kitchens since even whole foods like meat, rice or dried beans often come wrapped in plastic, but you can use a lot less plastic by skipping the zipper bags and plastic wrap. Instead use silicone bags and glass storage containers. Mason jars in a variety of sizes are inexpensive and versatile or recycle PB jars and yogurt tubs for food storage.
5. Cook more. The more you cook from scratch the less you’ll depend on packaged foods, which will significantly reduce your amount of trash and plastic. Bake cookies, energy bars, granola, muffins, bread and make sauces and salad dressing from scratch and store it in reusable containers in your fridge or freezer.
6. Buy in bulk. For pantry staples that you use frequently, look for larger quantities or bring your own containers to refill at the bulk bins. A huge bag of rice or a large tub of coconut oil, which will last for months, uses less resources than lots of small bags and containers. A well-stocked pantry also means fewer frequent trips to the grocery store—save gas!
7. Go local. As much as possible shop at the farmers market. When you buy produce or packaged foods from halfway around the world it takes an incredible amount of fuel to transport them to your door. Also, local ingredients are more nutrient-dense and delicious. Win-win.
8. Shop organic. Organic farming practices are better for our bodies and better for the planet. The most important foods to stick to organic are fruits and veggies with no skin (or skin that you eat like apples), meat, dairy, and eggs.
9. Bring your own bags. Most of us already bring our own shopping bags, but it’s also worth investing in reusable cloth or mesh produce bags to eliminate single-use plastic in the produce section.
10. Edible garden. This one I haven’t mastered yet, but if you have the time and space, you can grow a lot of your own produce right in your own backyard to save money and the environment.
This blog wouldn’t be complete without including a recipe that can’t be BEET. Did you know that one of the dyes used in the Jazz RFG comes from beet juice?! Try making your own pickled beets (recipe below!) to add vibrant nutrition to your next meal.
Pickled beets will stay fresh for weeks in your fridge so you always have a quick and easy way to add a super nutrient-dense veggie into dinner. Try these beets on top of rice bowls or salads. My favorite salad combo: pickled beets, mixed greens, strawberries or pears, feta, and toasted nuts. The beets add earthy sweetness and a zing from the vinegar, so there is no need for a fancy salad dressing, but a drizzle of olive oil completes this dish.
-FILLS 1 PINT (recipe can easily be doubled)
1⁄3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 beets, steamed, peeled, sliced (see below)
In a pint-size wide-mouth glass jar, stir together the vinegar, water, garlic, honey, salt, peppercorns, and fennel. Add the cooked beets and use a spoon to fully submerge in the liquid.
Seal with the lid, leave out at room temperature for 1 hour, and then refrigerate until ready to use.
This quick pickle is ready to serve after 24 hours and they will become even more flavorful in 2 to 3 days. Stays fresh in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
How to Cook Beets:
The best technique to cook beets is to steam them to preserve nutrients. Simply quarter the beets, place in a steamer basket inside a pot, add water just to fill the bottom, place the beets in the basket, cover, bring to a simmer, and cook for 25 minutes or until soft when pierced with a fork. Allow the beets to cool, peel them, and store cooked beets in the fridge for up to 5 days. Use in the pickle recipe above, if you have leftovers toss them into a smoothie.