Monday 13 June 2011

a green baking fling

When I woke this rainy-morning I couldn't think of anything better than a green baking fling to warm my soul (and my kitchen - brrr!).

I definitely didn't want to brave the elements outside, so I took a quick survey of the fridge and pantry to see what I could pull together.  This was super convenient, but it's also the most sustainable way for me to bake (see, not all green things are inconvenient!).

Did you know that Autralians throw away $5.2 billion worth of food each year*? The average American throws away 59kg of food each year, with up to one-fifth of the country's food supply going to the landfill**.  I don't want to be too 'preachy' on this blog, but there's really no excuse for this wasteful behaviour; in addition to the massive inequity when compared with nation's suffering extreme poverty, it's a huge waste of money, resources, and greenhouse gases emitted when growing or producing the food, not to mention the emissions from food rotting in the landfill.

So please, I urge you to consider how much food you purchase and eating everything in your kitchen before it goes off.

Today I was able to bake some super-healthy raspberry-orange-oat-quinoa muffins by mixing together a few recipes I found online (with most credit to this Natural Zest blog):
  • 1/4 C dry quinoa, cooked in 1/2 C water (leftover quinoa purchased package-free from Manly Co-op)
  • 2 C rolled oats (another package-free Co-op purchase, always on hand in our home to make muesli)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 eggs (free-range, of course, also from the Co-op)
  • 1/2 C soy milk (always trying to reduce my reliance on those gassy cows!)
  • 1/4 C agave nectar (sugar substitute, purchased when I made a fancy coconut semifreddo for my green dinner party fling)
  • 1 C chopped frozen raspberries (also leftover from the dinner party)
  • 1/4 C shredded coconut
  • Zest of one organic navel orange, and juice from half of it (from Lettuce Deliver!)
  • 1 C wholemeal flour
Baked for 20-25 minutes at 170C/375F.

Healthy happy muffins!

Truth be told, they are not the most beautiful thing I've ever baked, could use a bit more sweetness, and would've been greener had I skipped the paper. But, having said all that, they are quite tasty and made a delicious morning tea snack, yummmmmm......

Soups, pasta and couscous are a few other pantry-cleaning food creations I like to pull together.  Once you start looking, you'll be amazed at what meals are lurking in your kitchen at this very moment!

*Affluenza: When too much is never enough, by Clive Hamilton and Richard Denniss
**US Department of Agriculture 2004, A Citizen's Guide to Food Recovery

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