good ol' kitchen

good ol' kitchen

Hi guys,

Let's talk about how a few tweaks can turn our kitchen into a sustainable temple? 

Cook!

AFTER ALL, THAT'S WHY YOU HAVE A KITCHEN, RIGHT? :-)

I know how hard it is to cut the processed food out of our diets but hey, on the upside you will end up cooking more and most likely, add healthier options into your routine.

By doing this, you will also reduce your packaging waste and your food waste because as you become more adept in the kitchen, you will learn what to do with the food you already have on hand. 

FERMENTATION

Do you know how to preserve your food? I didn’t either and that’s ok!

For example, to extend the lifetime of a vegetable, for example, you can choose to ferment it. A head of cabbage left at room temperature will rot within a couple of weeks, right? So, why not preserve it through fermentation—making sauerkraut or kimchi—and it will keep for months and months.

Personally, I have become a huge fan of kimchi (#pregnancyfeelings much?) so I'd like to share with you a recipe I have learned to love...

You will need - 

  • 1 medium head of cabbage (approx. 2 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup of sea salt or kosher salt (up to you!)
  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon of grated garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 to 5 tablespoons of red pepper flakes (Korean is best, if you can find!)
  • 8 ounces of Korean radish or daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce

How -

Slice the cabbage: Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips.

Salt the cabbage: Place the cabbage and salt in a large bowl. Massage the salt into the cabbage (use your hands, guys!) until it starts to soften a bit, then add water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy, like a jar or can of beans. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours.

Rinse and drain the cabbage: Rinse the cabbage under cold water 3 times and drain in a colander for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse and dry the bowl you used for salting, and set it aside...

Make the paste: Meanwhile, combine the garlic, ginger, sugar, and seafood flavor (or 3 tablespoons water) in a small bowl and mix to form a smooth paste. Mix in the gochugaru, using 1 tablespoon for mild and up to 5 tablespoons for spicy (I like about 3 1/2 tablespoons).

Combine the vegetables and paste: Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and return it to the bowl along with the radish, scallions, and seasoning paste.

Mix thoroughly: Using your hands, gently work the paste into the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated. The gloves are optional here but I would highly recommended it to protect your hands from stings, stains, and smells! :-)

Pack the kimchi into the jar - used jam jars are always SO handy here!!! Pack the kimchi into the jar, pressing down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1 inch of headspace. Seal the jar with the lid.

Let it ferment: Let the jar stand at room temperature for 1 to 5 days. You may see bubbles inside the jar and brine may seep out of the lid; place a bowl or plate under the jar to help catch any overflow.

Check it daily and refrigerate when ready: Check the kimchi once a day, pressing down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. (This also releases gases produced during fermentation.) Taste a little at this point, too! When the kimchi tastes ripe enough for your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator. You may eat it right away, but it's best after another week or two.

BRRRR... IT'S FREEZING!

By freezing your food you will preserve it for longer.

For example, roast and freeze cherry tomatoes when they are in season and during winter, you can forgo tomatoes in disposable packaging. And let me tell you, they will taste incredible too.

You can use the carcase of that roasted chicken to make an incredible broth (I am obssesed!) and then… freeze it! You can use it later on soups, risottos, you name it.

Always remember to freeze your food without plastic. You can choose glass jars, cloth bags and metal containers. If freezing in glass jars, always leave headspace for liquids. Also, be careful about how you stack jars in your freezer so they don’t fall out when you open the door. To thaw, transfer your jar or container to the refrigerator the night before you need it.

MILKY WAY

I had lots of doubts about making my own non-dairy milk but hey, it’s so easy! Not to mention that it tastes so much better than the shop-bought ones…

Non-dairy milk almost always come in dreadful Tetra Paks, made of several layers of materials, including plastic. On our blog we will teach you how to many super tasty non-dairy milk and you can also find our nut milk bags here.

WRAPS & CO.

This sounds easier than it actually is but you can do it!

First of all, let’s ditch cling film. Do you want to cover a bowl of leftovers? Simply put a plate over it or cover it with a beeswax wrap, rather than a sheet of cling film. The good thing about beeswax wraps is that when they finally wear out (they last a long time), you can compost them.

Also, ditch Ziploc-like bags. Are they handy? Yes, they are but so are our lunch boxes and snack bags and you can reuse them again and again! Check some of our champions here.

 SQUEAKY CLEAN DONE RIGHT? WE HAVE IT, MA'AM!

Let’s talk about why you don’t need paper towels or wet wipes? These waste paper and wipes and they are always wrapped in plastic. Simply use cloth rags instead – washable and reusable!

If you wash dishes with sponges, opt for cellulose popup sponges. When plastic sponges begin to fall apart, little bits of them go down the drain - guess where these might end up? If you guessed oceans, lakes and rivers you guessed right! We always prefer using cellulose sponges or simply wash our dishes with cloths made from natural fibers. Both options can go into the compost after they deteriorate.

One fun thing is to try making your own dish soap – it won’t lather up like the stuff you see on TV does but it works. Check out our recipe below...

You will need - 

Some grated bar soap (we LOVE the Dr. Bronner's lavender one), some liquid castile soap, washing soda, and some essential oils (totally optional).

How - 

Just mix the grated soap flakes with some boiling water and stir. Once the soap is dissolved, you’ll add the washing soda and stir, then add the liquid castile soap and stir. Once the mixture has cooled, you can add your essential oils, then transfer the mixture to a repurposed container (an old dish soap bottle works wonders!).

AND FINALLY, COMPOST!

After all, all that real food waste must go somewhere…

Composting is simple – throw any unusable food scraps onto the compost bin. We have a small one over our sink and we have asked our bin provider to add a green bin for us to dispose of our compost. Still unsure? Drop us an email, we would love to help!

Love,
Pat x