Food for Sustainability
We are what we eat. When it comes to our health, more and more people are becoming aware of the risks involved with consuming different types of foods, personally and environmentally.
Humankind consumes more food than we produce and there are already some alarms ringing regarding fish depletion in the seas, chemical waste, high pollution of soil and waters, and food which is grown to appeal to the eye and not to the body. Foods are not as healthy as we think and many of us keep that in mind when choosing food sources. We even opt for growing our own fruits, vegetables, poultry, and fish. That is the only way to know for sure that what we put in our body is healthy and will help us stay healthy as well.
It’s important to have full control of what we eat. That means knowing where our food comes from, in which conditions they grow, and what substances are used in the process. If we grow our own fruits and veggies we have the option to use organic fertilizers and pesticides in order to protect our health and the environment. More and more of us make important steps toward a healthy sustainable lifestyle and we grow our own foods as much as we can and buy the rest from the local stores.
Ideally, we would not be dependent on the grocery markets, but until then, we can choose wisely by selecting foods that do no harm to the environment: fish, fruits, and vegetables that are grown as organic as possible. We can choose to eat unprocessed foods or foods that are as close to raw as they can be.
The fruit and veggies and even fish and meat are more healthy and nutritious when growing conditions respect their needs. Ideally, we would consume meat from the farm animals that are free from chemicals or antibiotics. Locally grown produce is a great source for organic foods we can’t grow in our own gardens. What we can also do to promote sustainable practices is reduce food waste by using it for other purposes and not throwing it in the garbage. We can use it in other dishes, to make compost for our garden, feed it to poor people or donate it to specialized organizations.
What can you make with your homegrown produce:
If you already have a garden where you grow your fruit trees, dwarf fruit trees, vegetables, or leafy greens, then you can consider yourself privileged. Depending on the size of your garden, you have at least some variety of fruits, herbs or vegetables you can use in endless combinations when cooking. Tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, lettuces, kale, and strawberries are very accessible and easy to grow. Apples, pears, cherries and peaches are also easy to grow in dwarf fruit trees. If you read our articles about aquaponic or hydroponic gardens you learned that you can have a high variety of items in a small space.
Here are some great ideas for cooking with your fresh homegrown fruits and veggies:
Smoothies: they can be made with fresh ingredients and are a healthy and nutritious choice for breakfast, lunch, brunch, after workouts, snacks, and even desserts. Some great ideas are combining your homegrown strawberry, orange, peach and a cup of yogurt or milk depending on your preferences. If you are going for a smoothie for breakfast, then consider adding some rolled oats and some nuts. An example of a tasty vegetable smoothie is made of kale, spinach, mango, yogurt and some sweetener of your choice. These smoothies are just some ideas, but you can totally create any combination of the fruits you can get from your dwarf fruit trees or veggies from your garden.
Jams: can be made easily from any kind of fruit you can harvest from your fruit trees.
Pies: are also a good idea of what you can make with your homegrown fruits and vegetables. Pies can make great desserts and dinners. Apple pies, peach pies, berry pies, even lemon pies are tasty and healthy. A good option to make a healthy dough is to use whole wheat flour. Dinner pies are made with veggies and a good example to try is spinach and goat cheese pie.
Vegetable roasts: are a tasty side dish for lunch or dinner. If you have an aquaponics system then you can add healthy organic fish to your sustainable dinners.
Salads: are great for in summer or as a side dish. Very nutritious and rich in vegetables are an amazing source of healthy goodness.
Pizzas: are delicious and you can basically add any vegetable you have on hand from your garden: tomatoes, kale, spinach, arugula, and any other vegetables you like.
Lemonades: can be very refreshing in summer days or hot weather. For extra freshness add some mint leaves.
Fruit juice: Basically, any fruit can become juice. An idea is to make juice from apples, celery stalks, and carrots. Orange juice is super healthy and rich in vitamins.
Make the most out of your garden and be creative with your food. The only limit should be, except taste combinations, the clear blue sky. If you want to find out more about healthy eating be sure to read more about it here.