An effective strategy to go green is to minimize the amount of processed foods you eat. The energy it takes to bring products to market accounts for over 50 percent of your carbon footprint. An alternative is to cut the processing time by doing it yourself.
You may be surprised to learn how easy it is to make some foods that you may eat daily or frequently. For example, making homemade butter is ridiculously simple. All you need is some heavy cream and a hand mixer. You can literally whip up some butter in minutes.
You can also make soft cheeses. Ricotta cheese, for example, requires only whole milk, cream, a bit of salt and lemon juice. After a few minutes prep time, you’ll have fresh-tasting cheese for spreading on breads or adding to your lasagne recipe.
Benefits for You
One of the primary benefits to you is the satisfaction of doing it yourself. You can also customize recipes to suit your tastes. For example, that butter you made can become honey butter or a compound butter for a simple sauce for meats or fish that doesn’t require stove time.
In addition, by cutting out the middle man, you save energy and precious resources. This can save you money and time. You can also save by making just the amount you need. There will be no more additional waste from individual packaging. You’ll use all you make and reduce the amount you toss out.
You can take the concept of DIY to other areas in the kitchen. You can make your own vinaigrettes, stock using leftover bones and vegetable scraps and even your own signature liqueurs. The time you spend making a product at home will use less energy and require less fuel. By using storage containers you have on hand you’ll also reduce the amount of packaging that you toss out.
There are plenty of places to begin. You can start with your own garden as the starting point for homemade marinara, fresh herbs and other goodies. You can extend the savings by freezing leftovers for another time or reusing them in a different recipe. The key is to maximize your ingredients and get the most out of doing it yourself.