Sustainable Sunday: Carrots

We don’t need a few people doing zero-waste perfectly, we need millions doing it imperfectly.

Lauren Singer*
Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

Swap: Instead of buying pre-packaged baby carrots, save money and some plastic by buying loose carrots, peeling them, then slicing them into sticks, coins, etc., whatever your preference.

You might be thinking, Well if I’m buying loose carrots don’t I have to put them in one of those plastic produce bags, anyway? Not necessarily! You can bring a plastic bag from home to reuse or just place the carrots in your cart bagless. Remember, not only will you wash your produce before use, but for this particular item you’ll also be cutting/peeling off all the parts that touched surfaces before consumption.

Rick is magical, but prefers prepackaged baby carrots for snacking. I do what I can- this is about effort, not perfection, after all! When I buy them, though, they often end up getting slimy before the bag is finished, even if they’d been transferred from the open bag to an airtight container.

Tips

I’ve found that carrots I’ve peeled and chopped myself last much longer, and loose/bulk carrots can also be rejuvenated! If they start getting wrinkly and sad in your vegetable crisper they can still be used in a hot dish, but they can also be given an ice water bath and perk back up for raw consumption.

I like to buy loose carrots for recipes, and being able to buy the exact number of needed carrots is also a great way to not over-buy. If you do have a surplus from your carrot bunch, coined or diced carrots are great to go into the freezer for easy use in future soups, curries, and stir fries. This also eliminates the plastic from bagged frozen vegetables. Loose carrots are also great to wash, peel, cut, and purée into baby food.

If you’re buying loose carrots for snacking, don’t throw them in the crisper and count on yourself to do the work when you’re in the moment of looking for a snack. If they’re not already cut up, it’s much easier to reach for something prepackaged, which not only indicates waste, but is likely something not as healthy. Instead, as a part of your grocery unpacking process, go ahead and wash and chop your carrots so they’re ready when you are.

One small consumption change for you, one small improvement for our environment.

Warmest,
Bailey

*Lauren Singer is an environmentalist who does not generate any waste(!). You can shop her store, Package Free, online or at the brick and mortar store in Brooklyn post-pandemic. Read more about Lauren here, and watch her Ted Talk here– she’s inspiring.


Once a month I share a sustainability tip or an easy swap in consumption routine to better care for the planet. Environmentally conscious change doesn’t always have to be expensive, laborious, or extremely time-consuming.


More on Bummed Out Bailey:
Sustainable Sunday: Floss
Recipe: Ginger Carrot Sweet Potato Soup (Gluten-Free + Vegan)
Recipe: Shepherd’s Pie (Vegan)


Do you love Bummed Out Bailey? The best way you can support me is to share my blog with friends! Another way to support is on my Patreon where you’ll find exclusive content. Your word of mouth and contribution mean more to me than you’ll ever know!

To subscribe to Bummed Out Bailey by email, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website and enter your info into the form. I can also be found on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

If you or someone you know needs help right now, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Sustainable Sunday: Ziplock Bags

Disclosure: In case it’s not already abundantly clear, I have zero advertisers. Lol. So, please know that anything I feature on Sustainable Sunday posts are products I’ve simply researched and loved.


We don’t need a few people doing zero-waste perfectly, we need millions doing it imperfectly.

Lauren Singer*
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Swap: Instead of disposable ziplock bags, use reusable silicone storage bags that provide the same function without the waste.

Ziplocks are great for all types of things: storing ingredients and leftovers in the fridge or freezer, packing a lunch, keeping toys or small electronics, organizing toiletries, and preparing for trips. Hell, they even make a TSA-approved quart size bag for your liquids while traveling. But, the single or couple of uses of each bag before they hit the trash is a bummer.

There hasn’t really been a good alternative until reusable silicone storage bags came on the scene. Stasher makes multi-faceted bags in all different sizes and was founded by a regular parent trying to solve a problem packing her children’s lunches. Y’all know how much I love a small, woman-owned business! Some other companies that make reusable silicone bags are Earthsider, The Noble Narwhal, and Ziparoos. There are actually several versions on the market, so there are lots to choose from and many price points.

The bags are typically pricy, but so is buying disposable ziplocks over and over. Reusing disposable ziplocks can get unsanitary, and my favorite thing about the silicone bags is that most of them can go in the dishwasher. I just flip mine (Stasher) inside out and put it on the top rack. While Ziparoos are the most affordable version I’ve seen, something to consider is that dishwashers aren’t recommended for their product.

I only have one because I wanted to try them out before committing to several, and after months of use I still love and use it. I do still have disposable ziplocks in the house, but when the world starts to move again and I have a salary again (I graduate in three weeks!), I plan to fully switch over at some point.

One small consumption change for you, one small improvement for our environment.

Warmest,
Bailey

*Lauren Singer is an environmentalist who does not generate any waste(!). You can shop her store, Package Free, online or at the brick and mortar store in Brooklyn post-pandemic. Read more about Lauren here, and watch her Ted Talk here– she’s inspiring.


Once a month I share a sustainability tip or an easy swap in consumption routine to better care for the planet. Environmentally conscious change doesn’t always have to be expensive, laborious, or extremely time-consuming.


More on Bummed Out Bailey:
Sustainable Sunday: Floss
Recipe: “Chicken” Salad (Vegan) (Get it?! Cause you’d put a chicken salad sandwich in a ziplock bag)
Introducing Easy Sustainable Swaps!


Do you love Bummed Out Bailey? The best way you can support me is to share my blog with friends! Another way to support is on my Patreon where you’ll find exclusive content. Your word of mouth and contribution mean more to me than you’ll ever know!

To subscribe to Bummed Out Bailey by email, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website and enter your info into the form. I can also be found on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

If you or someone you know needs help right now, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Recipe: Cornbread Casserole (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

Cornbread casserole is my FAVORITE holiday dish. My mom always makes it and it’s incredibly simple and… complete garbage for you. I found a vegan / gluten-free recipe that eliminates the questionable ingredients and it is delicious! It even passed the Rick Test. #RickApproved

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Ingredients

1/2 c cashews
1 c cornmeal
1/2 c almond flour
2 T ground flax seeds
2 t baking powder
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 c non-dairy milk
1/2 c maple syrup
1/4 c coconut oil
2 c whole corn kernels, drain if from a can
1/2 c vegan cheese shreds or organic shredded cheese

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organic shredded cheese

Instructions

  1. Poor hot water over raw cashews, soak one hour, drain, set aside.
  2. Preheat oven 350° F. Lightly grease casserole dish, set aside.
  3. Whisk cornmeal, almond flour, flax seeds, baking powder and sea salt together in a large bowl, set aside.
  4. Combine cashews, non-dairy milk, maple syrup, and coconut oil in a blender, processing until smooth.
  5. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined.
  6. Fold in corn and cheese, if using.
  7. Poor batter into baking dish and distribute evenly. Bake for 55 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

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Serves 6-8 people.

Have a plethora of corn? Keep on with the corn-theme here.

Adapted from Cornbread Casserole (Vegan, Gluten-Free).


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Recipe: Sugar Cookies

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I had a weird week at school, but a good week in the kitchen. I brought these vegan sugar cookies to class on Halloween and topped them with star sprinkles because those are the spookiest sprinkles I have. The surprise ingredient in these sugar cookies is pumpkin – they’re on theme for this time of year!

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Ingredients

Cookies
1 c organic Earth Balance
1 c sugar, plus more for topping
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c pumpkin puree
2 t vanilla extract
3 1/2 c flour
1 T arrowroot powder
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
2-3 t non-dairy milk

Frosting
1/2 c organic Earth Balance
1/2 t vanilla extract
3 c powdered sugar
Splash non-dairy milk
Sprinkles (optional)

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Instructions

Cookies

  1. Add softened butter to a large mixing bowl and cream with a mixer.
  2. Add sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin. Beat for one minute.
  3. Sift flour, arrowroot powder, sea salt, baking soda, and baking powder over butter mixture.
  4. Mix until until just combined, being careful not to over mix.
  5. Add non-dairy milk and mix until soft dough forms. If dough appears too wet, add flour 1 T at a time.
  6. Cover and freeze dough for 15 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350° F and position rack in the center of oven.
  8. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop chilled dough into balls, about 1 T each. Arrange 2-3 inches apart to allow for spreading.
  9. Dip the bottom of a glass into sugar and gently mash balls down into discs to help them cook more evenly.
  10. Bake for about 10 minutes, or slightly golden brown.
  11. Remove cookies from oven and let rest on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a plate to cool completely.

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Frosting

  1. Rinse mixing bowl clean and add butter. Beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Mix in vanilla.
  3. Add powdered sugar 1/2 c at a time and continue mixing until thick and creamy.
  4. Splash in a little non-dairy milk to thin. You want the frosting to hold shape once on the cookies, so only add a little milk. Add more powdered sugar if it gets too thin.
  5. Once completely cooled, frost cookies and top with sprinkles, if desired.
  6. Store covered leftovers at room temperature for 3-4 days.

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Yields ~36 cookies.

Adapted from 1-Bowl Vegan Sugar Cookies.


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Recipe: Stuffed Mushroom Eyeballs

I come alive in Q4, especially October. I’ve celebrated Halloween all month by doing one spooky activity per day, and today I made creepy eyeball hors d’oeuvres. Halloween is on a Wednesday this year, which is a good opportunity to have some loved ones over for a spooky movie and an All Hallows’ Eve themed spread with these EYEBALLS.

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Ingredients

16 oz button mushrooms*
1 block extra firm tofu, drained**
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t lemon juice
3/4 t sea salt
1/2 t Italian seasoning
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t black pepper
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T sun-dried tomatoes (from bag, not packed in oil), julienned
1 small can of sliced black olives

*This recipe yields a lot of tofu ricotta, so feel free to double your mushrooms for more eyeballs or keep the ricotta for another recipe.
**If you prefer to avoid tofu, this recipe would be great with a store-bought or homemade cashew cheese.

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Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Rinse mushrooms, pull out stems, and set aside on a baking sheet.
  3. Puree tofu, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt, Italian seasoning, onion powder and pepper together in a food processor until completely smooth. Set aside.
  4. Using a teaspoon, drip a few drops of balsamic vinegar into each mushroom cap.
  5. Make a piping bag by scooping tofu ricotta mixture into a Ziploc and trimming off a corner. Pipe mixture into each cap so that it creates a small mound.
  6. Place sun-dried tomato pieces on stuffed mushrooms, and top each one with one slice of olive. Press down gently.
  7. Bake the mushrooms for 15 minutes, until the caps begin to wrinkle slightly.

Serve warm or room temperature.

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Rick Aldrich: Spooky Mushroom Eyeball Model and General Good Sport

Serves eight.

Adapted from Stuffed Mushroom Eyeballs.

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