Sustainable Christmas

We can all get a bit carried away at Christmas.  With climate change being topical at the moment and peppered across the news, whether in the newspapers or online, we are all trying to be very conscious of waste.

Our Founder, Jennifer Irvine has said “the last thing I want for my legacy is a big pile of plastic left on this planet”.

We generate 30 per cent more waste over the Christmas period and we are looking at ways we can help everyone to cut the waste in our kitchens this Christmas, so we have come up with our top tips:

 

  • Minimise food waste. Food sent to landfill produces methane and which is more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, generating approximately 8 % of global green house gas emissions each year. So, think about whether you will in the end actually eat it all.

 

  • Why not try eating a more veggie diet – at least in part over the holidays? You could have some meat free meals leading up to the big day. Making that Christmas turkey taste even more delicious!

 

  • Where you are buying meat perhaps you could try and buy organic or free-range? It may be slightly more costly but with meat it really is quality over quantity.

 

  • We mentioned this before in our ‘Zero-waste journey, but how?’ blog on our website but planning your food shop not only saves you time when you’re in the shop, or saves you a few pennies in your purse (due to panic buys) but will save how much food waste you have at the end of the festive break.

 

  • Now even if you do plan, and cut down on ingredients it is very likely that you will still have leftovers, because well, have all the things we like to eat at Christmas right? That’s not a problem because there are lots of yummy dishes you can make with Christmas dinner leftovers such our as our home-made turkey broth soup :  bubble and squeak, and many more.

 

Health Benefits of Winter Greens

Someone once said that you should always have something green on your plate, and from a nutritional perspective, there is good reason to. Winter greens provide more than just a pop of colour, they are nutritional powerhouses.

 

The brassica family includes kale, broccoli, cabbage, collard greens and brussel sprouts which have some fantastic benefits that when cooked correctly are delicious and nutritious.

 

Brassicas are especially high in essential vitamins such as potassium, vitamin K and C, folic acid and fibre. Brassicas also contains bio-active sulfur containing compounds called glucosinolates. Through considerable evidence, these may have some cancer preventative properties whilst also limiting the progression of chronic inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease.

 

Winter is the perfect time to add these vegetables into your diet as they are in season, widely available and make a great addition to winter dishes. We use them in our Balance Box fresh food deliveries menus.

 

Instead of simply steaming, get creative in the kitchen and try roasting sprouts with chestnuts and garlic, pan frying cabbage with sliced chilli and flaked almonds or massaging a miso dressing into baby kale leaves. At the Balance Box we love a classic bubble and squeak, try our recipe which elevates winter green vegetables into a delicious and healthy meal.

Go Nutty This Christmas!

Nuts are a very popular and convenient food and they have many health benefits including being a great source of healthy fats. They make a lovely snack on their own or mixed with dried fruit and seeds. They also work well in a smoothie or as a yummy crunchy topping for your morning porridge.

As they are so tasty, versatile and have a high nutritional value, a regular handful as part of your diet may be a good idea.  Nuts are high in calories, and a handful by themselves is fine, that said, they quickly become unhealthy when paired with sugary or salty mixes or you go beyond a handful.

 

Below are a few reasons to go ‘nuts for nuts’ that usually go along with the festive season:

Brazil Nuts

Amazonian people prize them for their nutritional value; high in protein, carbohydrates, and good fats.  Fun fact; They one of the tallest trees in the Amazon and each fruit contains approximately 24 seeds and those are Brazil nuts.

Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are very good for you, they have great sources of vitamins A and B along with dietary fibre.  They also help raise the good cholesterol whilst helping to lower the bad.  So, a handful of Hazelnuts can be guilt-free and do you some good.

Walnuts

Walnuts, the ones that look like brains.  They have a lot of vitamin E and healthy fats.  Some reports claim that they also help with depression as they contain omega 3 oils which are known to raise serotonin levels in the brain.

Walnuts also have a higher level of antioxidants than any other nut which may help with the fight against heart disease, cancer, and premature aging.

 

A healthy food delivery from Balance Box delivered to your door contains our popular ‘Trail Bar’ which contains a lovely mix of fruit and nuts.