This post was originally published on February 13, 2017 and updated on May 15, 2020.
No pun intended but here are some simple and delicious ways to green up your family’s diet. It’s easier than ever to make healthy, earth-friendly food choices that are actually fun to eat. From coconut-apple dips and pineapple/shrimp skewers to meals prepared with buttery textured Malaysian sustainable palm oil, with these ideas your kids (and your spouse) may not even miss their neon-colored crackers.
- Serve the peas while they’re still frozen: Peas, beans and lentils are some of the most sustainable vegetables. They are nitrogen fixers, which means they naturally enrich the soil. And who knew that green peas taste like ice cream when served frozen?
- Oven fry leafy vegetables: Kale and spinach grow quickly in most climates. This means they have a lower impact on our environment and may require less fertilizer than slower growing veggies. Up the kid-friendliness of these greens by making tasty oven-fried veggie chips. Drizzle Malaysian sustainable palm oil over the greens, sprinkle with salt and then bake in a 350 degree oven until slightly brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Eat on their own, sprinkle on pizza or add to cheesy omelets.
- Blend those beans: Kids love to dip foods, so blend beans or lentils with cream cheese or yogurt to make a creamy base. Then season with naturally sweet coconut and apples, buttermilk powder and spices, or whatever flavor combination your family craves for a healthy and eco-friendly snack.
- Improve your oil: It doesn’t make sense to buy healthy, sustainable foods and then cook them with oils made from genetically modified plants. Your family will love the buttery texture of Malaysian palm oil which is natural and sustainably produced. Because it is heat stable, Malaysian palm oil can be used for grilling, baking and frying without burning and making food taste bad. All palm oil is non-GMO, which may be why it’s more affordable than non-GMO canola.
- Buy seafood from U.S. fisheries: American-based fisheries generally follow stricter environmental standards than those of other countries. You’ll still want to avoid the species highest in mercury: shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel. Have a regular seafood night at your house. Two fun ideas: Grill skewers of shrimp and pineapple, or serve tilapia with a tomato-avocado-bean relish and a big bowl of whole-grain blue corn chips.
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