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Archive for April 22, 2014

EARTH DAY: Water Bottle Crisis

Every year 68 billion plastic water bottles are consumed in the U.S. The majority of them end up in landfill. Divided among the population, this means a per capita consumption of some 30.8 gallons of bottled water.

According to the International Bottled Water Association, the U.S. bottled water per capita was up 5.3% in 2012, the last year for which statistics are available. The data comes with enormous consequences:

  • Too few plastic bottles make their way to the recycling bin: just 1 in 4.
  • The environmental footprint of plastic bottle is calculated in millions of oil barrels.
  • There is a direct human impact: making plastic requires chemicals that known to be hazardous to health. Not every water bottle is BPA-free.
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    Plus:

     

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    It’s very refreshing and popular, but 75% of the bottles end up in landfill.

     

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    The replaceable filter in Rubbermaid’s
    traveling water bottle. Photo courtesy
    Rubbermaid.

     
  • Tap water, the easy and cheaper solution, is actually a safer option than spring water or mineral water, even when bottles are BPA-free. Municipal water is regulated and tested frequently. There are no government controls on bottled mineral and spring waters.
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    Source: Green Glass Company

    How can you help? Drink from the tap!

    You can add a water purifier device to the tap or install one under the sink.

    You can buy special water bottles with built-in filters. Both of these water bottles have replaceable filters:

  • Rubbermaid water bottle’s filter lasts through 100 bottle refills.
  • The Brita Soft Squeeze Water Bottle’s filter is good for 300 16.9 ounce refills.
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    Celebrate Earth Day by picking up one.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Vegan Wraps For Earth Day

    We’re recommending vegan wraps for Earth Day. Animal-free foods are more sustainable, so today’s the day for a vegan lunch.

    These two recipes were sent to us from Red Rock Press, from their book, A White House Garden Cookbook by Clara Silverstein.

    Both are lettuce wraps, but you can also use tortilla wraps.

    The first recipe, Daniel and Annie’s Salad Wraps, originated in the children’s section of the New York Botanical Garden and contains the surprise—and optional—ingredient of an edible wildflower.

    You can serve these wraps with a dip, or spread mustard or Nasoya’s Nayonaise (excellent vegan mayonnaise) on the lettuce leaves before filling.

    RECIPE: DANIEL & ANNIE’S SALAD WRAPS

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 6 lettuce leaves, plus 6 more for slicing
  • Spread or dip of choice
  • 1 kohlrabi bulb or 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 5 radishes
  • 6 scallions
  • 6 mint or basil leaves (or more to taste)
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    Thus wrap is packed with arugula, carrots, cucumber, lettuce and red cabbage. Photo courtesy Online-Vegetarian-Deli.com.

  • Garnish: edible flowers (such as Johnny jump-ups, chive blossoms or nasturtiums—read all about edible flowers)
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    Preparation

    1. WASH and dry the lettuce leaves. Peel and slice the kohlrabi. Wash and dice the radishes. Wash the scallions, and cut off and discard the root ends.

    2. LAY out 6 lettuce leaves on the counter top or a large plate. If using a spread, place atop leaves.

    3. CUT cut the remaining 6 leaves into ribbons with scissors. Into each lettuce leaf, lay some kohlrabi and radishes, 1 scallion (cut it in half if it’s too long), and 1 mint or basil leaf. Roll it up and pin closed with a toothpick as needed. Garnish the top with edible flowers.

    4. SERVE with your favorite dressing as a dip.

     

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    Tofu hummus wraps, a vegan sandwich with
    the added protein of tofu. Photo courtesy
    House Foods.

     

    The second recipe, Lettuce Wrap Treats, is almost a dessert, folding dried fruits and nuts and a dab of vanilla yogurt into the lettuce leaf.

    And, it couldn’t be easier to make!

    If you want to present the ingredients as a “build your own,” each person can choose his or her own mix of ingredients.

    RECIPE: LETTUCE LEAF WRAPS

    Ingredients Per Wrap

  • 1 lettuce leaf*
  • Fillings: 1 tablespoon each of any or all of the following: chopped apples, chopped celery, walnuts or pecans, raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla yogurt (regular or vegan soy yogurt)
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    *Pick the largest, most pliable lettuce leaves that you can find. Leaf lettuces work really well for this.
     
    Preparation

    1. RINSE the lettuce in cold water and pat dry between sheets of paper towels.

    2. ADD the fillings to the center of the leaf. Top with a dollop of vanilla yogurt.

    3. FOLD the lettuce lengthwise over the toppings and then fold up the ends, like a burrito or a little package. Use a toothpick to secure as needed. Pick up and eat!

      

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