Reduce food cost & food waste with soup

Food prices are going UP in 2021! The forecasted increase is the HIGHEST in dollar EVER projected by the Canada Food Price Report. 

This empty fridge soup is an easy way to reduce your food costs and your food waste.

In this blog we discuss

  • Empty fridge soup recipe
  • Soup preparation tips
  • Crouton recipe
  • Food price forecast
  • Food waste
Canada's food price forecast

Canada’s Food Price Report, published by Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph predicts the highest increase in dollars of the report’s history.  An increase of 695$ for a total of 13,907$ is the anticipated food cost of a family with 2 adults and 2 children – This amount DOES NOT include ANY food service. 

Food waste

The average household waste 309 lbs/year of food – worth on average 1,100$!

The comestible waste throughout the food chain is estimated at 11.2 million tons.  To better understand how much food that represents we need to break it down. 11.2 million tons of food is enough to feed ALL Canadian for 4.9 months!

What can we do?

As a starter, main course, side dish or as a sauce, soups can transform yesterday’s leftovers and less appetizing vegetables into tasty new dishes. It’s one of the fastest, easiest, and most delicious ways to use up the foods in your fridge and pantry!

 

Empty Fridge Soup
Ingredients
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 tbsp Butter or vegetable oil
  • 5 cups of mixed vegetables or 1 single vegetable cut into slices or quarters (e.g. carrots, turnip, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, leek)
  • 5 cups of liquid of your choice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Preparation
  1. In a saucepan, soften the onion in the butter. Add the vegetables and broth. Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  2. Optional – In a blender, reduce the soup to a smooth puree. Salt and pepper.
Optional ingredients
Optional soup ingredients

Add these ingredients with the vegetables and broth. 

  • Parmesan rind – remove before blending. It will add umami to the soup
  • Potato, mashed potatoes, rice, grains. Add about 1 cup. It will thicken the soup.
Soup liquid ideas

You can include a combinations of liquid.

  • water
  • vegetables broth
  • chicken/beef broth
  • cream (1/2 cup)
  • coconut milk (1/2 cup)
  • orange or apple juice (up to 1 cup)
Fine herbs &/or spices by vegetable type

Add these ingredients with the vegetables and broth.

  • Orange vegetables
    • Cumin (1 tsp) ginger (1 tsp)
    • Ginger (1 tsp), turmeric (1/2 tsp), pepper (1/8 tsp), cinnamon (1/2 tsp), nutmeg (1/4 tsp)
    • Curry (1 tsp), turmeric (1 tsp), pepper (1/8 tsp), 1 lemon (zest and juice add after the coup is cooked)
  • Varied vegetables
    • Bay leaf (1), thyme (1/2 tsp)
    • Oregano (1 tsp), basil (1 tsp)
    • Provence herbs (2 tsp)
    • Italian herbs (2 tsp)
  • Green vegetables
    • Dill (to taste), Greek yogurt (to taste)
    • pesto (2 to 3 tbsp)
Garnishes

Use to decorate the soup.

  • Croutons – see recipe below
  • Herbs
  • Parmesan 
  • Meat (crispy bacon, leftover chicken,…)
  • Cream / Greek yogurt
  • Lemon or orange zest
  • Pesto
Soup preparation tips

1. To make the soup pretty, use vegetables of the same color. When you mix all the leftover vegetables for a soup, the soup can be a little brown. From today, your soups will be vibrant with different color combinations. 

  • Orange produce
    • sweet potato, carrots, squash, pumpkin, bell peppers,…
  • Green produce
    • Broccoli, spinach, lettuce, fennel, leeks, …
  • Neutral produce
    • potatoes, cauliflowers, parsnips, rutabaga, apples,…
    • Neutral produce can be added to any colour soup or can be used to make a very lightly coloured soup. 

2. To control the thickness of your soup, you can remove about 1 cup of the broth before blending and add it back as desired.

 

Croutons recipe

Since we are making an “empty fridge soup” might as well double up on the waste reduction and make croutons with leftover or dried bread.  Home made croutons taste nothing like store bought ones. They are filled with layers of flavours. Get ready to fall in love with croutons!

Ingredients
  • Leftover bread – about 4 cups
  • Oil – 1 tbsp 
    • e.g. cameline, olive, grapeseed oil, avocado
  • Dried herbs of choice – 1 tbsp 
    • e.g: Italian spices, provence, basil, oregano.
  • Salt & pepper
Preparation

Preparation

  • Heat the oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parment paper or a silicon cooking mat.
  • Cut the bread in 1/2 to 1 inch cubes. Place the bread cubes on the lined baking sheet.
  • Drizzle the bread with oil, herbs, salt & pepper. 
  • Combine with your hands and place in a single layer.
  • Bake 15 minutes. Let cool.
Why homemade croutons?
  • Home made croutons cost lest than half the price of store bought ones and taste a lot better.
  • The ingredient list is simple and high quality.
  • Reduce food waste by using bread that may have ended up in the garbage. 
Canada's food price forecast

Canada’s Food Price Report, published by Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph predicts the highest increase in dollars of the report’s history. 

The 2021 food price forecast is as follows:

Credit: https://cdn.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/sites/agri-food/Food%20Price%20Report%202021%20-%20EN%20(December%208).pdf

The 2021 report forecasts that overall food prices will increase 3 to 5%.

An increase of 695$ for a total of 13,907$ is the anticipated food cost of a family with these members:

  • a man (age 31–50)
  • a woman (age 31– 50)
  • a boy (age 14–18)
  • a girl (age 9–13)

This amount does not includes any food service expenses. 

Food Waste
Household food waste

The average household waste 309 lbs/year of food – worth on average 1,100$!

Food chain total waste

In Canada, 58% of the food produced is wasted throughout the food chain – a total of 35,5 million tons. This includes non comestible foods like eggshells and bones.  The comestible waste throughout the entire food chain is estimated at 11,2 million tons. 

To better understand how much food that 11,2 million tons represents we need to break it down. Here are the maths:

  • How much food is that per Canadian?
    • 11,2 millions tons of food/ 37.6 million canadians = 0.3 tons/Canadian
    • 1 ton = 2000 lbs
    • 0.3 tons = 600 lbs
  • How long does it take to eat this amount of food?
    • The average person eats 4 pounds a day.
    • 600/4 = 150 days of food
    • 150 days = 4.9 months

This 11,2 million tons of food is enough food to feed each Canadian for 4.9 months!

Global food waste
  •  

Food waste is an important global issue globally. Here are some numbers to better understand the impact of food waste:

  • 1/3 of the food produced in the world is lost or thrown away, equivalent to around 1.3 billion tonnes per year
  • Food produced but not consumed unnecessarily occupies nearly 1.4 billion hectares of land, which is the size of Canada and India combined.
  • Producing all this lost or discarded food requires about 1/4 of all the water used in agriculture each year.

sources:

Sources
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Butter

In this blog we discuss

  • butter industry and demand
  • What is happening with our dairy products in Canada? #Buttergate
  • How to make butter at home
  • The seasonality of butter
  • Types of butter sold in stores
Butter industry and demand

The butter industry in Canada is estimated at $ 20 billion. According to the National Post, butter sales increased 21% in 2020.

Demand for butter is generally seasonal, increasing during the holidays and other festivities that require baking. The waves of the pandemic, however, have created a new kind of seasonality: sales of butter have increased during periods of containment. As people sought solace in baking and began to cook the vast majority of their meals at home, they turned to butter.

What is happening with our dairy? #buttergate

For months now, many Canadians have noticed that the quality of dairy products has changed: e.g. cheeses with a funny texture, butter that does not soften as much at room temperature, coffee milk that does not foam properly.

Apparently, since last summer, some dairy farmers have been giving their dairy cows energy supplements. One of these supplements contains a lot of palmitic acid or … palm oil. In other words, some producers feed their dairy cows palm oil or palmitic acids – one of the most dreaded food ingredients by humans. Palm oil not only has devastating effects on the environment but can also promote bad cholesterol – which increases cardiovascular risks.

The surge in demand for butter is putting pressure on farmers. Mixing palm oil with cow feed boosts milk fat, weight, and profits.

The effects on human health of this important change in the diet of cows are not known. Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Laboratory of Agri-Food Analytical Sciences at Dalhousie University, goes so far as to say that he is extremely concerned about this change.

Some brands of butter seem to have retained the same quality. No one can say for sure which brands or products are affected by these supplements. Some companies are developing technology that will allow butter manufacturers to detect palmitic acids in the product they receive.

The recent surge in demand for butter is putting pressure on farmers. Mixing palm oil with cow feed boosts milk fat, weight, and profits. The vast majority of small producers prefer not to use their additives because they are concern about the impact on the milk’s quality. Most dairy farmers want the situation to end as soon as possible.

How to make butter at home

If you like high quality butters, you can buy cream from small local producers and make your own! This is a great pandemic project.

  • 2 cups good quality high fat whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt (optional)
  1. Pour the cream into a bowl. With an electric whisk, whip the 35% cream with the salt (optional) at medium speed. After about 10 minutes, the cream will become lumpy, and a clear, whitish liquid will appear.
  2. Continue whisking gently for a few minutes, until the butter begins to form a ball around the beaters.
  3. Place a cheesecloth in a sieve. Place the sieve in a bowl to catch the buttermilk. Press the butter into the cotton cheese to remove the liquid.
    wash the butter to remove the remaining buttermilk. Rinse the butter in a bowl of VERY cold water. This rinses out any remaining whey which could make the butter rancid, and you can even use ice water if you want.
  4. Store the butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The butter will keep for up to a week.

Makes: about 3/4 cup

Cutured butter: Cultured butter has a complex flavour profile. To make cultured butter add 2 tbsp of high quality plain yogurt to the cream and combine. Let sit in a bowl covered at room temperature 8 to 24 hours before making the butter. You will know the cream is ready to use when you see small bubbles on the cream. Place the cream in the fridge about 1 hour before whipping it. After following these steps, follow the recipe above.

The seasonality of butter

Just as butter consumption depends on the seasons, so too is the butter itself.

Butter is the expression of what cows eat and their environment. The taste, color and texture of butter reflects its terroir (soil, topography and climate), the breed and the diet of the cows, its complex flavor is the result of more than 500 fatty acids and 400 compounds volatile.

In spring and early summer the butter is a darker yellow because cows eat grass at this time of year, which contains a high percentage of orange and yellow carotenes. The pasture is also filled with herbs and flowers, which gives the butter floral and herbaceous notes.In winter, the cow’s diet is supplemented with silage, so the butter is pale, more fatty, firmer and sweeter to the taste.

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Pesto

We love pesto! Pesto is a delicious, easy and healthy way to enjoy fresh herbs. Pesto ads tons of flavour to dishes takes just a few seconds to make.

Pesto can be made using a traditional mortar and pestle, food processor or an immersion blender.

In this blog you will learn how to make:

  • Traditional basil pesto
  • Sun dried tomato pesto
  • Walnut pesto
  • Prairie pesto

Traditional Basil Pesto

pesto

Traditional Basil Pesto

This tradtional basil pesto is ready in seconds and is a delicious way to add flavour to pasta, pizza, grilled fish or even serve with a cheese plater.

This recipe makes 1 cup of pesto.
  • Total Time 1 to 5 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 clove of garlic
  • 1/3 cup pinenuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan

Instructions

  1. In a mortar, add the garlic and salt. Cruch for a few seconds to form a paste.
  2. Add the pine nuts to the mortar with about half the oil. Crush into a paste.
  3. Add the parmesan and half the basil to the mortar and crush. Add the rest of the basil and olive oil. Crush in the mortar until the basil leaves are fully incorporated to the other ingredients.

Sundried Tomatoe Pesto

Sundried tomato pesto

Sundried Pesto

This sundried pesto is ready in seconds and is a delicious way to add flavour to pasta, pizza, grilled fish or even serve with a cheese plater.

This delicious pesto comes together in seconds with a food processor.

This recipe makes 1 cup of pesto.
  • Total Time 1 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 clove of garlic
  • 1/3 cup pinenuts
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, add all ingredients and pulse until a paste forms - about 30 seconds.

Walnut Pesto

Walnut pesto

Walnut pesto

This Tuscan walnut pesto is a nice twist on traditional basil pesto.

Tuscan walnut pesto is a white pesto filled with walnuts, parmesan, milk and toasted bread.

This recipe is delicious on pasta

Makes 1 1/2 cup.
  • Total Time 17 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup toasted or stale bread cubes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, place the bread and milk and allow the bread to soak the milk for 15 minutes.
  2. In a mortar, place the garlic and salt. Crush into a paste.
  3. Add the walnuts in the mortar and crush into a paste.
  4. Remove extra milk from the bread and add with the parmesan to the garlic. Crush into a paste.

Notes

If you'd prefer to use a food processor, complete step 1 as describe. Drain the extra milk and add all the ingredients to the food processor until a paste forms. 

Prairie Pesto

Prairie pesto

Prairie Pesto

This prairie pesto is ready in seconds and is a delicious way to add prairie flavour to sandwishes, and pizza.

This recipe makes 1 cup of pesto.
  • Total Time 1 to 5 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup water

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, add the basil, oil, salt and garlic. Blend until a paste forms.
  2. Add the flaxseeds and water. Blend into a paste.

Perfect Pies

PIES! Pies are filled with memories and comfort. They remind us of holidays, spending quality time with our grand-mothers and mother. 

Reduce food waste with pies. Yes, you read that right! Pies are a delicious way to use bruised fruits and vegetables. Often fruits and vegetables that are a little older are sweeter and actually make better pies. 

In this blog you will learn how to make:

  • Perfect pie crust
  • Saskatoon apple pie
  • Tomato tart

Perfect Pie Crust

crust ingredients

Perfect Pie Crust

This is our mother’s fail prof pie recipe! We cherish it and are excited to share it with you. We use this pie crust recipe to make all kinds of pies. From tourtieres to saskatoon berry pies you will get the perfect buttery puffed layered crust. This recipe makes three 8 inch pies (top and bottom).
  • Total Time 75 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup cold water

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, add the flour. Cube the cold water. Using a pastry blender (or 2 butter knifes) cut the butter in the flour until the pieces of butter are about the size of rolled oats.
  2. In a small bowl, add and combine the egg, apple cider vinegar, salt and cold water.
  3. Add the liquid ingredient to the flour and butter. Combine until there is no more dry flour and ensuring not to overmix the dough.
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 1 hour.
  5. Turn on the oven to 425F. Divide the chilled dough in 6 even segment. Each segment will become an 8" crust. Spread flour on the counter and on a rolling pin. Roll the dough starting from the middle out to form a circle. If you notice to dough starts to stick, add a bit of flour on the counter and on the dough to ensure it does not stick. Roll the dough to about 1/4 cm thickness.
  6. Place the dough in an 8" pie mold and cut the excess dough. Fill the pie and cover with another pie crust. Cut the top crust about 1 cm larger than the pie mold. Fold the top pie crust under the bottom pie crust and press the edge with a fork. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350F and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Notes

Freezing: This crust can easily be frozen for up to 4 months. After combining the dough (step 3), divide the dough in 6 and wrap each ball of dough in plastic wrap before freezing. Blind baking pies: To bake only the bottom of a pie crust, make wholes in the crust with a fork and place foil on top of the crust and fill with pie weights or dry beans. This will ensure the pie keeps its shape while it bakes. Bake at 400F for about 10-15 minutes if the pie will bake again (e.g. quiche) if the crust needs to be fully cooked (e.g. banana cream pie) bake until the bottom crust is golden brown - about 20 minutes.

Saskatoon Apple Pie

filling ingredients

Saskatoon Apple Pie

Saskatoon apple pie is not only an amazing flavour combination; it also holds a special meaning for us. We grew up in Quebec beside an apple orchard. The delicious combination of Saskatoon berries and apples represent our 2 homes. This recipe makes an 8 inch pie and easily serves 6.
  • Prep Time 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time 45 Minutes
  • Total Time 50 Minutes
  • Serves 6 People

Ingredients

  • 2 pie crust (1/3 of the above recipe)
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp Saskatoon berry jelly
  • juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 cups Saskatoon berries
  • 2 peeled and diced apples

Instructions

  1. Turn on the oven to 425F. In a bowl, add and combine all filling ingredients.
  2. Divide the chilled dough in 6 even segment. Each segment will become an 8" crust. Spread flour on the counter and on a rolling pin. Roll the dough starting from the middle out to form a circle. If you notice to dough starts to stick, add a bit of flour on the counter and on the dough to ensure it does not stick. Roll the dough to about 1/4 cm thickness.
  3. Place the dough in an 8" pie mold and cut the excess dough. Fill the pie and cover with another pie crust. Cut the top crust about 1 cm larger than the pie mold. Fold the top pie crust under the bottom pie crust and press the edge with a fork. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350F and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Notes

Freeze: You can freeze the pie before baking for up to 3 months. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes. 

Tomato Tart

tomato tart

Tomato Tart

This tart is a beautiful ways to use the abundance of garden tomatoes this summer. It is filled with layers of fresh tomatoes, cheeses and fresh herbs. We love serving it with a large green salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.
  • Prep Time 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time 60 Minutes
  • Total Time 70 Minutes
  • Serves 4 People

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp french style mustard
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup fetta cheese
  • 1/3 cup mozarella
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs (basil, chilves, teragon)

Instructions

  1. Cut the tomatoes into 1/2 cm. Place the tomatoes in a strainer and sprinkle with salt. Let the tomatoes drain for about 15 minutes.
  2. While the tomatoes are draining, spread flour on the counter and on a rolling pin. Roll the dough starting from the middle out to form a circle. If you notice to dough starts to stick, add a bit of flour on the counter and on the dough to ensure it does not stick. Roll the dough to about 1/4 cm thickness. Place the crust at the bottom of an 8 inch pie mold. (You can also use a rectangular pie mold, just ensure to roll the dough in a rectangular shape)
  3. Use a fork to make wholes in the pie crust and place foil on top of the crust and fill with pie weights or dry beans. This will ensure the pie keeps its shape while it bakes. Bake at 400F for 10 - 15 minutes.
  4. Evenly spread the mustard on the bottom of the tart. Place 1/2 of each cheeses on top of the mustard add a layer of tomatoes and 1/2 of the fresh herbs. Place the rest of the cheese, herbs and garnish with an other layer of tomatoes.
  5. Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is melted. Let cool about 10 minutes and serve with a green salad.

Perfect baked fries – 5 ways

Canada’s potato industry is struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The demand for potatoes has plummeted with the closure of restaurants. It is estimates that over 200 million pounds of potatoes are in limbo. Canadian potato farmers are asking for your help. By eating locally grown potatoes we are supporting our local farmers and economy.

BBQ season is here! Fries are one of our favourite BBQ side. How about a healthier alternative to the traditional fried fries? How about the PERFECT baked fries?!

We are offering baked fries recipes because they are just as delicious and crispy as fried but without the extra calories.  In this blog we teaching you how to make the perfect baked fries. As you learn the basic techniques, we teach you new techniques to elevate your baked fries to poutine and truffle parmesan lemon garlic fries – perfect for date night. 

In this blog you will learn 5 delicious ways to use and modify your baked fries:

  1. Perfect baked fries
  2. Greek baked fries with lemon garlic aioli 
  3. Cajun baked fries with Cajun Remoulade
  4. Poutine
  5. Truffle parmesan garlic lemon baked fries
oven baked friesResized

Perfect Baked Fries

Many baked fries recipe make soggy fries. This recipe makes perfect crispy oven baked fries that are as tasty as restaurant fries. An added bonus of baked fries is they are the healthiest fries! Baking fries not only saves you money and extra calories but also lets you easily use locally sourced ingredients. Note that the baking time depnds on how thick your fries are.
  • Prep Time 10 + 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time 35 Minutes
  • Total Time 55 Minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6 People

Ingredients

  • 1500 gr (about 6) yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil - we use camelina oil
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, then pour very hot tap water over the top so that it covers the potatoes by at least 1 inch. Let sit 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes, then transfer them to a clean towel and dry as completely as you can. Note: you may need to use 2 towels.
  4. Return the potato sticks to the bowl. Add the vegetable oil, granulated garlic, onion powder, salt, and black pepper and combine to evenly coat to potatoes. On the cooling rack, spread the potato sticks in a single layer, leaving space around each potato.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes - or until desired crisp.

Notes

Baked fries are best the day they are made. If you need to reheat them, you can make them crispy again by heating them in a 400F oven for about 5 to 6 minutes.If you don't have a cooling rack, you can line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake the fries directly on the parchment paper. You will need to turn the fries are 15-20 minutes to ensure they are baked evenly. 
garlic friesResized

Greek baked fries with lemon garlic aioli 

These fries with a greek salad are our favourite sides for Greek chicken souvlaki. The baked fries are filled with greek flavours which is enhanced by the lemon garlic aioli. The aioli can also be used as a dipping sauce for your souvlakis.
  • Prep Time 10 + 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time 35 Minutes
  • Total Time 55 Minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6 People

Ingredients

  • 1500 gr (about 6) yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil - we use camelina oil
  • 2 tbsp greek spice blend - we use Splendor garden
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup mayonaise
  • 2 to 3 medium clove garlic - minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, then pour very hot tap water over the top so that it covers the potatoes by at least 1 inch. Let sit 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes, then transfer them to a clean towel and dry as completely as you can. Note: you may need to use 2 towels.
  4. Return the potato sticks to the bowl. Add the vegetable oil, Greek spice blend, salt, and black pepper and combine to evenly coat to potatoes. On the cooling rack, spread the potato sticks in a single layer, leaving space around each potato.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes - or until desired crisp.
  6. While the fries are cooking, make the aioli by adding in a small bowl: mayonaise, minced garlic, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice. Combine.

Notes

Baked fries are best the day they are made. If you need to reheat them, you can make them crispy again by heating them in a 400F oven for about 5 to 6 minutes.If you don't have a cooling rack, you can line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake the fries directly on the parchment paper. You will need to turn the fries are 15-20 minutes to ensure they are baked evenly.  Whats an aioli?Aioli is an emulsified sauce made of oil and garlic.  Garlic infused mayonnaise is the most basic aioli.  Many restaurants will start with mayonnaise as the base of their aiolis.
cajun friesResized

Cajun fries with cajun remoulade sauce

These cajun fries with cajun green breans are our favourite sides with a BBQ cajun steak, tofu steak of chicken breast. The cajun remoulade features beautiful Saskatchewan ingredients and is filled with layers of flavour.
  • Prep Time 10 + 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time 35 Minutes
  • Total Time 55 Minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6 People

Ingredients

  • 1500 gr (about 6) yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil - we use camelina oil
  • 2 tbsp greek spice blend - we use Splendor garden
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup mayonaise
  • 1 medium clove garlic - minced
  • 2 tsp cajun blacking spice - we use Splendor Gardens
  • 2 tbsp cajun mustard - we use Gravelbourg mustard
  • 2 tbsp horseradish
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup parsley minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, then pour very hot tap water over the top so that it covers the potatoes by at least 1 inch. Let sit 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes, then transfer them to a clean towel and dry as completely as you can. Note: you may need to use 2 towels.
  4. Return the potato sticks to the bowl. Add the vegetable oil, salt, and black pepper and combine to evenly coat to potatoes. On the cooling rack, spread the potato sticks in a single layer, leaving space around each potato.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes - or until desired crisp.
  6. While the fries are cooking, make the aioli by adding in a small bowl: mayonaise, minced garlic, cajun blackning spice, cajun mustard, horseradish, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and parsley. Combine.

Notes

Baked fries are best the day they are made. If you need to reheat them, you can make them crispy again by heating them in a 400F oven for about 5 to 6 minutes.What is a remoulade? Remoulade is an aioli served chilled with a variety of herbs and spices.  The traditional French remoulade is made with mayonaise, mustard, capers, anchovies, and pickles.  In this cajun inspired remoulade we used creamed horseradish to bring the pickled element (replacing the capers and pickles) and worcestershire sauce to bring the umami (replacing the anchovies).Cooling rack note: If you don't have a cooling rack, you can line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake the fries directly on the parchment paper. You will need to turn the fries are 15-20 minutes to ensure they are baked evenly. 
truffle friesResized

Truffle parmesan garlic lemon baked fries

These truffle fries can proudly be served for a date night or at a dinner party. They are simple but are filled with layers of flavour you will be proud of! We love serving these fries with white wine garlic mussels to create the iconing “moules frites”.
  • Prep Time 10 + 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time 35 Minutes
  • Total Time 55 Minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6 People

Ingredients

  • 1500 gr (about 6) yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil - we use camelina oil
  • 2 tbsp greek spice blend - we use Splendor garden
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 medium clove garlic - minced
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp gratted parmesan
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 tbsp truffle oil - we get ours at Italian Star Deli or Oliv Tasting Room

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, then pour very hot tap water over the top so that it covers the potatoes by at least 1 inch. Let sit 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes, then transfer them to a clean towel and dry as completely as you can. Note: you may need to use 2 towels.
  4. Return the potato sticks to the bowl. Add the vegetable oil, salt, and black pepper and combine to evenly coat to potatoes. On the cooling rack, spread the potato sticks in a single layer, leaving space around each potato.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes - or until almost desired crisp. Add the minced garlic on the fries and return to the oven for about 5 minutes
  6. Garnish the fries with lemon zest, parmesan, parsley and truffle oil.

Notes

Baked fries are best the day they are made. If you need to reheat them, you can make them crispy again by heating them in a 400F oven for about 5 to 6 minutes.Cooling rack note: If you don't have a cooling rack, you can line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake the fries directly on the parchment paper. You will need to turn the fries are 15-20 minutes to ensure they are baked evenly. 
poutine

Poutine

Now we are talking! Having mastered the technique of oven baked fries let’s make the ultimate French Canadian savoury delight – Poutine! This poutine offers the authentic taste of Quebec’s iconic poutine: crispy fries, cheese curds and tons of poutine gravy.
  • Prep Time 10 + 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time 35 Minutes
  • Total Time 55 Minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6 People

Ingredients

  • 1500 gr (about 6) yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil - we use camelina oil
  • 2 tbsp greek spice blend - we use Splendor garden
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 480 gr cheese curds - we use Bothwell “Squeak’rs”
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup unslated butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 cup beef broth - we use pine view farms
  • 1 cup chicken broth - we use pine view farms
  • 3/4 cup stout beer - there are so many good local options: District, Rebellion, Pile of Bones...
  • 1/2 tsp pepper + 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, then pour very hot tap water over the top so that it covers the potatoes by at least 1 inch. Let sit 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes, then transfer them to a clean towel and dry as completely as you can. Note: you may need to use 2 towels.
  4. Return the potato sticks to the bowl. Add the vegetable oil, salt, and black pepper and combine to evenly coat to potatoes. On the cooling rack, spread the potato sticks in a single layer, leaving space around each potato.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Because in Saskatchewan it's difficult to get fresh cheese curd we recommend spreading the cheese curds on the fries evenly and leaving them in the oven for an additional 30 seconds to enhance the "squeek".
  6. While the fries are baking, make the poutine gravey. In a small bowl add the cornstarch and water. Combine and set aside. In a pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly - until it turns a light golden. Add the minced garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds - stirring regularly to prevent the garlic from burning.
  7. Add the worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, onion powder, ketchup, beef and chicken broth and beer. Bring to a boil whisking regularly. Add about half the cornstarch mixture let simmer, whisking regularly. If you would like your gravey thicker add the rest of the cornstarch mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  8. Serve the fries and cheese by topping them with a generous amount of poutine gravey.

Notes

Baked fries are best the day they are made. If you need to reheat them, you can make them crispy again by heating them in a 400F oven for about 5 to 6 minutes.Cooling rack note: If you don't have a cooling rack, you can line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake the fries directly on the parchment paper. You will need to turn the fries are 15-20 minutes to ensure they are baked evenly. You can replace the beer by beef or chicken stock. 

How do I get my kids in the kitchen: An ages and stages guide

Blog provided by:
Lacey Engel, Registered Dietitian 
BSc. Nutrition, BSc. Kinesiology.
Owner of Beyond Baby Nutrition

Don’t let the cute videos online fool you, having your kids in the kitchen is no joy ride. It’s more like a roller-coaster of emotions; at least that’s been my experience with my twin boys. With this handy ages and stages guide, we can help show you exactly the best ways to have your kid help in the kitchen, and keep your sanity too!

Disclaimer: All kids develop at different rates. Please keep in mind these activities and age ranges are just a suggestion. You are the expert on your child and know what they are capable of. Supervision is always required at every age and stage.

Your Guide to Kids in the Kitchen Based On Age

0-18 months

Baby in the kitchen? You bet!! Having your baby near you in the kitchen from the start is a great sensory experience for them.

How to include them:

Baby-wearing works great if it’s safe to do so.  If not, we suggest your child some place safe like a highchair, playpen, baby-swing or bouncer so they can see and hear what’s going on. At around the 4 month mark your baby will love if you offer them cooking utensils, Tupperware, plastic cups, a whisk or a wooden spoon to bang around. Again, use your judgement on what’s safe and appropriate for your child.

  • Talk to them about what you’re doing. It may sound silly but just hearing your voice is reassuring, and in the long run it helps with your child’s communication development.
  • Describe ingredients – what colour, shape? Is it in a can? Fresh or frozen.
  • Show them ingredients – have them smell or touch if it’s safe to do so. You get the gist.

18 months to 3 years

Prime time to get those idle hands working on something productive, instead of tearing the house apart while you cook. The key to this age and stage is to keep tasks simple, easy to complete, and quick to finish.

Ideas for getting your 18-month-old to 3-year-old to help in the kitchen:

  • Rinse fruit and vegetables in a sink, or colander with water.
  • Scrub potatoes.
  • Tear lettuce or other greens into pieces. Be sure to show them how big or small you want the pieces.
  • Stir batter in a bowl.
  • Assist with mashing food, or help hold the hand mixer.
  • Push specific buttons on a blender or food processor.
  • Sprinkle spices or herbs.
  • Measuring ingredients with help.

Kids at this age can get bored really easily. So, if you want them in the kitchen longer than a few minutes, try these ideas:

  1. Have food cut or pre-measured so they can dump the ingredients and help mix.
  2. Make up goofy songs that go along with activities – “This is how we wash potatoes, wash potatoes, wash potatoes,” to the tune of So Early in The Morning.
  3. Look, smell, and describe. This is a great time to encourage your child to explore the food you’re working with.

Look, smell and describe questions:

  1. What colour is it?
  2. Can you think of one other food that is that colour too?
  3. Does it feel soft? Scratchy? Hard?
  4. What does it smell like? What if you rub it between your fingers; does it smell then?
  5. Do you want to taste it? It tastes like…

4- 5 years old

This is prime time to get those idle, little hands working on something productive, instead of tearing the house apart while you cook. Your little preschooler is hard at work refining their fine motor skills, so this is a great time to give them some more challenging kitchen tasks.

Ideas for getting your 4-5 year old to help in the kitchen:

  • Any of the tasks listed above, PLUS
  • Peeling a hard-boiled egg.
  • Cracking an egg (suggest into a bowl first to fish out any shells)
  • Measure out dry ingredients.
  • Find and grab ingredients from the fridge and pantry.
  • Spread sauces to make sandwiches.
  • Whisk ingredients slowly.
  • Use a child-safe knife to cut soft fruits, veggies, cheese, etc.
  • Help set and clear the table.
  • Use a spatula to scrape the bowl
  • Knead, roll, and use cookie cutters
  • May be able to start identifying numbers in the cookbook for measurements, or keep track of which step you are on
  • Be involved in cleaning up such as sweeping, holding the dust pan, or vacuuming

To get your kids more involved in the whole meal process, you may also want them to also help set and clear the table.

  •  

6 to 9 years old

Your mini chef is ready to spread their wings and take on way more responsibility in the kitchen; dare I say they may even be ready to tackle a simple recipe with supervision! Check out these simple, wholesome recipes from my friends over at Zesty Kits.

At this age, your elementary-age kid can be tasked with anything listed above along with:

  • Any of the above tasks, PLUS…
  • Reading recipes out-loud
  • Using larger kitchen utensils like a stand-mixer, hand-mixer, oven, stove, and knives (all with supervision).
  • Use a grater or peeler for vegetables.
  • With supervision, use a small paring knife to cut fruit and soft vegetables.
  • Stir or mix food cooking on the stove.
  • With oven mitts, set in and pull food from the oven.
  • Grease baking pans.
  • And the list goes on and on.

1. Choose the right time

Expect everything to take longer than it usually would so set aside extra time for cooking.

  • For mom: If you’re in a rush to get a meal on the table, enlist your child’s help on the weekend when you don’t feel crunched for time.
  • For your child: Choose a time when they are well rested and fed.

2. Plan ahead

Find a recipe that isn’t too complex or takes too long to prepare, or do some prep work before your kids join you in the kitchen if needed.

3. Expect a lot of mess

For younger kids you may want to put them in clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. Or put down a plastic tablecloth on the floor, or a tray under their work station. Aprons are also great if you have them.

4. Think of it as a great learning opportunity for your kids (because it is!)

Here’s just a few things you’ll be teaching them by having them in the kitchen with you:

  • Food safety – washing hands before cooking, and between touching raw and cooked foods for example. Learn more here.
  • Nutrition and health – you can talk about food, where it comes from. Smell, touch, taste foods, and introduce new foods. Be sure not to focus too much on “health talk.” (New blog coming soon!)
  • Math or science – weighing or measuring ingredients. Talk about why certain ingredients need to be added. Check out this link for some cool facts about the science behind baking.
  • Communication skills, time management, and following instruction and so much more!

5. Safety First

As always, remember you are the foremost expert in your own child. The above suggestions are just that, suggestions. The kitchen can be a dangerous place for kids of all ages.

  • For younger kids
    • Remove any unsafe items on the counter top that are close enough for them to reach (ahem.. knife block any one?)
    • Remind them what is safe for them to touch and not safe to touch.
    • Set up a work station for them on the kitchen island or away from things you are concerned about if that’s an option.
  • For older kids
    • Don’t over-estimate their need and desire to still have you in the kitchen with them for guidance and trouble-shooting.

Well there you have it, an ages and stages guide to cooking with your kid! My question to you now is, which task are you going to have your child help you with first?

10 questions you always ask yourself before cooking

What's for dinner?!

That familiar question may make you feel overwhelmed and fill you with dread. The effort required to prepare a home-made meal is one of the most underestimated!

We know that overwhelmed feeling that comes with the thought of preparing meals! As busy professional, the weight of preparing nutritious meals became heavy. When looking for a healthy and local solution, we quickly realized none were available and that’s why we created  ZestyKits.

Why does meal preparation feel so overwhelming?

Examining the pre-work required by cooking helps us gain a better understanding and appreciation of the efforts required to serve a meal. 

This list of 10 questions you ask yourself everytime you cook helps understand how much the mental load of cooking is underestimated.

Reading this list, you will quickly realize… It’s so much more than cooking!

10 questions we ask ourselves before we begin cooking

We often think of cooking as choping and mixing. Cooking requires a lot of additional effort that is often ignored.

This list will help you become conscious of the numerous questions we ask ourselves before cooking and will illustrate why bringing meals to the table can feel overwhelming.  

Who is eating?
  1. How hungry will they (I) be? 
  2.  What do they like?
  3. Do they have any allergies or intolerances?
INGREDIENTS

4. What do I have in the fridge? How much?
5. Which ingredient(s) is about to go bad?

6. What receipe can I make with what I have?
7. Do I want leftovers? How long will the leftovers last?
8. What do I need to buy?

Cost

9. How much do I want to spend?

Time

10. How much time do I have available to shop, cook, clean?

Life can be difficult, dinner doesn't have to be

Isn’t it unbelievable the amount of questions we routinely ask ourselves before cooking even begins? No wonder you can feel overwhelmed when asked: What’s for dinner?  No wonder you are tempted to order in more often. 

We are here to let you know there is an other option.   ZestyKits takes the weight off and help lighten your mental load. Take a look at our meal plans which are not only easy and delicious but also sourced locally!

Life can be difficult, dinner doesn’t have to be!

Let us simplify your life!

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Pantry Essentials

Many restaurants are now closed and with most of us now working remotely, cooking at home is more important than ever. This blog includes the following:

  • Steps to stock up on non-perishables
  • Pantry essentials 
  • Ideas to use pantry essentials
  • Shelf-life guidelines

The Centre for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) recommends having a minimum two week supply of food at home.

Preparing a pantry to last a minimum of two weeks is not an easy task for many, especially for new cooks and those on restrictive diets. This blog provides the tools to ensure your pantry is well stocked and provides you the inspiration to cook with pantry ingredients.

How to stock up on non-perishable in an effective way

Take inventory of what you have

Begin by looking at what is currently in your pantry, fridge & freezer. Use our PANTRY GUIDE to note anything running low in your pantry

Make sure you have the basics

Some basics are essential to cook virtually anything. These include: oil, vinegar, dry herbs and spices, salt and flour.

Make a meal plan

Shopping for self-isolation does not mean ditching healthy eating. Try to stay away from highly processed foods which can be very tempting during stressful situations. Having a meal plan of how to use your food is a good way to continue to eat whole foods and avoid processed foods. Take 10 minutes to write down a few meals you would like to make in the next 2 weeks. Would you like some freezer meals? If you have any family favourites, you can make a larger batch and freeze them for a few meals. Do you have frozen chicken for that chicken pot pie? Do you have ground beef for that spaghetti meatballs? Ensure to go through the recipes and add any required ingredients to your list. 

Talk with loved ones

If you are starting to feel overwhelmed, remember we are all in this together and we are stronger together. Call your friends and family. If you don’t have ideas of recipes to freeze or make with pantry items, ask your loved ones for inspiration. We are also providing a list of freezer recipes and recipes made with pantry ingredients. If you have extra frozen meals, consider sharing them with loved ones who need a hand. 

Space and Financial Budget

Determine how much space and money you have available to stock your pantry.

Pantry Essential - The Ultimate Guide

How can pantry essentials be used?

Grains & Flour
  • Grains make an amazing side dish. Think: Rice pilaf and quinoa salad. They can also be central to dishes like with paella or vietnamese noodle bowls.
  • Flour is fundamental to many comforting staples: breads, pizza, cake, muffins, cookies, pie, dumplings, and many others.
Dried Fruits
  • Combined with nuts dried fruits make a good snack.
  • Add them to granola, chia puddings or overnight oats for bursts of flavours.
Nuts & Seeds
  • Add them to granola or top oats.
  • Use as topping on salads.
  • Combine with fresh or dried fruits for a snack.
Legumes & Beans
  • Legumes and beans are can be used to make chili, hummus, salads, tacos.
  • Cooked legumes can also be lightly oiled, salted and toasted for a delicious and nutritious snack. 
Oils & Vinegars
  • Oils are an essential to pan frying or roasting vegetables.
  • Combine oil, vinegar and spices to create delicious salad dressing.
Herbs & Spices
  • Is essential to create almost all comfort dishes from bolognese, chili to chicken pot pie. 
  • Use them to easily transform the flavour of a casserole, stew or soup.
Freezer
  • Frozen meats can be used in a variety of dishes: bolognese sauce, chili, chicken pot pie, beef stew, fish stew, cabbage rolls, and many others.
  • Frozen fruits can be used to make smoothies or to add to oatmeals and muffins.
  • Frozen vegetables can be added to tons of dishes.
Produces
  • Root vegetables can be used to make a variety of dishes including: Mashed potatoes, cabbage rolls, borscht soup, beef stew, chili, or as a side dish roasted at 400F for 20 minutes lightly oil and salted.
  •  
Baking

It is comforting to incorporate a few indulgent foods, like chocolates or other sweets to pantry essentials – especially during stressful times. Ensure to not overindulge by eating mindfully. 

  • Delicious bakings include: cakes, cookies, pies, cinnamon buns, brownies, and many others. 

What's the shelf-life of common pantry items?

The estimates provided estimates. Read all information on packaging regarding expiration and “use by” dates, and how long the item is safe to consume after opening. If a date on a package differs from the dates listed, rely on the package.

Use your senses of sight and smell to be sure food is safe to eat. Even if it says it’s within the expiration date periods, if it smells or looks funny throw it out! Remember that “best before” dates do not mean “bad after”. Use your senses and judgement to minimize food waste.

Must be Unopened

Estimated Shelf-Life

Potatoes

3-5 weeks

Coffee - Whole beans

6-8 months

Nuts

8 months

Sauces & condiments

1 year

Chocolate chips

1 year

Brown rice

1 year

Cans

1 year

All Purpose Flour

1 year

Legumes & Beans

18 months

Oil

1 - 2 years

Cocoa powder

2 years

Baking soda

2 year

Sugar

2 years

Dry pasta

2 years

Salt

indefinite

Vinegar

indefinite

compost

As a society, we are becoming more aware of our environmental foot print and are spending more energy on improving  waste management. When thinking of waste management a few method come to mind including: reusing, composting, upcycling and recycling. Many items that use to find their way in landfill can now avoid it. Some of these items include: vegetable peels,  batteries and bottles. This contributes to reducing garbage pollution. 

Paper is a significant portion of waste and it can be composted or recycled.   Paper is responsible for 16% of landfill waste. Recycling or composting are both an improvement on throwing paper away.  It is better to compost or recycle paper? 

First let’s define both processes. 

Composting

Composting helps put organic waste to an alternative use. Items that are usually composted include grass cuttings, shredded leaves, fruit and coffee grounds. These products are combined in specific proportion with water and air to start the  decomposition process. The compost that is formed is helpful in growing plants. 

Recycling

Recycling is the manufacturing of products that could of been discarded in a landfill. Items are recycled by being converted into items that can be used again. 

Recycling and compositing each have pros and cons. Let’s examine each method to identify which is better overall.

Recycling
Pros
  • bring paper material back in the production stream which reduces the need for new trees
  • recycling reduces the need to produce new paper. One piece of A4 paper requires on average 5 liters water to produce. 
  • recycling 1 ton of paper saves around 682.5 gallons of oil, 26,500 liters of water and 17 trees
  • recycling uses resources but less than to produce new paper
Cons
  • the process of recycling paper produces a lot of waste.  
  • harmful chemicals are used in the recycling process
  • the recycling process pollutes water
  • encourage consumption of paper. Recycled paper may wrongfully appear to have minimal impacts on the environment.
Composting
Pros
  • composting instead of recycling paper could completely eliminate the resources needed to break it down and manufacture it back into fresh paper.
  • no recycling bins, no trucks to carry it to the recycling plant, no machinery or sludge or chemical processing agents.  Just paper breaking down into its component parts and then fertilizing your garden next year, helping your tomatoes grow.
Cons
  • composting paper removes it from the paper production stream
  • on a large scale, composting paper rather than recycling it, may cause more harm than good.
Soiled paper

When paper is soiled in any way it cannot be recycled.  Examples of soiled paper include art project and pizza box. Including soiled paper may impact an entire batch of recycled paper. It is recommended to tear soiled paper in small pieces and to add it to compost pile.  

When is composting better than recycling?

As a society, we are becoming more aware of our environmental foot print and are spending more energy on improving  waste management. When thinking of waste management a few method come to mind including: reusing, composting, upcycling and recycling. Many items that use to find their way in landfill can now avoid it. Some of these items include: vegetable peels,  batteries and bottles. This contributes to reducing garbage pollution. 

Paper is a significant portion of waste and it can be composted or recycled.   Paper is responsible for 16% of landfill waste. Recycling or composting are both an improvement on throwing paper away.  It is better to compost or recycle paper? 

First let’s define both processes. 

Composting

Composting helps put organic waste to an alternative use. Items that are usually composted include grass cuttings, shredded leaves, fruit and coffee grounds. These products are combined in specific proportion with water and air to start the  decomposition process. The compost that is formed is helpful in growing plants. 

Recycling

Recycling is the manufacturing of products that could of been discarded in a landfill. Items are recycled by being converted into items that can be used again. 

Recycling and compositing each have pros and cons. Let’s examine each method to identify which is better overall.

Recycling
Pros
  • bring paper material back in the production stream which reduces the need for new trees
  • recycling reduces the need to produce new paper. One piece of A4 paper requires on average 5 liters water to produce. 
  • recycling 1 ton of paper saves around 682.5 gallons of oil, 26,500 liters of water and 17 trees
  • recycling uses resources but less than to produce new paper
Cons
  • the process of recycling paper produces a lot of waste.  
  • harmful chemicals are used in the recycling process
  • the recycling process pollutes water
  • encourage consumption of paper. Recycled paper may wrongfully appear to have minimal impacts on the environment.
Composting
Pros
  • composting instead of recycling paper could completely eliminate the resources needed to break it down and manufacture it back into fresh paper.
  • no recycling bins, no trucks to carry it to the recycling plant, no machinery or sludge or chemical processing agents.  Just paper breaking down into its component parts and then fertilizing your garden next year, helping your tomatoes grow.
Cons
  • composting paper removes it from the paper production stream
  • on a large scale, composting paper rather than recycling it, may cause more harm than good.
Soiled paper

When paper is soiled in any way it cannot be recycled.  Examples of soiled paper include art project and pizza box. Including soiled paper may impact an entire batch of recycled paper. It is recommended to tear soiled paper in small pieces and to add it to compost pile.