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Let’s Get Cracking: Earth Month Recipes Using Pantry Staples

Kim Hoban, RDN, CDN, CPT

Nutritious Dietary Patterns

The Egg Nutrition Center partnered with Kim Hoban, RDN, CDN, CPT to write this blog post.

Each year around Earth Day, we try to focus on ways we can conserve resources, such as reducing food waste. Now as we experience a global pandemic, we are looking to conserve for additional reasons, like reducing the frequency of trips to the grocery store. 

If you’re using this time to spring clean the pantry, save money or reduce food waste, it’s possible to create delicious, well-rounded meals with pantry staples like oats, rice, canned beans, tomato sauce, nut butter and more. Eggs are a perfect pairing with many of these staple foods, adding high-quality protein, vitamin D and key nutrients like choline, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Baking and cooking can be a fun family activity that can help teach kids math and science, but also important life lessons like patience and problem-solving. Baking can also be a great stress reliever, so get out the flour, sugar, and eggs to bake up sweet treats like Cinnamon Banana Bread. Found a can of pumpkin in the pantry? It might not be fall anymore, but this pumpkin bread is delicious any time of year!

When it comes to fueling yourself and your family throughout the day, start at breakfast by turning to pantry staples like oats and nut butters. This Almond Butter Oatmeal with Egg is a great option, as are more traditional family favorites like French toast and pancakes. Make a single serving pancake by mixing just one banana, one egg and two tablespoons of nut butter, then cooking on a griddle like any other pancake.

When it comes to more savory meals using pantry staples, think about canned foods like diced or crushed tomatoes, tuna, beans and dry goods like rice or quinoa. Use what you have on hand to make Shakshuka or Eggs in Purgatory. Put together an easy lunch using canned tuna, mixing in hard-boiled eggs or beans for more protein. Another easy option is a stir fry or fried rice using eggs and whatever vegetables you have in the cabinet, fridge or freezer.

With many people staying home and spring finally upon us, there’s no better time to start a home garden or a compost bin. Using dried crushed egg shells to add to the compost enriches your garden soil while also reducing kitchen waste. If you have some veggies that are on the verge but not quite ready for compost, utilize these infinitely swappable meal formulas to help reduce food waste.

If you have more eggs on hand than you’ll be able to use in the coming weeks, don’t hesitate to freeze them. Follow these tips on freezing eggs to save fresh eggs for up to a year.

With so much out of our control as we await a “new normal”, it’s important to focus on all we can do, like getting creative in the kitchen, enjoying time with family and doing our part to celebrate and honor the planet.

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