Local produce, fair trade ingredients, use of cane sugar instead of corn syrup, solar ovens... These are some elements of "green" cooking that most of us are familiar with by now. But how about the way we cook?
In my state, California, the purveyance of clean water is the single largest use of electricity. Wash fewer bowls, use less power. And less water. Good and good-er. The reason most recipes specify mixing dry ingredients before putting them in with the wet is to ensure that the flour doesn't start forming globs of gluten that won't come into contact with the leavening agents. You can get some pretty nasty lumps if you don't fully integrate the dry ingredients, particularly in recipes like muffin batters that shouldn't be over-mixed.
If the instructions say to mix everything well, you can do that when the dry ingredients meet the wet ingredients. Otherwise, you can mix the dry ingredients together in your measuring cup before adding them to the wet. Look for ways to avoid using an extra bowl, or measuring spoon, or any other thing that has to be washed or rinsed before it goes into the dishwasher.
My second observation is that many recipes specify the use of electric mixing devices. Though it's a small carbon increment -- hand mixing v. an electric device -- every little bit counts. As we're learning now, the twentieth-century version of "working smarter" by employing technology may not be as smart as we think.
A little elbow grease goes a long way, it doesn't pollute, and it's a great example for our youngsters.
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