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#Beetroot and Tomato #Gazpacho with #Watermelon #Salsa is a perfect summer #soup to keep cool - hydrating, full of healthful plant nutrients, #vegan, easy and so delicious. #healthyliving #raw #plasticfree #ecoliving

This is a sponsored post.

Beetroot and Tomato Gazpacho with Watermelon Salsa is a perfect summer soup to keep cool – hydrating, full of healthful plant nutrients, vegan, easy and so delicious. 

#Beetroot and Tomato #Gazpacho with #Watermelon #Salsa is a perfect summer #soup to keep cool - hydrating, full of healthful plant nutrients, #vegan, easy and so delicious. #healthyliving #plasticfree #ecolivingThe issue of single-use plastics is something that affects us all, whether we realise it or not. Although many of us – because of taxation – eschew the single-use plastic bags, plastic is perhaps the archetypal substance of our times. Nearly everything we buy seems to be wrapped in at least a thin film of plastic – never mind boxes of it, and inserts in those boxes. It is now almost unthinkable that our ancestors got by without plastics. No little plastic vented trays for delicate berries; no 2-litre bottles of milk; no grab ‘n’ go plastic wrapped sandwiches.#Beetroot and Tomato #Gazpacho with #Watermelon #Salsa is a perfect summer #soup to keep cool - hydrating, full of healthful plant nutrients, #vegan, easy and so delicious. #healthyliving #plasticfree #ecoliving

In many ways plastics have made our lives better. Certainly easier. It is also cheap to make, and durable. Too durable. But our habit of expecting everything we eat and drink to first be wrapped in plastic is one habit we have to break. For the sake of the oceans, our health and the finite resources that plastic production relies on, we must develop new habits.

#Beetroot and Tomato #Gazpacho with #Watermelon #Salsa is a perfect summer #soup to keep cool - hydrating, full of healthful plant nutrients, #vegan, easy and so delicious. #healthyliving #plasticfree #ecolivingMy week of living plastic-free

I was recently asked by leading water filtration brand Brita to go plastic-free for a week. While I consider myself to be a fairly conscientious shopper, I must admit this was pretty hard. Because I shop and cook for large groups, being able to buy everything I need to feed 20 people without having plastic in the cart was impossible. It wasn’t feasible to buy everything I needed loose and in cloth bags. But I did do so where I could. I think I probably cut my use by at least fifty percent. Maybe I am being generous with myself. I hate to admit defeat.

But, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. For our personal food shopping I was able to make it largely plastic-free. And that felt good. And more importantly, it felt sustainable. Even after the experiment I have thought a bit more about what I add to my shopping trolley and bring into my kitchen. And I am getting better at remembering to bring my Brita fill&go bottle when I am out and about, avoiding the temptation to grab a bottle of water. That’s something we can all do, right?

Before setting out on my plastic-free journey, Brita asked me to collect all of the plastics that came into my house in a single week. Maybe you and your family would like to do to. It was an eye opener.one week of single-use plastics

As you can see it’s a smallish boxful. Not too bad, but could do better. Because of my job as a whole food recipe developer and cancer health educator, I make most everything we eat from scratch (except bread – I’m terrible at proper bread!). So, no black plastic meal trays or takeaway cartons – well, not this week anyway!  Much of my plastic waste consists of those dreaded vented boxes used to hold berries. I bring a lot of berries to work but not enough to warrant getting a wooden box of them. Excuses, excuses. There are also some of the plastic films used to wrap food to ostensibly keep it fresh, and plastics used to bag up multiple items. And, to my shame, I have been using bottled water to make up my fermented foods and drinks. Ferments don’t do well with ordinary tap water so I opted for bottles of water. But of course now I just use my nifty Brita fill&enjoy filter jug. My kefir waters have turned out great with filtered water and no plastic in my recycling.

I was happy to get that box into my recycling bin and not have to look at it anymore. But it was a great eye-opener and I would really recommend it as an exercise.

plastic-free farmer's market shoppingTips for a single-use plastic-free kitchen

1. Take commodious textile bags shopping where possible. I have a few woven baskets that I sling into the trolley, as well. These are good for heavier items. If you are carrying your shopping a distance, consider a pull-along trolley, or even a backpack.

2. Shop more often, if possible. Unwrapped foods, especially organic, do go limp quicker. Big shop for big items, little shop for little and fresher items. Not always feasible, I know.

3. Ditch single-use plastic water bottles, whether small or large. Ditto, soft drinks. I make up my own fermented soft drinks (recipes soon!) with filtered water and store them in swing-lid bottles. But for everyday drinking I keep my Brita fill&enjoy jug topped up and use it for my beloved matcha tea, as well as “straight”. When I am out and about the lightweight, cup holder-friendly fill&go is my constant sidekick. And it’s even handy at home to drink from when you are as clumsy as I am!fill&go Brita bottle

4. Shop in markets and local shops. Being able to buy loose items is much easier at a market. You just need to stop the trader from automatically putting your goods in those flimsy produce bags! You can buy reusable fine net produce bags online and in some health food stores. Some even have a special bit to attach a barcode sticker.

5. If your shop has in-store package recycling, take advantage of this and leave your packaging behind. If it doesn’t, ask the store manager. Get your friends to ask the store manager. When shops have the onus of sorting their packaging they may find better, more environmentally-friendly ways to sell their goods.

6. On the same lines as above, request more loose items. I have subconsciously been supporting markets and shops that have less plastic packaging, but we need to encourage all supermarkets to do better.

7. Use tempered glass boxes to store and reheat food. Again, these are online, but also often at places like TK Maxx. They are a bit pricier than the plastic boxes but they really are a great investment and, unlike plastic, will not carry the taste of previously stored foods. Good old Pyrexware is of course great too, but not often in stacking-friendly shapes.

8. Reusable food wraps, usually made of beeswax and cotton. These are a viable alternative to clingfilm. Look online for options in your country.

9. If your kids insist on or need straws, buy metal or bamboo ones.

10. Reusable hot drink cups. There are some gorgeous designs out there, and these cups with integrated lids aren’t too expensive either. An increasing number of coffee shops and cafes offer small discounts for using a refillable cup. And Waitrose soon won’t sell you a hot drink without one. So, no excuses!

11. And, how could I forget: make more food from scratch. Go to the market and get seasonal produce as your inspiration (see below). You will not only be helping the planet’s ocean life but also your own health. My recipe below for Beetroot and Tomato Gazpacho with Watermelon Salsa was made entirely with loose seasonal foods and tasty Brita filtered water.

What did I miss? Anything else I should be doing?

plastic-free farmer's market shopping laid outThe first step to a single-use plastic-free kitchen

One of the easiest first steps is sorting out how you use water: on the go, and in the kitchen. Because tap water can taste pretty terrible in some areas, many of us get through litres of bottled water in just a few days. Not only for drinking but cooking, too. Brita makes it really easy to get the great taste of bottled water but in a much more environmentally sensitive way. Their jug uses the unique MAXTRA+ filter that reduces limescale buildup and other impurities that affect water’s taste and odour.

If we can all ditch our single-use water bottle habit, think of the impact that could make. Why not #SwapForGood? 

Visit Brita to see how you can help turn the tide on our increasingly plastic-filled oceans. Through this link you can see how much CO2 you will save by switching from single-use water bottles to Brita. It’s pretty jaw-dropping.

fill&enjoy jugs and fill&go water bottles are available at good retailers.

How are you getting on with swapping your single-use plastics for more ocean-friendly alternatives? Any tips to add to my list??

#Beetroot and Tomato #Gazpacho with #Watermelon #Salsa is a perfect summer #soup to keep cool - hydrating, full of healthful plant nutrients, #vegan, easy and so delicious. #healthyliving #plasticfree #ecoliving

Beetroot and Tomato Gazpacho with Watermelon Rainbow Gazpacho

This deep-crimson soup is a perfect summer recipe to keep cool – hydrating, full of healthful plant nutrients, vegan, easy and so delicious. As written, this soup serves four as a main course and six as a starter. xx

500g raw beets (save the stems and leaves for stir-fries and pasta dishes), scrubbed

Enough Brita filtered water to cover by 5-6 cm.

500g fresh ripe tomatoes, chopped and juice saved

½ red onion, chopped

1 lg cucumber, peeled and chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped

50g of fresh parsley

50ml best extra virgin olive oil

Watermelon Salsa

500g watermelon flesh, small dice

½ red onion, small dice

½ red pepper, small dice

½ yellow pepper, small dice

1-2 jalapenos or other fresh chilli

1 bunch parsley, chopped

Juice of 1-2 limes

A little salt

Dash of crushed dried seaweed (optional)

The Soup

For the gazpacho, place the scrubbed beetroot in a saucepan along with the filtered water. Bring to the boil then turn down to simmer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes. Remove the beetroot – saving the liquid. Peel the beetroot (use rubber gloves if needed) and coarsely chop.cooking beets with BritaTo blend the soup, you will need to do it in batches. Blend until smooth. Add the reserved beetroot liquid to thin – about 1 cup. Put the soup in a large glass jug and chill until needed. Eat within two days.#Beetroot and Tomato #Gazpacho with #Watermelon #Salsa is a perfect summer #soup to keep cool - hydrating, full of healthful plant nutrients, #vegan, easy and so delicious. #healthyliving #plasticfree #ecoliving

The Watermelon Salsa

Toss everything together and use as a soup topper, on top of quesadillas, with fish tacos, as a dip for tortillas or on rice cakes, alongside your morning breakfast – or however you wish! Keeps for 2 days. This recipe can be adjusted to your needs. Pulse in a blender or food processor if you keep a soft food diet.

Want it completely raw? Just dice up your trimmed beetroot and fling it in your blender to get really pulverised, then add the remaining ingredients! You really need a powerful blender though. 🙂

**Remember to follow me on Pinterest and, if you make this creamy vegan soup, click on the pin below and leave a photo of your make with a comment telling me what you think, or any awesome changes that you made. Whether on Pinterest, InstagramFacebookTwitter or of course here on the blog, I love to see what my lovely readers do with my recipes, and I welcome your comments, tweaks and suggestions.**

RIPE FOR PINNING!

#Beetroot and Tomato #Gazpacho with #Watermelon #Salsa is a perfect summer #soup to keep cool - hydrating, full of healthful plant nutrients, #vegan, easy and so delicious. #healthyliving #raw #plasticfree #ecoliving

Thank you to Brita for sponsoring this post. Partnered posts such as this help me to keep bringing you my recipes and content – for free. Thanks to you as well, for supporting not only Food To Glow but also the quality brands with which I work. I only partner with brands I actually use and like. All opinions are strictly my own.

13 thoughts on “Beetroot and Tomato Gazpacho with Watermelon Rainbow Salsa + My Week of Being Plastic-Free {#SwapForGood)

  1. mihrank says:

    this is so great elements in the recipe and rich…simply delicious….

    1. kellie anderson says:

      Why thank you 🙂 It is a super soup to keep cool, well-hydrated and nourished

  2. Yummy! Thanks for sharing.

    1. kellie anderson says:

      You are welcome, Chantel. I’m glad it caught your eye 🙂

  3. Teri says:

    I love this asnitnis pleasing to the eye and sounds delicious. We don’t eat garlic. Do you have any suggestions for a substitute? Shallots or increase onions or small amount of ginger?

    1. kellie anderson says:

      thank you, Teri. Just leave out the garlic and enjoy it as is. Or you could add a little powdered asofoetida as that is garlicky. But only a teeny smidge as it is very pungent 🙂

  4. Jackie Armstrong says:

    I can imagine the plastic free week would be so difficult … love look this post looks so delicious xx

  5. Mr A says:

    Mrs A you nailed it! Who thought that gazpacho could be improved but you did with beetroot – it’s amazing!!!!!

  6. Rachel says:

    Wow, this is really eyeopening! I must do the same experiment and see how much single-use plastic we go through this week. Definitely going to be more conscious of this. Oh, and I’m definitely trying the gazpacho!

  7. Your soup looks beautiful – and I am interested to hear your fermented drink recipes. There is indeed so much plastic about that it is frightening but lots of good ideas happening too. I would be lost without my own metal water bottle but I do buy soda water in plastic bottles. I use boiled and cooled water for my sourdough starter and wonder if that would work for the fermented drinks too. It is really great that our local farmers market is now offering drinks in reusable cups and a wash up station to wash them. Love this post with lots of great ideas to think about.

  8. Bobby Singh says:

    Wow what a recipe to make your week plastic free. A delicious recipe that must use every one.

  9. Wow, thats brilliant. Im always alarmed at the amount that seems to go into my plastic recycling box. Good for you going plastic free and you’ve encouraged me to try harder. Your recipe looks delicious too although I cant believe it could beat your tomato gazpacho from a few years back. I still love making that and I love the smell it makes in the house -pure summer 🙂

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