Every year, I search for Earth Day recipes to get some healthy ideas. But most of what I find is food tinted with green and blue food dye! I thought it was time to celebrate with sustainable recipes that don’t look like the earth, but instead, benefit the earth. In honor of the date, I’ve gathered 22 sustainable dairy-free recipes that cover savory dishes, no waste ideas, virtuous desserts, and healthy drinks.
22 Dairy-Free Sustainable Recipes for Earth Day and Every Day
All of these sustainable recipes are dairy-free and plant-based. These two aspects alone can account for some major earth-friendly points. Dairy milk has a carbon footprint that is more than 20 times greater than almond milk, and there is an even bigger disparity with coconut milk. An abundance of data also shows the positive environmental impact of making plant-based swaps. But this isn’t just a list of vegan eats. These sustainable recipes go a step further with nutritious ingredient choices and other eco-friendly benefits.
Savory Sustainable Recipes
Marinated Mushroom Bowls with Lentils & Wild Rice
This comforting bowl is high in plant-based protein thanks to the mushrooms and lentils. Plus it contains many more nutrient-rich ingredients.
Rosemary Mashed Root Vegetables
This dish is a great way to use up any sad looking root vegetables rolling around your fridge!
Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad
Go green with greens! This flavorful salad is loaded with minerals and vitamins, and it is rich in ingredients with a low carbon footprint.
Carrot Top Mint Pesto
Save the carrot tops! Pesto is a great way to use up just about any type of green.
Skip the packaging and avoid waste! Making your own dairy-free croutons is easy, and is a great way to use up stale bread. It works with even the healthiest, heartiest loaves.
This vibrant soup is full of garden fresh ingredients that can usually be purchased locally or even grown in your backyard.
No Waste Buddha Bowl with Creamy Lemon Herb Sauce
Dubbed her “Earth Day Bowl”, Sophia makes this dish by roasting up leftover vegetable scraps in her crisper. Consequently, she avoids precious produce waste at the end of the week.
Raw Pesto Zucchini Roll Ups
Raw recipes save on energy and preserve nutrients. These roll ups are a simple and light party appetizer or nutritious snack.
Ratatouille Stuffed Mushrooms
These flavorful, plant-based appetizers are truly garden to table. They’re stuffed with fresh vegetables and herbs that grow abundantly in summer.
Garden Veggie Burgers
Made with fresh herbs, black eyed peas, and carrot tops, these burgers are a great way to enjoy summer produce. Plus, the recipe is easy to customize depending on what you have on hand.
Sweet Sustainable Recipes
Maple Pecan Nice Cream
Cure ice cream cravings with this pure, two ingredient, dairy-free, frozen dessert. Yes, the title is also the list of ingredients!
Sweet Potato Pancakes with Caramel Sauce
Not only are these pancakes a great way to use up leftover sweet potato and reduce food waste, they are also made with spelt flour. Spelt is one of the few flours that doesn’t require pesticides to grow. The recipe also uses coconut sugar, which was named the most sustainable sweetener by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.
Chia Pudding Dirt Cups
Now these are some fun, healthy, and kid-friendly Earth Day treats! The recipe even includes homemade chocolate “worms” sweetened solely with dates.
Banana-Oat Trail Mix Muffins
These hearty muffins are made from whole foods and are a great way to use up whatever nuts, seeds, or dried fruit you have in your pantry.
Strawberry Basil Creamsicles
Just four simple ingredients are needed for these flavorful frozen treats. They’re also naturally sweetened!
Instant Vanilla Chia Pudding
Not only are they healthy, but chia seeds have also been ranked one of the most sustainable foods in the world. Make this into a parfait with seasonal and local fruit.
Almond Nectarine Crepes
These crepes are made from buckwheat and oats, both of which are sustainable and even benefit the environment. Buckwheat grows quickly, so it typically requires no chemical help. And oats are a great for soil conservation!
Sippable Sustainable Recipes
Seasonal Sustainable Smoothies
This post contains not one, but four seasonal and sustainable smoothies! The recipes use the lowest carbon footprint options that are widely available for the spring, summer, fall, and winter.
Homemade Green Apple Juice
Homemade juice is cost-effective and a great way to avoid plastic bottles, but the pulp is usually tossed. But not with this green juice! Even the apple peel is used up.
Homemade Maple Hemp Milk
Making your own dairy-free milk is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, this hemp milk can be made in large or single-serve batches to help avoid waste.
Gut-Healing Vegetable Broth
You can use up leftover vegetables and kitchen scraps with this plant-based variation of trendy bone broth.
Eat Dirt Chocolate Protein Shake
I highly recommend eating dirt if it’s in the form of this nutrient-dense chocolate smoothie!
Hello! I am writing an article about environmentally friendly meals for my journalism class. I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit more about why some of these meals are so good for the environment so I could quote you and this article in my piece! Thanks!
Hi Megan, you are welcome to quote any portion of this article. I answer your question in the beginning and throughout the article.
FYI Almond milk is not sustainable. Both almonds and walnuts require a great deal of water to grow. Flax milk is the most sustainable. Frankly, cacao isn’t sustainable either. It requires a bit of work to uncover what is really sustainable. Peas, bulgar, beans, local organic produce, organic pears, kamut, wild rice, peanuts, loose leaf tea, mussels, most small fish such as sardines and anchovies are some examples of sustainable foods. Rice, any cow product, most nuts (except Brazil nuts), tea bags, soy products, avocados, bananas, lamb, shrimp, abalone and much more are NOT sustainable.
Wow, what a mouthwatering line-up! Thank you for including my grilled tofu.
Thanks so much for including me Alisa! I love all these earth conscious recipes for any day.
The Mango Tomato Salsa looks incredible! Definitely making this! Thanks Alisa.
So many healthy, delicious, and eco friendly recipes! Thanks for including our green apple juice. Sharing!
Loving all these recipes Alisa. Such a great collection for Earth Day or any day ?