Low Carbon Living: Festive Nut Roast

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Using calculations being developed for Laura’s Larder, we’ve created a low-carbon Christmas feast. Last week we posted the starter: Root Vegetable Rösti with Parsley Pesto Hummous. This week’s blog is dedicated to our low-carbon main course: a Festive Nut Roast. A vegetarian staple around this time of year, our nut roast is packed full of tasty nuts and vegetables. Next week, we’ll post the final course in this festive meal – the dessert (yum)!

Festive Nut Roast

Serves 8


250g roasted nuts (hazelnuts, brazil nuts, cashew nuts, almonds and peanuts)

4 small shallots, finely chopped
400g tinned tomatoes
½ leek, finely chopped
¼ red cabbage, finely chopped

½ tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp dried sage
½ tsp dried mint
1tbsp fresh parsley
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice


Whizz the roasted nuts in a food processor until chopped but still loose. In a large bowl combine the nuts, shallots, tomatoes, leek, cabbage, herbs, vinegar and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly and pour into a well-greased and lined loaf tin. Bake for 45-60 minutes until firm to the touch and golden brown on top. Leave in the tin to cool slightly before turning it out on to a plate. (It’s that simple!)

We ate our nut roast with a smoked paprika sauce, peas, roasted potatoes and carrots that had been flavoured with herbs and oranges!










Low Carbon Notes

  • The scale of the bar chart is the same as the graph we provided for the starter – so you can compare the two.
  • Remember that all of our emission values used are based on commercially grown produce, meaning growing your own or buying locally grown ingredients could reduce emissions further still.
  • Nuts:
    • We used the same number of grams of hazelnuts, brazil nuts, peanuts and almonds, but hazelnuts have a lower emission score (per kilogram).
    • We used around 2/3 less cashew nuts than hazelnuts, but as the emissions from cashews are almost 2 1/2 times higher; their emissions contribution is almost the same.
    • The ratio and types of nuts used in this dish can be altered to taste but, if you were looking to make it as low-carbon as possible, I would recommend using more hazelnuts and less cashews.


  • High emitters:
    • Tinned tomatoes contribute the most to the emission score of this dish. This is partly due to the fact that we are using a lot of them (400g) but their emissions score is in fact the highest per kilogram of all the foods we are using. Interestingly however, the emissions score we have used is the value for tomatoes grown in Europe. Many tomatoes in the UK are grown in greenhouses. The ‘emission costs’ of heating and lighting these greenhouses actually make UK tomatoes a worse choice in terms of emissions. So this is one example where buying locally grown produce may not reduce your food-related emissions as much as you would think. Sadly though, without information on the packaging telling us how these foods are grown, it’s difficult to know what you are buying.
    • Conversely, carrots in fact have the lowest emission score (per kilogram) of all the ingredients we are using. Their contribution is high because the amount that we are using is almost twice as much as that of the tomatoes. When looked at this way – you can use twice as many carrots for less than half of the emissions!