Recently, Sandy has been changing her lifestyle. She now works out five days a week and is trying to avoid fast food. However, cooking healthy is new for her.
When she saw a flyer for the Food Bank’s new Produce of the Month: Garden-Inspired Cooking on a Budget class, she knew it would help her change her eating habits.
“I’ve had family members who are diabetic, so I’m very particular on being healthier,” Sandy said
The two-hour class takes place once a month and focuses on a specific vegetable. Students start in our teaching garden where they learn all about a vegetable and how to harvest it. Then they get hands-on experience harvesting the produce to take home.
The first class focused on beets, while the second class focused on kale. For Joann, a class participant, it was her first time eating beets.
“The beets were great, I loved the way they came out last time. I had never tried beets,” Joann said.
Once students are done in the garden, they move into the kitchen where they are split into two groups, each making a different recipe that includes the vegetable they are learning about.
Before they begin cooking, students are taught basic knife skills and kitchen safety.
During the kale class, one group of students made a kale salad while the other made sweet potato and kale quesadillas.
With students working on different parts of the recipes, they were all sampling the recipes in no time.
Though Sandy had eaten kale before, the experience of going from farm to table was new.
“It is inspiring because they’re showing you one-on-one and more definite on how to do every step individually,” Sandy said.
While Sandy attended the class to learn how to cook healthier to lose weight and prevent health issues, Micaela was looking for an activity to do with her daughter Maliha. They ended up learning how to reinforce a healthy lifestyle.
Though Micaela’s family prioritizes eating vegetables, they left the class with knowledge on how to harvest kale and new recipes to make at home.
“Well, we enjoyed it,” Micaela said. “We don’t really eat kale at all. We’ve ate kale chips and a few things with kale, but it's nothing normal we eat…We’ll probably cook more with it now that we have a few more recipes,” Micaela said.
The Produce of the Month class is open to all ages and takes place on the last Saturday of every month. To register, click here.