Friday was the first of a monthly cooking class I am taking with the goal of learning more about nutrition, the many myths out there, discovering new foods and generally enjoy being on the other side of the class for a change. The classes are run by Deborah Murtagh from Healthy Kitchen, www.healthykitchen.co.nz
Deborah has over a decade of clinical experience in natural and complementary medicine before establishing her successful cook school, Healthy Kitchen in Christchurch. After two earthquakes the family decide to move to Cambridge where Deborah is re establishing her school. Deborah says “food has evolved at an incredible speed over the past 100 years; sadly the human body hasn’t had time to evolve with it. Processed foods are at the core of the food revolution and the effect on human health is catastrophic!” Currently writing a book, The Genius Diet, Deborah wants to teach people about the connection their food has to their health, both mental and physical. Her motto is ‘You Are What You Eat, Think and Feel’
I have met Deborah several times and each time I leave knowing I should spend more time learning about the physiological effects food has on the body, but let’s face it who has time? So when the opportunity came up to take Deborah’s course I jumped at it! Fridays class was a relaxed introduction into Deborah’s food philosophy, mainly based around Weston A Price’s research and the teaching of people such as Sally Fallon (author of “Nourishing Traditions”) as well as Deborah’s own extensive research. I will share more of these philosophies, the research and science as the course goes on but it’s a lot of information to take in all at once and I am still digesting much of what we learnt.
We spent some time talking about the research and science behind eating a diet which is contrary to the teachings of mainstream nutrition (based around the food pyramid) and then we got cooking. A green smoothie was first up. A combination of fruits and green leafy vegetables were blended with water to create this vibrant green drink. But the taste was surprisingly good as the taste of the fruit come through, yet you are getting all the goodness of those raw green vegetables.
Deborah is big on fermenting and in future classes we will learn to make keffir but this week it was making our own sourdough starter. This is also this month homework so I will keep you posted on my results. With homemade bread in the oven we learn to make some beautiful raw crackers packed full of vegetables and other goodies. I see a dehydrator appearing on my birthday list. Then it’s a herby paste to go with the crackers before we sit down to enjoy the fruits of our labour.
After lunch it’s a simple apple juice jelly made with agar, which by the way set on the bench without any refrigeration! No sugar, no gelatine, just fruit juice and agar and you have a wonderful dessert. Finally we got our hands dirty again making raw chocolate energy balls, the recipe for which is in the summer edition of Nourish Waikato.
I left the day enthused. There were many easy steps, recipes and ideas I could easily include in my everyday diet. And a quick trip around the supermarket showed me many of the ingredients we talked about were all readily available.
For more information on Deborah’s courses go to www.healthykitchen.co.nz
Nourish in conjuction with Healthy Kitchen are bringing Sally Fallon to Hamilton on the 4th of April. Tickets will be available through Ticketek and will be available from next week.