Garden Harvest Cooking Class

Last Thursday Erin Jolley of Cooking Matters joined us in the garden to talk with us about completing that all important step, getting the fruits of our labor out of the garden and into our bellies!

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Erin brought us together to think about healthy eating and incorporating our own produce into our cooking.

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She highlighted a helpful phrase to use while navigating healthy eating, "Balance, Moderation, and Variety." To help illustrate how this would actually look she brought along the newest revision of the "food pyramid" from the USDA. It is no longer a pyramid:

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Some challenges that members shared (and I think many will identify with):

- Having tons of the same vegetable (ie. zucchini) and running out of  way to use it creatively and before it goes bad.

- Not have a lot of time to cook.

- And getting kids to eat veggies.

Here are some suggestions:

- Grow what you like to eat (simple but worthwhile mentioning).

- Use recipes as a guideline and experiment using what you like and what you have available.

- To help kids start enjoying veggies, let them choose the veggies to put on their  plate and challenge them to choose vegetables of 3 different colors (i.e. carrots- orange, peas- green, and purple cabbage) 

- Learn and practice different preservation techniques like freezing, canning, and dehydrating (more on that later).

- Share ideas (and produce) with one another!

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As one member said, "Erin turned cooking into an adventure!"

Here are some recipes Erin shared with us. If you have a recipe you would like to share please email me at mia@thegardenprojectswcolorado.org. Happy eating!

Recipes from Erin Click to enlarge

Cooking Matters "empowers families with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to prepare healthy and affordable meals." They are part of a national organization called Share Our Strength which aims to end poverty and hunger in America through a variety of programs. Here in Durango, Cooking Matters offers cooking workshops with culinary and nutrition experts and grocery store/farmers market tours to teach healthy eating skills on a budget. To get involved with these events or learn how to volunteer. Contact Erin Jolley at ejolley@strength.org


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