It’s Nutrition Month, and this year’s theme is all about what healthy eating looks like for you. Because, as we know—it looks different for everyone.
Food is culture, connection, community. It’s also medicine in cultures across the world. The power of food to heal body, mind, and soul is central to our definition of good food. And it’s why we believe access to good food is a basic human right.
Here are three key things our community food programs have taught us:
1) Cook and eat with others.
Food can be a powerful tool to express, honour, and share our culture and traditions. Cooking can be as much about building connection and community as about nourishing one’s body. There’s something about preparing and enjoying a meal with others—it’s a universal experience, it’s part of our nature. We know it might be hard to do right now, but whether it’s cooking with a family member in your household, or sharing a meal over Zoom, it can be very rewarding. And it’s good for our mental health.
2) Easy, adaptable recipes are key.
Adaptable recipes save you time because they’re so quick to prep, and they prevent meal ruts because it’s so simple to tweak them to your tastes or what foods you’ve got on hand. Planning ahead and batch cooking can help during busy weeks.
3) Focus on what you can add, rather than what you might be missing.
Small swaps and substitutions — like using whole-wheat instead of white flour, or adding an extra veggie to a stir fry — can go a long way to building a healthier, more satisfying meal.
For inspiration, here’s a handful of the most popular recipes from our FoodFit program — coming to you from community kitchens across Canada!
Basic Overnight Oats
Ingredients (makes one serving)
- 1 cup milk (dairy, almond, soy, coconut)
- ½ cup rolled oats
- Toppings of choice: ground cinnamon, allspice, or nutmeg; ground flax seeds; hemp or chia seeds; unsweetened dried coconut; assorted nuts; granola; applesauce; peanut butter or nut butter; fresh or frozen fruit; sliced banana; pure maple syrup or honey; plain yogurt
- In a mason jar or small bowl, stir together milk, yogurt, and oats.
- Add toppings. Choose a few flavourings from the toppings list such as: peanut butter, berries, applesauce, cocoa powder, and cinnamon.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 6 hours).
- Serve cold.
Three Sisters Soup
Ingredients (makes 10 servings)
- 2 cups cooked hominy (lyed corn)
- 2 cups cooked lima beans
- 2 cups peeled and cubed acorn squash
- 1½ cups diced peeled potatoes
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups broth
- ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine hominy, lima beans, squash, potatoes, water, and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Ingredients (makes as many pizzas as you’d like)
- Whole-grain pita or naan bread
- Tomato salsa
- Your choice of cheese: Feta, crumbled / Cottage cheese / Goat’s cheese / Mozzarella, shredded / Aged cheddar, shredded / Ricotta
- Your choice of toppings: Peppers, chopped or sliced / Spinach, blanched / Zucchini, thinly sliced Mushrooms, sliced / Broccoli, blanched and chopped / Olives, pitted and sliced / Pineapple (fresh or canned), chopped / Grape tomatoes, halved
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place pita or naan on baking sheet, and bake for 5 minutes.
- Spread tomato salsa on baked pita or naan.
- Sprinkle with cheese of choice.
- Add toppings of your choice.
- Return to oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.
Learn more about the FoodFit program here