Once a month, integrative nutritionist Kelley Marvin offers a class in cooking and nutrition to staff and consumers of Easterseals Arc. The bonus: Students get to eat as they learn.
“Quality food is everything,” Marvin said. That shows in her ingredients. They come from local sources as often as possible. They range from the most familiar fruits – apples, bananas, strawberries and pineapple – to more unusual options, such as coconut water, almond butter and hempseed. She steers toward the best quality reasonably available, including organic fruit. When she brings chocolate to mix into high-protein, high-fiber cookies, it’s Ghirardelli chocolate.
In a recent class, she brought the raw material for an enormous variety of smoothies: fruits, proteins, fats, liquids and greens. She gently encouraged those in the class to try novel ingredients, such as baby kale, along with chocolate protein powder and strawberries.
“It’s a great way to hide your greens,” she said. “That’s what’s great about smoothies. They taste good, and they’re full of things that are good for you.”
When she announced to the class that they would be making smoothies, a murmur of approval moved among the people there. When Marvin said they’d also make cookies, the murmur became a chorus of “ahhhh,” like the sound a crowd makes after a beautiful starburst at a fireworks show.
“Let’s make cookies first!” said Evelyn, one of the consumers in the class.
In addition to the hands-on cooking classes, Marvin also is producing a series of videos regarding healthy eating, which are posted on YouTube.