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Photo by Mark Newman

Photo by Mark Newman

Merryn Maynard, a Hamilton Family Health Team member, serves some mixed bean salad to Lianne Tocher at a Healthy Cooking and Gardening workshop at the Sackville Hill Seniors Recreation Centre.

Healthy eating at Hamilton seniors centre

Free summer food tips offered at Sackville

 By Mark Newman, News Staff

While there’s a wide variety of locally grown produce available at the Mountain farmers’ market and local grocery stores, finding ways to turn all those vegetables and beans into a delicious entre may be a challenge.

That’s why the Sackville Hill Seniors Recreation Centre has been offering free Healthy Cooking and Gardening workshops each Thursday since July 10.

The seminars are hosted by Neighbour to Neighbour Centre.

“We’re offering a demonstration-speaker workshop where people can come in and learn about skills in gardening and how to cook healthy and use fresh food from the garden,” said Kaitlyn Boeckh, a summer community intern at Neighbour to Neighbour Centre.

About a dozen or so seniors each week have been coming out to the workshops that run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Experts have been brought in to speak and offer demonstrations on a variety of topics including building herb planters, freezable food featuring black bean and corn salad, what to look for when reading food labels, wise water use, pest management and salad dressings featuring kale and apple salad.

Much of the produce comes from the centre’s community gardens.

Boeckh said the attendees’ favourite part of the workshops is when they get to taste all of the creations.

Many end up taking food and recipes home.

Since they don’t have access to a kitchen Boeckh said all of the dishes are salads or cold prepared foods.

“The most important thing I learned is that food that is good for you can actually taste good,” said Lianne Tocher, a recent workshop visitor. “We had a kale salad the week before; it was a huge learning experience.”

Tocher noted she was particularly thrilled with the potato salad at the workshop that used olive oil instead mayonnaise.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “I’m actually going to make it because it’s healthier.”

The Thursday workshops continue until Aug. 28.

 

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