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Log in and learn: Local online course ups the odds on going healthy

 

The Homestead Center chef Marion Sansing of Starkville explains cooking steps during an online tutorial for

The Homestead Center chef Marion Sansing of Starkville explains cooking steps during an online tutorial for "Traditional Foods for Modern Kitchens." Photo by: Courtesy photo

 

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One of Sansing's lessons this month is on making a nutritious, inexpensive bone broth that can be used for anything from soups, cooking a roast or making a gravy.

One of Sansing's lessons this month is on making a nutritious, inexpensive bone broth that can be used for anything from soups, cooking a roast or making a gravy.
Photo by: Courtesy photo

 

 

Jan Swoope

 

 

As we toss yet another frozen processed dinner in the grocery cart, the guilty thought descends -- we know we should and could eat better. But healthy foods take so much time and work, right? The very thought defeats us before we've started. Help could be as close as logging in to the Homestead Center's online course, "Traditional Foods for Modern Kitchens."  

 

Homestead co-founder Alison Buehler and Homestead chef Marion Sansing, both of Starkville, have developed a plan for helping home cooks incorporate five nutritious staples in their kitchens that can drastically improve health.  

 

Through instructional video and interaction via a private Facebook group this month, Sansing teaches participants how to make yogurt, sourdough bread, bone broth, cultured vegetables and how to render lard at home.  

 

"The videos go from start to finish; I really break it down," said Sansing. "I try to cover all the ifs, buts and whats. We try to make it as full as possible." 

 

Sansing has taught numerous on-site cooking classes at the Homestead Center in Starkville, a place dedicated to sustainable, healthy living. This is the first time, however, her instruction has been offered to a wider audience through video access.  

 

"The idea is that you can do them from the comfort of your own home at your own pace," said Buehler. "We've added three more online classes this year in popular topics. In January we will offer 'Real Food for Real Families -- Real Simple.' February is 'Beating Depression and Anxiety for Life.' March is 'From Greenhorn to Green Thumb Vegetable Gardening.'" 

 

"Traditional Foods'" first video, on homemade yogurt, was released Monday. A new lesson arrives weekly in the inboxes of those registered for the course. 

 

"People can sign up any time because you can do it on your own time, your own speed," said Sansing, who also has a blog at kitchentrails.com. She posts on Instagram and Facebook under the same name.  

 

How-to cooking videos aren't unusual online, but "Traditional Foods for Modern Kitchens" provides access to the instructor throughout the month.  

 

"This is more personalized," the teacher noted. "It's kind of a community. I'll get online with them; people can ask questions, and we can talk about ways they can do it differently." For anyone who isn't on Facebook, Sansing will gladly communicate by email. 

 

"The support group helps you keep on track during the course and after the course is over," said Real Food online course participant Marty Brown on the Homestead website. "It is great to learn from other people and to see that you aren't alone in your struggle." 

 

 

 

Traditional foods 

 

Brief descriptions of the individual video lessons include: 

 

  • Homemade Yogurt -- This one simple food can easily fit into your weekly routine and loads you and your family up with beneficial probiotics and lets you control how much sugar goes into the once-healthy food. 

     

  • Sourdough Bread -- Whether you are gluten sensitive or not, fermented foods are easier to digest. Learning to make this easy loaf of sourdough bread goes a long way toward making your belly happy. 

     

  • Rendering Lard -- Lard got a bad rep when margarine came on the scene. We now know that animal fats are good for our brains and digestive systems. Cooking oil is where many of us get stuck when it comes to healthy choices. This lesson teaches you how to make your own affordable, pure, and healthy cooking lard.  

     

  • Bone Broth -- When you enter the traditional food world, you learn bone broth is the cornerstone to healing our guts from the onslaught of sugar and processed foods. Getting into the routine of making bone broth once a week is the foundation for good health in the kitchen. 

     

  • Cultured Vegetables -- This bonus lesson was added on by popular request. 

     

    Sansing's instruction encompasses how to work these routines into busy schedules and tight budgets, what materials and ingredients are needed and where to access reliable resources on traditional foods.  

     

    Participants will have access to all the course material for as long as they like. 

     

    "You can register any time during the month of the online course and catch up if you like, but we encourage you to join the community early to benefit from the one-on-one support from the facilitator," Buehler stated on the Homestead website. 

     

    Registration is $49 for the course, $39 for Homestead members. Sign up at thehomesteadcenter.com, or call 662-694-0124. To learn more about The Homestead Center, explore the website and visit facebook.com/homesteadcenter/.

     

  • Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.

     

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