If you love creating, or enjoying, great tasting real food, there is a good chance that you have one (or all) of Jude Blereau’s amazing award winning cookbooks (aka ‘Wholefood Bibles’)! If not, go grab yourself one and you will be inspired to create nutrient dense and nourishing meals for you and your family!

Natural Food chef, Jude Blereau, is in Sydney on the end of her national Whole Food Cooking tour where she has been sharing her experience and knowledge on wholefoods and bringing her amazing recipes to life! I was lucky enough to make it along to her ‘Nourishing Wisdom’ classes last week, and left feeling inspired and motivated to spread the message of wholefoods…plus make some awesome tasting meals!

Tip 1 – Serving grains
Grains are best served with fat to ensure better utilisation of their mineral rich load, and to also slow down the release of the sugars into the blood stream – butter, ghee, coconut oil, dressing, sour or cultured cream are all wonderful served with cooked grains. Avoid using Arame as its flavour is too strong!

Tip 2 – Cooking beans with sea vegetables
Adding a small portion of Kombu (now banned) used to work brilliantly in softening and improving the digestibility of beans.  Given that it is now banned, you can use a bit of Wakame for nutrient goodness, and can add cumin seeds, asoefitida (Indian herb) or you can often get a mix in health food stores called Beano (ezapote) to do the job.  Not much sea vegetable is needed, as they are full of flavour and also high in iodine.

Tip 3 – Salt and Beans
Cooking beans are unlike cooking pasta, rice or grains. By adding salt to the water the beans are cooking in, only toughens the bean. If you wish to add salt, be sure to do it when you have finished cooking. Often though, if you have used sea vegetable when cooking the beans, salt is unnecessary.

My favourite new recipe from Jude - Lentil and Walnut Pâté
I served the pate with a fresh rye and sourdough baguette, along with goat cheese feta. AMAZING! Even my boyfriend who doesn’t like lentils (“mush” as he calls them) now has a new favourite entrée.
Lentil and Walnut Pâté recipe here!

Jude very kindly held a special talk for Honest to Goodness staff and some very lucky customers at our Artarmon Showroom this week! Jude shared her top tips & pantry staples to create nutrient dense meals in a hurry! We had to share these:

1. Menu Plan...pre-planning and prepping your meals for the week (e.g. soak your beans, freeze half prepared meals)...allows you to eat nutritious meals in a hurry!

2. Pantry staples...

Tip...When cooking with lentils, Jude recommends taking a spoonful & adding this to any dressings in the fridge…the lentils soak up the liquid creating a delicious texture & flavour as well as preserving your lentils!

Spices: curry powder/spice mix, chilli-chipotle powder.
In the fridge:
 curry pastes, miso and home-made pesto...always a favourite to jazz up any salad or grain dish!
In the freezer:
 home-made chicken and fish stock...any bone stock adds nutrient density to your meals!

From listening to Jude this week and chatting to others who had attended her classes. There was one message which rang true and a nice note to end on…
Food is far more than the actual physical nutrients.

You can have the most nutritious foods and create the “healthiest” meal, but it will not truly nourish you if it is not enjoyed. “Whole Food Cooking” is not just about nutritious foods, it is about where and how the food is grown (healthy soil, organic/biodynamic),  maintaining foods natural integrity and ability to nourish...real food.

As Jude says...wholefood is a philosophy, not just the physical components of food, it is how it is enjoyed, consumed, and something we cannot see or touch. This is the food which Jude creates…it is nourishing and brings joy.

For more on Jude’s Wholefood philosophy, cooking classes + more, check out her website www.wholefoodcooking.com.au