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Straight to the Source

June 20, 2024 Honest To Goodness

In a world where fast food has become the norm, wholefood chef and author Holly Davis is on a mission to encourage people back to real food and back to the family table.

Wholefoods

PHOTO CREDIT Holly Davis image: ©Ben Dearnley

Australian wholefood chef, author and educator Holly Davis still remembers the first time she was introduced to organic produce at the age of 17.

“I was in a health food shop in London at the time and what was offered back then was dirty, limp and not great quality. I’ve been on a mission ever since to source the best ingredients to cook and create with and develop relationships with the people who either grow, produce or distribute the best quality foods,” says Holly.

In a world where fast-food has become the norm and heat and eat “homemade” meals can be delivered to your door or picked up at the supermarket, Holly is an avid supporter of organic and regeneratively farmed produce, clean eating and encourages families to make nourishing meals together.

“It matters more than ever where your food comes from because it’s harder to find clean organic food. Most pre-made meals are not what I would describe as ‘food’, as they frequently have very little life in them. Sadly, some people simply don’t know to care about what they are eating,” says an impassioned Holly. “Part of my life’s work is to have people understand what there is to care about in terms of the quality of the ingredients they buy, and the nutrients provided in the foods they feed their family.”


TIPS FOR EATING WELL

Wholefoods

Want to hit the refresh button on your family food habits? Here are Holly’s top tips:

  • Cook with your children from as early an age as possible 
  • Educate your children about what real wholesome food is and where that food can be found
  • Prioritise best quality ingredients – when appropriately prepared they provide increased nutrition in a more body compatible and digestible form 
  • Know what to keep in store and how to store it (for example anything that has fat in it such as grains, beans and flours is best kept in a cool dark spot, away from heat, light and oxygen to prevent it from becoming rancid) 
  • If possible, for the same reason, keep nuts and seeds in the fridge or freezer 
  • Buy in bulk from a busy, reputable company or shop 
  • Learn to ferment – it’s very easy to do yourself, it improves the nutritive value of ingredients and supports best digestion and overall wellbeing. It can also assist in reducing wastage 
  • Eat a broad range of well-prepared wholefoods

KNOW YOUR GROWERS

Wholefoods

Growing up in the green belt on the outskirts of London, Holly says her family had access to an abundance of fresh produce.

“I didn’t grow up on a farm, but we would go to local farms to buy fruit, vegetables and eggs – we went straight to the source. We would buy half a pig or sheep, take it home and dad would butcher it on the kitchen table, while mum packed it up and put it in the freezer. We had a relationship with the growers of the food we ate, so there was a level of trust that the food we got from them was produced with care and was the best quality available.

” At the age of 14 Holly became interested in macrobiotics a philosophy exploring the energetic property of foods. 

“The idea that the best quality foods can be used as a form of medicine or be used instead of medicine to change the way you feel has always interested me, which is why I like to source produce from organic and regenerative farmers. If someone spends the time and money to become certified organic, it adds a level of trust. I love going to my local markets on a Friday morning or ordering online from business such as Honest To Goodness, I trust them to source and provide me with the best available ingredients and products.”


BACK TO HOMEMADE

Wholefoods

PHOTO CREDIT Sourdough: ©Samantha Mackie Pancakes: ©Samantha Mackie

At her home on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Holly has a few fruit trees and grows herbs and aromatics … “I share my garden with the rabbits, bush turkeys, cockatoos, possums and lizards,” she laughs, “so I try to grow things they don’t like.”

She runs in person cooking classes and online courses which teach you to ferment, learn the art of sourdough baking, and her class Homemade Pantry, which she runs with Jude Blereau, teaches you to make rather than buy your pantry staples and the nitty gritty behind living a wholefood life. Her latest course is The Art and Alchemy of using Japanese wholefoods and ferments and Honest to Goodness has been a supporter of her work for many years. 

“Families are so busy these days, but I want to encourage families to get back to the grass roots of making nourishing food together and eating together as a family,” says Holly. “It makes the most difference to every aspect of family life, if the whole family is involved with the choosing and making of the meals they eat together– all the age-old traditions our grandparents held to can improve the family unity and connections.”


EASY NUTRITIOUS SNACKS

Wholefoods

If you’re a busy family wanting to feed your kids healthy nutritious snacks after school, Holly believes a substantial after-school plate with protein and vegetables outweighs sugary snacks both in nutrition and long-lasting energy.

“If kids eat something sweet after school, they are bouncing off the walls. Try giving them something savoury that’s a lot more substantial.” 

Try: 

  • Roasted vegetables (make at the weekend so you can quickly heat after school) or a make a vegetable frittata
  • Protein such as eggs or beans
  • Tofu with a citrus tahini sauce
  • Left over lamb chops or cold meats
  • A bowl of toasted nuts and seeds
  • A good bean dish like hummus or falafels

MAKE ME THIS WEEKEND

Citrus Tahini Sauce

So easy to make, this fresh sauce will keep for a week and goes brilliantly with just about anything!

Citrus Tahini Sauce

Contributed by: Holly Davis (www.foodbyhollydavs.com)

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