The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in McLennan County will be offering a four-series cooking class covering the cultures and cooking techniques of Mexico, the Philippines, India and Poland.
The series, which starts on Oct. 5, is in partnership with McLennan Community College Continuing Education. Classes will be held at the AgriLife Extension office in Waco at 4224 Cobbs Drive each Wednesday through Oct. 26 from 5:30-8 p.m.
To register, go to https://tx.ag.CookingCultures or call 254-299-8888. The cost is $55.
“We wanted a way to bring culinary and cultural traditions together in this series, while providing participants with healthy new recipes and the opportunity to explore cooking techniques and ingredients they may not have used before,” said Coleen Foleen, AgriLife Extension family and community health agent, McLennan County.
She said they have taken traditional recipes and modified them to contain less saturated fat, lower sodium and less added sugars — all while preserving traditional flavors.
“We have also modified recipes to apply current food safety recommendations as well as updating cooking techniques for a modern kitchen,” Foleen said.
Diverse foods to enhance health
Foleen said the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend choosing a variety of nutrient-dense foods from all food groups — vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy products.
Consuming a variety of foods from different food groups, also known as dietary diversity, ensures nutritional adequacy and better diet quality, prevents micro and macro nutrient deficiency, and diversifies intestinal bacteria. Additionally, spices and herbs used in ethnic cuisines not only give a burst of flavor but also possess nutritional and healing attributes because they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
“Incorporating healthy ingredients from different cuisines that are not common in our conventional diet may help to introduce new foods in our diet thereby increasing dietary diversity,” Foleen said.
For additional information, contact Foleen at Colleen.Foleen@ag.tamu.edu or call 254-757-5180.