Move over Jamie Oliver – Hackney’s young people have written their own recipe book to improve eating habits, use locally-grown food and encourage a more health conscious lifestyle.
The youngsters from youth charity Off Centre’s therapeutic gardening project Hackney Young People Outdoors (HYPOD) developed and tested their recipes at Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, growing and harvesting vegetables like sweetcorn, cabbages and lettuce to use in their recipes.
The book Chop it, Steam it, Bake it! features meals such as pumpkin and peanut-butter soup, homemade lemonade and hot vegetable soup. Treats include Caribbean pudding and chocolate coated apples.
There are over 10 original recipes that focus on using fruits and vegetables, inspiring young people to grow their own produce and make use of green spaces.
Tanya Andrew, HYPOD co-coordinator, says the project not only improves young people’s eating habits but has also provided them with ideas and skills that will benefit the environment.
“Being able to use spaces for gardening and harvesting, children learn to nurture the environment by taking pride in their surroundings and become aware of ways to eat and live healthily,” she said.
“It’s been an amazing venture for children with disabilities to be a part of. It’s something they can enjoy whilst learning new skills and developing their cookery knowledge.
“The kids have really enjoyed the experience. They’ve grown in confidence from spending time using the outdoors to its full potential.”
The children launched their book at a harvest-festival style event at Dalston Eastern Curve Garden last month, baking bread and roasting vegetables in the clay oven and sharing their recipes and skills.
Chop it, Steam it, Bake it! can be bought from the Farm Shop at 20 Dalston Lane or directly from Off Centre at 25-27 Hackney Grove E8 3NR./ 23 December, 2012