Throughout the training, an understanding of energetic properties and nutritional contributions of the ingredients and cooking methods helps us know how to cook for the variety of season, ages, and activities of our lives.
Details and Inspiration
The creative force of reproduction is one core principle of energetic nutrition.
When I planted a bean in my garden, one seed grew tall and bushy. Then it started to reproduce. One seed gave at least thirty pods. Each pod averaged five more seeds in them. I’ve given birth too, and the amount of energy it takes to reproduce is no small feat. The blueprints in all seeds command my respect for their great power to reproduce and re-create. Ten tiny seeds grew enough kale to last a year. One stalk of millet harvested, and cooked well, might feed a five to ten people or more.
Plant-based cuisine relies on the quality of soil in which seeds are nurtured. As seeds grow, they digest earth’s raw materials, transforming them into nutrients for earth’s people and animals. I’m always stunned when people ask if SNC uses organic ingredients. We have never considered anything else when the options are present.
If a seed doesn’t sprout, it is probably genetically modified (GMO) or grown with stimulating chemicals pushing over-production. When seeds are genetically modified, they do not reproduce.
Where is the plant growing in relationship to air, water, earth, and fire?
What are the characteristics of a seed that grows vertically versus a seed that grows along the surface of the earth? How does this impact our cooking methods? Learning how a food grows and it’s anatomy is integral to being a natural cook.
Energetic Nutrition is revealed by Color, Taste, Smell
I’m drawn to the color of an orange, its shape, and to feeling the weight of its hidden juice when I pick it up in my hand. Then I lift that round orange ball to my nose and inhale deeply—all while hoping I only get the smell of “orange” and not of chemicals. I’ve been known to sample a twig of parsley while shopping only to find the bitter fullness be repellent even through the flavor of parsley lingers sweetly. The theories of intuitive cooking guide our body’s response reading the energetic qualities of ingredients and food combinations. Babies are like this as they begin to choose their first foods. Train them with incremental variety. They know what they need.
Energetic Nutrition of Cooking Methods
Fire is a nutrient. This translates to cooking methods and how long ingredients spend with fire.
The pressure cooker has been hailed as a time saving tool in the kitchen. And that it may be. But I like to think of the pressure cooker as a centering tool. Like when I work a ball of clay on the potter’s wheel. The force of energy it takes me to transfer a simple ball into a balanced clump that appears ready for transformation reminds me of what happens to the seeds in the pressure cooking method. The energy of fire, water, and air, compressing the ingredients so intensely that the process transforms the little grain and bean seeds. Previously undigestible, inedible, powerhouses are not only rendered digestible masses of nutritive power, but a satisfying texture that only comes from a pressure cooker.
Energetic Nutrition and Love
When I step into the kitchen, I like the ritual of putting on my apron. The apron strings around my waist signal me that alchemy is about to happen. Then I begin with just one ingredient and listen how to support this ingredient to become a satisfying dish. The lightness of being that ignites my creativity makes the dish delicious. Thousands of meals at my table have shown me that this kind of love is a powerful nutrient. Years have taught me it’s all about paying attention to the food as it goes through its transformation. If dishes are not prepared well, they can’t release their nutritional imprint, and if they don’t taste yummy, who will eat them enough to be healed by the satisfying ritual of healthy eating?