We returned to food in week two of the internship with a somewhat simpler menu, but explored sugar-free desserts as a bonus. Our steamed vegetables with a soya sauce, ginger, garlic, chili and herb dressing was still a hit. The salad was full of anti-oxidants – fresh brassica leaves (pak choi, rocket, mizuna, tatsoi) and vegetables from the SEED garden were shredded and the dressing was based on the mustard we had made the week before. Apples, steamed with cloves, cinnamon, ginger, raisins and aniseed were a bit of hit-and-miss, a sugar free apple pie would have been better.

SAM_5257The next day was rainy, so two soups were just perfect. Potato and greens soup was served next to a fragrant butternut and sweet potato soup. Our excursions into salads resulted in a brown rice and lentil salad with lots of grated roots, greens and an experimental dressing. The high note was definitely the bananas fried in butter, with roasted sesame seeds served on toasted oats and coconut, with our home-made yoghurt. Our day ended with making a herbal disinfectant tincture, an all-purpose healing ointment and a cough syrup. These highly effective remedies were developed by Yvette Van Wijk from George, and trialled for many years in Southern Cape Clinics.  Part of our mission on this course is to return primary health care to our homes – through nutrition, exercise and simple remedies for common ailments.

SAM_5806Our last day of the Food is Medicine module was opened with a morning of lectures by Karen Parkin, a herbalist, sangoma and permaculture practitioner of many years. Our first lecture with her covered the history and development of Herbalism as well as the evolution of modern medicine. Her engaging and dynamic delivery explored the different ‘diagnostic’ approaches to individuals and their diseases.

Lunch was a simple affair: chickpeas with brinjals, onions, potatoes and the bottled Italian tomato sauce we made last week were served on brown rice. The salad was quite an exploration – we pruned the growing tips of broad beans to put into the salad (which helps the beans), a handful of nasturtium leaves, plenty of borage, and the usual brassica and spinach mix. Grated sweet potatoes, beets and carrots joined the mix with an olive oil, soya sauce and orange juice dressing.

And so we come to the end of the Food is Medicine  module of the APT Internship where we have nourished both our bodies and our minds in preparation for the next 18 weeks of the programme. Next week we will be building some of the ‘green tech’ cooking equipment we been working with and learning about. Watch this space.

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