Place your own text here.
A Quarterly Newsletter                                                                                    Winter 2013

Happy Holidays from Oldways! 
On behalf of the entire Oldways team, we want to wish you and your family a healthy, happy, and delicious holiday season. Every day we are reminded of how lucky we are to work for such an amazing mission and to have such wonderful friends -- like you! 
We are extremely excited and thankful as this year comes to a close, one filled with new cooking classes, partners, and friends working to bring African Heritage & Health to life. 

A Huge Thanks To Our A Taste Of African Heritage Teachers!  

Oldways' A Taste of African Heritage (ATOAH) classes are cooking up around the country. We've supported 21 classes so far this fall. Over the next year, waves of leafy greens, coconut milk, and peanut stew will crash against mountains of millet, sweet potatoes, Jamaican red beans, and other delicious traditional dishes in over 100 teaching kitchens. 


Now planned for 81 new community sites in 22 different states, ATOAH is reaching more people everyday.


None of this would be possible without the dedication, collaboration, and hard work of our teaching volunteers. We are grateful for our extraordinary team of instructors, each of whom are rolling up their sleeves and personally bringing back the healthy old ways in their communities. 


With the holidays at our door, what better time to say thanks to all of our amazing volunteers than now? Thank you to all of our volunteer instructors, partner agencies, and class sites working to make A Taste of African Heritage a great success and bringing the healthy old ways back to their communities!


We would like to take a minute to highlight some of our first teachers who have finished or are currently finishing classes in their communities. You can read more about each of these instructors here on our Oldways Table Blog. 


Thank you for all you do! 


Danessa Bolling, Chemical Dependency Counselor, Houston, TX   

Class Locations: MHMRA and St. Johns Downtown Church 

Thomas Murray, Reverend, Fayetteville, NC

Class Location: Emmanuel Baptist Church 


Adante Hart, Research Assistant, Baltimore, MD
Class Locations: New Light Church and Terra Café 


Elizabeth Joyful Josephs, Jonesboro, GA
Class Location: The Joseph's home kitchen; teaching members of the Southeast Atlanta 7th Day Baptist Congregation 


Sabine Dabady & Genesis Rodriguez, Nutrition Students, Bushwick, NY

Class Location: SCO Family Services 

Coordinators: Luis Flores and EcoStation:NY


Linda Taylor, Certified Health Coach, Philadelphia, PA
Class Location: Cedar Park Presbyterian Church 


Michelle Marbury, Director & 

Bilingual Early Education  

Class Location: Northwood Presbyterian Child Care Center 


Janet Darby, Health Coach, Danville, VA

Class Location: Home kitchen 


Tiffany R. Davis-Jennings, Technician, Powdersville, SC
Class Location: Home Kitchen 


Ann LaFontaine, RD, LD, CDE, Jasper, GA
Class Location: Big Canoe 


Sarah Overholt, RD, LDN, Plymouth, NC
Class Location: Washington County Senior Center


Thank you to all of our volunteer instructors, partner agencies, and class sites working to make A Taste of African Heritage a great success and bringing the healthy old ways back to their communities!


       We would love for you to join us! 



If you would like to become an instructor or help organize classes in your community, please fill out our Teacher Sign-Up Form and we will contact you right away. You can also visit the A Taste of African Heritage webpage for more details about the program.                                            



Special thanks to the Walmart Foundation for providing national support 



Many thanks also to Savory Spice Shop for their delicious 

spice donations in 2013


                      Join the Conversation with ...                                          
1. Oldways' New African Heritage & Health Forum! 


Do you have a new favorite recipe you'd like to share? Tips for preparing the perfect winter soup? Or questions about healthy heritage foods?


Oldways has created a new space for food lovers to come and share recipes, advice, questions, and more in our new Oldways Community Forum


Forum categories include African Heritage & Health, The Mediterranean Diet, Vegetarianism, 

Whole Grains, and a new "Teacher's Lounge" for our Taste of African Heritage instructors. 


Come join the conversation today! 

2. African Heritage & Health Pinterest Page: 
AHH Pinterest Page
Over 1,000 Followers Strong!  

Don't forget to visit our African Heritage & Health Pinterest Page for even more delicious recipe ideas for the holidays. 


Enjoy a mug of African heritage Hot Spiced Coconut Chocolate Milk this winter. Or an appetizer of Fried Cornmeal Okra. Share your favorite recipe finds with us, and meet new foods as well. With over 1,000 followers, our recipe pot is brimming! 





Rev. Thomas Murray: Building A Healthy Congregation With Traditional Foods and Love 


Rev. Murray and the Emmanuel Baptist Church hosted the first Taste of African Heritage class of 2013 in Fayettville, NC. For many years, Rev. Murray has been teaching about longevity and nutrition to his congregation. We caught up with Rev. Murray and asked him how he sees heritage and tradition as keys to eating and living well.  


Oldways: You are clearly very passionate about healthy eating, and you have made diet and lifestyle a part of your congregation's mission at Emmanuel Family Baptist Church. What was the spark that first got you personal invested in food and health? 

Rev. Murray: Reading! Discovering books about health and nutrition, and making that connection. I was inspired enough to open a natural foods store in Philadelphia for people who are mindful of nutrition and are looking for teas, spices, herbs, essences, oils, organic foods, books and more. I have been reading ever since. 


Most inspiring to me are the populations around the world known for their healthy longevity, like those in places such as those along the Mediterranean and in Okinawa. This is why Oldways and the African Heritage Diet resonate so well with what I teach in our congregation. From what I've learned, I teach that there are 3 major methods for longevity:    

(1) Eating a plant-based diet

(2) Showing love for each other (I call this "religion")

(3) Walking or exercising 30 minutes daily - traditionally, people walked 10 miles to work and 10 miles home; they were always moving 


Oldways: What role does food have in a church community, and how have you tried to shape that in your congregation? 


Rev. Murray: I offer nutrition classes to the community twice a week, and every Sunday I reiterate the three methods for longevity during service. We also enjoy Sunday meals together after service. We stress plant-based eating (my son is a medical doctor in Atlanta, GA and he is a vegan), and vegetables and beans have always been staples on the table. 


Oldways: Is there a key message of Oldways' African Heritage & Health program that especially resonates with you?


Rev. Murray: "Diabetes is not a part of African Heritage." That is an exceptionally powerful statement. Diabetes is on the move in people, especially African Americans. I am 78 years old and I've never battled with it. I have read from credible sources that most of our chronic diseases come from diet. Eating right helps protect you from them. It's as simple as that.  


We think so too, Rev. Murray. 


If you're inspired by reading Rev. Murray's words, talk to your church about offering A Taste of African Heritage classes or serving a few African heritage recipes at your next gathering to start the conversation!  



AHH Health Study:

Eating Nuts Linked to Lower Risk of Major Chronic Diseases 

In each issue of the newsletter, we like to share one scientific study that reinforces the importance of the African Heritage Diet. This edition's study takes a look at the powerful benefits of including nuts in your diet. 

A study published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine examined the eating patterns of more than 76,000 women and more than 42,000 men over 24 to 30 years to assess the health effects of eating nuts. 
The researchers discovered that eating nuts is associated with a reduced risk of mortality overall and specifically from cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease.      
As nut consumption increased (from none at all, to weekly, to daily), the incidences of mortality also decreased. Chronic disease risk was lowered the most dramatically with daily consumption -- enjoying 1 serving (28g or 1 oz) of nuts at least 7 times a week. 
Researchers also noted that all types of nuts appear to have the same health benefit and did not see a difference between individual types, including peanuts and tree nuts.


Nuts, especially peanuts, play an important role in African heritage cuisine. Used in soups, stews and dipping sauces throughout Africa, peanuts (or "groundnuts"--they grow in the ground, unlike most nuts which grow on trees) offer many more culinary possibilities than just the usual PB&J. So many, in fact, that George Washington Carver wrote a research pamphlet back in 1916 at Tuskegee Institute entitled, "How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing It For Human Consumption." 


Check out Oldways Groundnut Stew recipe and our 12 Great Ways to Use Peanuts & Peanut Butter inspired by the Mediterranean for a new spin on this long beloved ingredient. 

You can find more African heritage groundnuts and tree nuts in our Food Glossary and Common Foods List. You can also find more scientific research about traditional ways of eating on our Health Studies page. 

African Heritage Dine-Around-Town
Oldways knows that one of the easiest ways to dine out healthfully is to choose cultural restaurants that serve traditional world cuisines. Whether African, Caribbean, Indian, or Japanese, cultural restaurants often offer the widest variety of interesting, flavor-filled, plant-based dishes, preparing various veggies, beans, whole grains, and spices in dramatically new ways.

Every edition, we put the spotlight on three African heritage restaurants that serve healthy cuisine. We describe the traditional features of their menus and let you know what you'll find at the table. 
Celebrate African Heritage & Health Week with us each year, from February 1-7th, by trying one new African heritage dish at a local restaurant! To help you find a place to dine out, visit Oldways' African Heritage Dine Around Town Page for a complete listing of restaurants across the U.S. that serve healthy cuisines from Africa and the African Diaspora. (If you know of an African heritage restaurant where you live and don't see it on our list, please let us know and we will gladly add it to our list!)
American Cuisine, African Heritage 
Pickled okra, lima beans, and veggie burgers made with Jamaican spices -- these are just a few of the healthy and delicious African-rooted ingredients you'll find at these three standout restaurants in New York, Mississippi, and South Carolina. 

Red Rooster in Harlem, NY: 
Named after the legendary Harlem speakeasy that once hosted the likes of Nat King Cole and James Baldwin, Red Rooster shares the story of Harlem and carries on its legacy of celebrating local artists, musicians, and traditional culinary talents. Co-owner, author, and award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson has created a menu brimming with dishes with African heritage roots. Appetizers of chili cucumbers; cornbread with honey butter and tomato jam; and, a plate of pickled cauliflower, okra, and pearl onions to boot. Entrees include down-home ingredients like blackened catfish with cow peas and mustard greens, jerk chicken, celery root, and crayfish grits. Red Rooster is definitely worth putting on your NYC must-see list! 

Cool Al's in Jackson, MS
Where can you find the best veggie burger in Jackson, MS with an African heritage twist? At Cool Al's--where you'll find three! Voted #1 Veggie Burger in Jackson, Cool Al's offers fresh, local, homemade, hand-cut ingredients, making it a cut above typical burger joints. Their Garden Veggie Burger is made from whole grains and veggies; the West African Veggie Burger from mashed black eyed peas; and, the Jamaican Veggie Burger from black beans, fresh ginger, and a mix of Caribbean spices. They make all their veggie burgers in-house; they use Mississippi grown produce for all their dishes; and, they make their own ketchup and sauces, like a Spicy Ginger Tomato Dipping Sauce. For meat eaters, Cool Al's offers turkey burgers and their award winning beef burger, topped with local veggies. Sides include fresh-cut potato or eggplant fries and sweet potato chips, served with sea salt, pepper, and cinnamon. 

Alluette's Cafe in Charleston, SC: 
Alluette's Cafe offers "Charleston Cuisine and Holistic Soul Food" with a focus on healthy, delicious dishes. After a battle with cancer, Alluette Jones-Smalls opened her cafe, believing in the importance of fresh ingredients free of harmful chemicals. At Alluette's you'll find a mix of Gullah, Geechi, soul, and southern influences using healthy, organic produce and ingredients. Seafood is brought in daily from local vendors, and seasonal organic produce comes from a nearby farm -- embracing not only the flavors, but the sustainable food handling of the old ways! Menu items include fish stew, lima bean soup, organic potato salad, and "Geechi Girl" turkey burgers, along with salads and hummus. At Alluette's Cafe African Heritage & Health truly shines. 


Oldways African Heritage Recipes
The most powerful call to action to improve the health of African American families and communities is to get cooking! To help you celebrate the pleasures, culture, and healthfulness of African heritage foods in your kitchen, h
ere are three of our newest, simple, delicious recipes you can enjoy this winter with your family.

Click on the title below to go to the Oldways recipe.

Yuca (or Cassava) Fries 

Yuca root (pronouced yoo-cuh) is enjoyed as a staple starch throughout Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Also known as cassava or manioc, yuca root is high in fiber, antioxidants, and many beneficial nutrients. Yuca's consistency, and sweet earthy flavor are perfect for hearty, healthy oven fries. Kids will especially love this recipe! Serve with the Garlicky Dill Mojo Sauce for dipping.  

"Mojo" sauces originated in the Canary Islands, off the northwest coast of Africa.  The term has been traditionally used for any sauce calling for olive oil, garlic, and lemon at its base. Cuban, Brazilian, and other Latin American cuisines have whipped up lots of variations. This is our garlicky, dill version that goes great on greens or whole grains, or as a dipping sauce for veggies. 

Blackened Okra 
The African name for okra is "gumbo," just like the beloved southern stew. If okra's gooey consistency has turned you off in the past, then this recipe is for you. Keeping the pods in tact and uncut minimizes the sliminess. Charring okra quickly, on high-heat, helps even more. Try pairing it with Oldways'  Black-eyed-Pea Salad or Heart Healthy Potato Salad  

Sarah McMackin
Program Manager, African Heritage & Health
Stay Connected
Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   Follow Me on Pinterest

"Your playing small does not serve the world. Who are you not to be great?"

                   - Nelson Mandela