US History and Roasted Root Veggies

Edible Ed at OJA was honored to welcome Fabiola Gaines, Registered Dietician and co-founder of Hebni Nutrition, as a guest presenter on September 9.  Gaines is also co-author of the "Healthy Soul Food" Cookbook.

With 8th Grade US History curriculum focused on regions, climates, crops and history of agriculture in the US between the Civil War (1861-65) and WWII (1939-45), Gaines masterfully integrated the effects of slavery on cooking and gardening. She kept students engaged with stories based on her personal ancestry and shared ingenious ways slaves brought their African culture to their new homeland.

Students learned that okra, squash and watermelon are foods they enjoy today that were first brought to the Americas via the slave trade. They also learned the origins of stew, Hoe Cakes and Hush Puppies. Furthermore, important connections were made regarding gardening skills and the emergence of sharecropping following the Reconstruction Acts.

Meeting the Edible Ed goal of experiential learning, Gaines chose a vegetable recipe from one of her Soul Food cookbooks. Students prepped the veggies and tossed in a Balsamic/Olive Oil/Honey and fresh herb dressing before baking. Twenty minutes later, students were treated to delicious and nutritious roasted veggie flavors.  In addition, each student generously received their own copy of the Hebni created, Soul Food Pyramid which is based on the MyPlate philosophy.

We applaud the good work Fabiola Gaines and Hebni Nutrition is doing in the community and encourage our readers to visit their website.