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The Best Healthy Cooking Classes From Around the World

Wellness Insider Guides Food + Drink
by Rebecca Hughes Apr 30, 2019

Taking a healthy cooking class can introduce you to inventive cooking techniques, novel ingredients, and a more open-minded approach to food. A workshop with an expert can have you voluntarily reaching for vegetables when you see how these and other healthy foods can be transformed. Here are some healthy cooking classes around the world that could revolutionize your views on veganism, help you spice up a bland dish, and get you doing yoga in between whipping up some soy milk.

1. College of Naturopathic Medicine — London, England

Starting with a serious option, this college in London offers courses for nutritionists, students of natural therapies, and anyone that wants to learn to cook healthily. In six sessions, it covers various dietary topics including gluten- and dairy-free recipes, ayurvedic cooking, and anti-inflammatory foods. The course is a combination of kitchen demonstrations and lectures from experts in the field. You’ll leave with a thorough knowledge of the nutritional and therapeutic values of food, and lots of healthy recipe ideas.

2. Natural Gourmet Institute — New York City, New York

Making vegan meals isn’t only reserved for full-time vegans. Learning to cook vegan teaches you to make tasty, nutritious food without high-calorie ingredients like dairy products and red meat. The Natural Gourmet Institute’s vegan cooking classes show you how to make a satisfying meal with just vegetables, grains, and legumes. It doesn’t try to replace the meat with processed substitutes but puts the emphasis on plant-based cooking. Visit its website to choose from a range of courses, including making gluten-free bread and a class on knife skills to make chopping all the veggies easier.

3. Gioia di Vivere — Lucca, Italy

When it comes to vegan cooking, it might be surprising to learn that many traditional Italian recipes unintentionally fit that category. Gioia di Vivere offers vegan organic cooking classes with a distinctly Tuscan bias, showcasing typical dishes that were championing a vegan diet before the word even came into existence. The kitchen and its equipment are suitably rustic, and you can taste the fruits of your labor while seated outside in the garden. While you’re in one of the most beautiful regions of Italy, you will naturally want to do some excursions, and for this, the school’s chefs provide packed lunches and dinners.

4. La Boîte — New York City, New York

La Boite NY

Photo: La Boite NY/Facebook

Even if you are just cooking chicken, ubiquitous in healthy eating cookbooks, you can jazz up your meal with no additional calories by adding a well-chosen spice mix. La Boîte spice emporium offers workshops that will stop you from resorting to the supermarket’s pre-prepared curry mix and introduce you to various new flavors. It helps you to create your own customized spice blend showing you how to balance the flavors, and get you acquainted with unfamiliar tastes like sumac. Workshops are held by spice expert Lior Lev Sercarz, who wrote The Spice Companion.

5. YouSabai — Mae Teang, Thailand

If you’re going to learn to nourish your body, then why not go the whole hog and nourish your mind too? YouSabai, located in a small village in the Mae Teang province of Thailand, offers Thai cooking courses alongside its yoga and meditation retreats. Its philosophy is focused around the concept of “gin dee u dee,” meaning eating well and living well. During the cooking course, you will learn to prepare vegetarian Thai food, including making soy milk and tofu, and you will discover the medicinal properties of ingredients. If you take the three-day course, you can complement your healthy food with morning yoga sessions.

6. A Healthy View — Sydney, Australia

Australia has already popularized the healthy avocado-based breakfast, and Michele Chevalley Hedge’s cooking classes are all about superfoods. The courses are taught by both a cook and a nutritionist so that you can understand the scientific reasons behind the ingredients used. Michele’s courses teach her students how the nutrients in the food affect mood, hormones, and, most importantly, sex appeal. She promises recipes that will boost energy levels and aid the immune system.

7. The Busy Mom’s Complete Guide to Healthy Breakfast — Online

But if you don’t have time to fly off to Australia or even to take a day out to go to a cooking class in person, there are online options too. Breakfast often gets overlooked at cooking courses, but this series of videos takes you through five different healthy breakfast ideas (being a mother is not obligatory). During the course, you’ll learn the nutritional value of a balanced breakfast and create meal plans for you and your family. There are also worksheets to download for consolidation. The course promises to help you develop that elusive stress-free morning routine.

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