Located on 14 lush acres in Wallacia, about an hour drive from Sydney, Hopewood has been operating for over 50 years. Previously the property served as a guest house for 50 years, where water was drawn from the Nepean River, at the back of the property.
Hopewood, funded by the National Youth and Health Foundation, offers a number of food workshops for guests such as nutrition and food, weight management, food demonstration and the benefits of detoxing and fasting.
To ensure guests receive a healthy food experience, Hopewood doesn’t serve liquid during meals to aid digestion, starch and protein are not mixed, honey is used instead of sugar, fresh locally sourced ingredients are used and they grow edible herbs in a newly established vegetable garden.
Chef John Estival, a very kind and soft spoken Belgian, recently studied nutrition and shared some of his knowledge:
- A healthy diet should include 60-70% fruit and veg
- Heat and light reduces the nutritional value of food, resulting in less taste
- To understand the value of fresh produce, eat what is in season
- Eat food with the skin on for maximum nutrition and fibre
- Buying at farmers markets is best for fresh and local produce
- When you cheat, cheat well ie. with good quality food
- Take the time to read food labels. If you don’t understand it, put it back
- Consider the sodium (salt) content of canned goods
- If a product is ‘refined’ generally the goodness has been removed
- The ‘four culprits’ are refined sugar, refined salt, fat and refined flour
- Don’t wash mushrooms
- Pre-packaged salads contain chemicals ie. sulphur
- To remove chemicals rinse with 1 part apple cider vinegar and 12 parts water
- Calcium stays in the body for 2-3 months
- Processed food makes blood acidic, need minerals to balance out
The 3 hour holistic cooking class is held Saturdays and visitors are welcome to attend. There was about 10 in our class so we were divided into 3 groups and preparation tasks were shared between groups. As each course was ready, we sat down to eat in the dining room (with some non-alcoholic wine) which was a great way to spread out the session. Participants also get a copy of the Hopewood vegetarian cookbook to take home, which contains some great recipes. The class is $90 and for those wanting to stay, Hopewood are looking to combine the cooking class into an overnight package.
We made a delicious 3 course meal and I’d love to share the recipes with you. There is just so much to tell, so I’ll have to spread it out over a few posts!
Keep an eye out for the tasty recipes coming up:
- Stuffed mushrooms
- Potato, lentil and carrot casserole
- Coconut and tahini balls / Banana and strawberry ice cream