Real food is at the heart of Nourished Kitchen. Real food is timeless. It is deeply nourishing, and a pleasure to eat. Real food is a slowly simmered pot of bone broth, a carefully crafted loaf of homemade no-knead sourdough bread, and a soul-warming mushroom stew. It's homemade sauerkraut, and heirloom yogurt passed from friend to friend.
A real food approach is one that examines the connections between how food is produced, how it is prepared, and how it nourishes our bodies on a deep and profound level. Real food is whole and minimally processed. It comes from the garden, from the wild, from your local farmers' market, and from artisan producers who have perfected the art of baking crusty loaves of sourdough bread, bright and salty-sour pickles, farmstead jams, and other nourishing foods.
Above all else, the real food approach behind Nourished Kitchen celebrates the art and pleasure of cooking whole foods from scratch.
What is real food?
At its simplest, real food is traditionally prepared, whole, minimally processed foods. Real foods are free from food additives, like artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors. Conversely, real foods are also particularly rich in micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, and various naturally occurring phytonutrients. Real foods are sustainably produced and are prepared in ways that enhance their nutrient value.
Real food includes:
- Vegetables prepared raw as in salads, gently cooked in side dishes and in main courses, and fermented.
- Fruits enjoyed fresh and raw, cooked or sometimes fermented.
- Full-fat dairy products that are often enjoyed raw or cultured.
- Eggs from hens raised on pasture that can be gently cooked by poaching, frying, scrambling, baking, in frittatas or even served raw in homemade mayonnaise.
- Meats from animals raised on pasture that is often prepared by stewing, grilling, poaching or slow-roasting.
- Organ meats and offal from animals raised on pasture, because these foods are particularly nutrient-dense, and made delicious in recipes like Chicken Liver Pate or Potatoes with Bacon and Liver.
- Sustainable, wild-caught fish and shellfish like oysters, clams, mussels, sardines, anchovies and salmon.
- Whole grains that are sprouted and served in salads, side dishes and porridges or freshly milled, added to sourdough starter, and baked into bread.
- Pulses, which include split peas, lentils, dry beans and chickpeas, that are soaked overnight or sprouted and made into luscious soups and stews.
- Unrefined, traditional, cooking fats that include suet, tallow, lard, butter, ghee, olive oil, coconut oil, sustainably harvested palm oils, schmaltz, and cold-pressed nut and seed oils.
- Unrefined, minimally processed sweeteners that include jaggery, piloncillo, honey, maple syrup and sugar, molasses, and unrefined cane sugar used in celebratory foods and occasional desserts.
Real food is fundamentally balanced.
Real food is fundamentally balanced. It includes foods from plant origin like watercress, strawberries, lentils, spelt, and olive oil as well as foods from animal origin like yogurt, eggs, broth, ghee, meat, and fish. Both foods that originate from plants and those that originate from animals provide essential micronutrients. Some nutrients are only found in plant foods and other nutrients are only found in animal foods which is why a balance of both plant and animal foods, which is why a balanced, non-restrictive, and inclusive approach to eating supports your health best.
Real foods are minimally processed and traditionally prepared.
Real foods are whole or minimally processed, meaning that they are not refined or artificial. So
How to Get Started with Real Food
- Join our community and get tips, recipes, and discounts delivered to your inbox. Join the community here.
- Visit a farmers market to fill your fridge with plenty of seasonal vegetables and fruits. Check out this post for tips on shopping farmers markets.
- Pick up some grass-fed meats from a local rancher, and if you can't find anyone locally, and checkout the grass-fed meat recipes here.
- Try simmering some homemade bone broth. Bone broth is is rich in gelatin, contains a small amount of minerals, and is a deeply nourishing addition to your kitchen.
- Try making some fermented vegetables. Fermented foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi, and even real hot sauce, are a great source of beneficial bacteria and B vitamins. They're also fun to make.
- Try some grass-fed or cultured dairy. Grass-fed raw milk is rich wholesome fats, minerals, vitamin A, beta carotene and other nutrients. Cultured milk, made into yogurt or kefir, is also a fantastic real food addition to your daily meals.
- Whole grains that are properly prepared by soaking, sprouting or sourdough make a great, choice, too.