Family health

New cookbook from Guelph Family Health Study offers plant-based protein recipes for families

“We hope families will try them and enjoy them,” said Guelph Family Health study director David Ma.

Helping families is why researchers from the University of Guelph and the Guelph Family Health Study (GFHS) are releasing a new plant-based protein cookbook.

Plant-Based Proteins: Recipes Simplified offers 30 recipes using different types of plant proteins, such as curried chickpea salad or chicken and lima bean stew. All of the recipes included in the book are nutritious, affordable, and made with just a few ingredients.

David Ma, director of GFHS, said it was the sixth cookbook published by the team and its partners. It is also the first downloadable cookbook in English and French.

“Some of these recipes are designed as such that they introduce these potentially new protein sources, but we also have others that are a little less familiar to us,” Ma said of this cookbook. “We hope families will try them out and enjoy them.”

To help find recipes for their latest cookbook, GFHS has partnered with the George Brown Food Innovation & Research Studio and the Helderleigh Foundation. Other contributing sponsors include Our Food Future, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Canadian Nutrition Society, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance and Health Canada.

Ma adds that this cookbook is not strictly for vegans or vegetarians, but rather offers a way to help families follow Canada’s Food Guide, which was updated in 2019 to include more options. herbal. Ma explains that the cookbook has been approved by Health Canada and, along with the recipes, also contains information on the different types of plant-based protein and the benefits of incorporating them into your diet.

“This cookbook has been in the works for a year and a bit, it’s been a bit delayed due to the pandemic, but we’re very excited to be working with all these different groups and different levels of expertise.”

By producing cookbooks like this, GFHS also hopes to promote research-grounded nutritional literacy and food literacy. Currently, Ma said they have a PhD student working with GFHS who studies plant proteins.

“Over time, we have developed a number of cookbooks, and each of the cookbook themes is based, in some way, on our research,” Ma said. “They not only provide interesting recipes , useful recipes, but they are also based on some of the research activities that we carry out.”

Since the study began in 2014, Ma says researchers have produced cookbooks for families participating in the study, based on their demand for family recipes.

“Families are busy, they’re doing lots of things, running around, going from activity to activity, so families were like, ‘Oh, do you have any easy, quick and affordable family recipes? “Mum said. “A very simple criteria, and they asked, ‘Could you make any recommendations?’

“We took this idea and made something a little more than just curated recipes, and we actually created one of our first cookbooks this way, based on this inspiration and request from our families. .”

In addition to offering simple, quick and affordable meal ideas, the cookbook is designed in a way that children can also follow along or get involved.

“We’re making it simple so families with young kids can get the kids involved in meal preparation,” Ma said. “Kids are amazing and they can do a lot of things in an age-appropriate way.”

Before publishing the cookbook, Ma said some of the families in their study participated in a virtual cooking party, to get a feel for what those families thought of three of the recipes in the book.

“We got really good feedback from them about whether they liked it or not, whether it was easy or simple or all of that, and that’s another example of the multi-dimensional contribution of people in these books of cooking,” Ma said of all the parties involved in the process of this cookbook.

Now that it’s published, Ma said the GFHS plans to follow up with the families involved in their study for more information on the recipes. Ma adds that the cookbook will also be launched nationally by Health Canada in March 2022 for Nutrition Month.

“It’s a variety of recipes based on important nutrition topics that are important to Canadians and Canadian families,” Ma said.

Anyone interested in trying these recipes with their own family can download the cookbook here.