Question: Is it all for Freezing?
The ‘Freezer’ in Freezer Cooking Class is used loosely- because we also make some things that are meant to be kept in your fridge (chicken salad, freshly cut up fruit in the summertime, and ferments). Most of the main dishes are for freezing, and then we have a handful of things from each unit that are kept out for quick lunches that week, etc.
This brings me to another question – do the cooking afternoons all contain ferments?
I know a variety of ferments is essential for good gut health and probiotics, and while we’re in the kitchen anyway they just take minutes to put together. So we have different ferments with every cooking day – apple chutney and salsa with the freezer-to-slow cooker class, pickled Italian vegetables with the Mediterranean class, kimchi with the Cool Food for Warm Weather class, Cultured Carrot Sticks with the Packed Lunch class, and more. Need more info about ferments? Click here.
Question: Are you adding more cooking days in the future?
YES! I’ve already added packed lunch classes, a mini soup pack class, and Cozy Winter Suppers classes (that one is AIP friendly), Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, and Budget Cooking this year, in addition to the original 4 classes.
There are plans for one more AIP friendly class, and a few more mini cooking classes that are suitable for those who are new to cooking in 2017 (you will have access to everything posted in the future and I welcome feedback about what you would like included!)
Question: Can I buy classes on their own?
Right now you can purchase the AIP friendly classes here. So far there is only Cozy Winter Suppers, but all AIP-friendly classes in the future will be added to your account.
Question: What is the advantage of the Cooking Class over the book?
The class gives cooking demonstrations for ten cooking afternoons to help walk you through the process. Seeing the day in action makes it really attainable- you’ll even see glimpses of my children as I keep them busy, hand out sliced apples, and help them help me.
There also are printable checklists, reheating instruction cards, and a comment section where I can answer your questions and you can see what questions others have had. Side dish recipes and menu suggestion printables are available in the Cooking Class as well.
Members in the Health Home and Happiness Freezer Cooking Class will be able to have input on future cooking days and as more material is added, the class will include the future cooking units for free to those who purchase now.
Question: Is the fee recurring? Do you bill monthly?
Nope, this is a one-time fee (unless you sign up for a payment plan), and you will get access to all additions to the Heath Home and Happiness Freezer Cooking Class. You can visit and download your printables and instruction pages at any time, and watch the videos as often as you want. The plan is to keep this up for years, but if I ever had to take it down you would be notified well in advance so that you could download as much as you need to.
Question: Do you have plans without nightshades? Is this dairy free? Paleo?
I made this as allergen friendly as possible, but there are always going to be some foods that bother some people. These cooking plans all are free of gluten, grains, and refined sugar, and are suitable for the GAPS diet.
There are dairy-free adaptations for all the plans, and the vast majority of the main dishes and side dishes are free of eggs and nuts.
There are legumes in one version of the Budget Cooking Class, but there is an additional option that is legume-free.
I tried to be as accommodating as I could, but many of the recipes are not suitable for AIP (autoimmune protocol). Cozy Winter Suppers has an AIP option and recipes. If you would like, I can send you the grocery lists from each cooking unit and you can see whether they contain your allergens.
Question: Where do you shop?
We have a little lesson on grocery shopping within the course, where I share some secrets that save me $50+ each week. I shop at Costco, two local grocery stores, and I get most of my meat from a local ranch on a monthly delivery, similar to Butcher Box but local. I use Thrive for any specialty thing (fish sauce, organic tomato products, coconut aminos) that I otherwise would get at a health food store and Tropical Traditions for most of my coconut products (flakes, oil, flour).
Question: How much do the groceries for these cooking days cost on average?
For a mix of mostly organic or natural animal products, and some organic produce and some conventional- these ended up costing me about $200-$250 per afternoon. Keep in mind that this is making 10-18 full meals that serve 4-6 (plus some breakfasts and treats and snacks). Just for the meals that works out to between $3 and $6 per person per meal for my family.
When you’re buying this much food at one time it really pays to shop at a few different stores. I have one store that I like to buy produce at, another that has the best prices on coconut milk and spices, and still another that has meat, eggs, and dairy that are high quality for the lowest price. I hesitate to put a number on how much each unit’s groceries cost because it really varies based on where you shop, what region you live in, and how much organic you’re buying.
The Budget Meals for Winter makes 16 dishes that feed 4 people each (total of 64 meals) for $114, and a cost breakdown is provided.
Question: How does this save money?
When you clean out your fridge, how much produce do you find that has gone bad? How many times do you end up going out to eat because you’re too tired to cook or haven’t gone grocery shopping lately? When we have a full freezer with nutrient-dense foods already cooked or preserved through fermentation, they won’t go bad!
The average family of 4 spends $900 monthly on groceries (source) and a whopping $225 each month going out to eat (source)! Of the groceries purchased, on average 25% goes to waste (source) because it goes bad before it can be eaten, totaling $225/month.
When we cook our groceries with intention in one big cooking day, we have the convenience of restaurant food, the cost savings of nothing being wasted, and the health benefits and superior taste of home-cooked meals made with ingredients that we trust.
Question: Why is there so much meat? And why isn’t there more cookies or muffins?
My goal with this was to get the most nutrient-dense part of the meal done for you. That means protein, fats, and vegetables. And then to add variety and excitement, we make different sauces, dips, and toppings (homemade ketchup, ranch dressing, dill-coconut sauce, etc) to make these essentials taste AMAZING!
Baked goods and desserts are lower in nutrient-density, and they really shouldn’t be the main part of our diet. We include some at the end of cooking day- and I even put them at the end of our cooking time so that if you run out of steam they get cut, not the needed protein and vegetables- but I really am passionate that you will feel better, and have more success in the kitchen if you focus on stocking your freezer with needed protein, vegetables, and then enjoy baking and desserts if you have time outside of the freezer cooking unit.