The book provides the fundamentals of a traditional foods diet and understanding why some natural foods that people tend to avoid such as butter are essential to a healthy diet.
“Traditional foods is the way that cultures that were cut off from modern convenience — a long time ago — maintained health and longevity without pills and processed foods and things like that. It’s going back to those cultures and figuring out how they did it so that we can reinstitute those principals into our modern kitchens and not forget the goodness that was working,” Chester said.
Chester is a 1996 graduate of Lassiter High School, a 2000 graduate of Georgia Tech and attended Natural Gourmet Institute of Health and Culinary Arts in New York City.
“We aren’t about going backwards,” she said. “We are about going forward but we are about remembering what the past was and bringing the good parts of the past with us,” she said.
Chester works as a traditional foods chef and farmer at Apricot Lane Farms in Moor Park, Calif., a 160-acre farm that she and her husband John started that was designed to employ traditional and ecological farming techniques. Chester and Schrecengost started a blog called Organic Spark, where they developed traditional foods recipes that inspired the cookbook.
Both women turned to food and diet when they experienced medical issues that were not resolved by conventional medicine.
“Real food became a vehicle — not macaroni and cheese out of a box — but real food became a vehicle that brought me wellness,” said Schrecengost, a Marietta resident.
A healthy diet is key to a healthy life.
“(Traditional foods) is the only diet or way of life that we have found that’s promoted healing. We found the root of diets. All the diets stopped working at a place. This is one that is sustainable for a lifetime,” Chester said.
The cookbook explores age-old techniques and healthy eating.
“It’s techniques like soaking and fermenting and sprouting and souring and organics and grass-fed. Those different kinds of principles are wound throughout the book,” Chester said.
“In some ways, it’s comforting. It’s not that many generations ago that we were cooking with some of these principles. In other ways, it’s a sustainable diet that can build health over generations. It’s important for us,” she added.
The quality of food is vital to a healthy diet, and they recommend connecting with a local farmer through a farmer’s market or online resource.
“You can’t just cut out processed foods. Your unprocessed foods have to come from a healthy source. That’s the recipe for health,” Schrecengost said.
“That’s what we’re hoping folks look at when they see our book. It’s not new. It’s remembering the value of our ancestors in the past that ate this real food,” Schrecengost said.
“I’d love it if we could play a small part and helping people remember these principles. I think it’s in our bones to remember it,” Chester said.
“Back to Butter, A Traditional Foods Cookbook - Nourishing Recipes Inspired by Our Ancestors,” is available wherever books are sold or at www.organicspark.com.