Traditional CWA recipes given healthy twist by removing sugar

Not everyone was onboard with taking sugar out of classic Country Women’s Association (CWA) recipes — until they tasted them.

“Once they try … their eyes are opened up and they enjoy the food as much as anybody else,” member Wendy Gordon said.

Now, the baking and cooking experts of the Queensland CWA are being recruited to help lead a new campaign to encourage healthy eating.

Ms Gordon, who has been a member of the CWA in Oakey for more than a decade, has been promoting recipes from its Country Kitchen cookbook.

She said the comment she got most when people tasted the recipes, including one for sticky date and pear muffins, was that they could not believe there was no added sugar.

“We’re substituting a lot of sugar and we’re also adding some fibre and fruit and veggies in our diet,” Ms Gordon said.

Ms Gordon said she believed it was important for families to bond over home cooking.

“I think cooking and family all go together because you can start a conversation around the dinner table and find out what everybody’s been doing,” she said.

Boosting fibre

Ms Gordon, who grew up on a dairy farm in Kilcoy, said she wanted to promote healthier recipes due to her family’s history of diabetes.

“A lot of times we’re not getting our proper vegetable intake or proper fruit intake, so it’s a good way sometimes of hiding some of that fruit and fibre in our recipes,” she said.

“It’s a good alternative … the taste and the flavour is still there.”

She said her family loved the recipes submitted to the Country Kitchen cookbook.

“There’s a light and crunchy coleslaw and I first made that recipe for Christmas last year and I’ve been requested every single time that I make that recipe,” she said.

“It also gets requested for me to bring it along to functions.”

Encouraging moderation

Dietitian Lindsey Nash has been working with the CWA to help come up with healthy recipes.

She said they were designed to encourage people to eat in moderation.

“We’re not afraid of sugar, we’re happy to have a bit of sugar in our recipes,” she said.

“It’s about reducing the amount of sugar that you’re adding into these recipes.

“We don’t enjoy cutting out any food groups … we just want people to go back to basics.”

Ms Nash said she hoped the program would encourage people to think about adding more fruit or vegetables to their cooking.

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