At the Mariposa DR Foundation, we are committed to developing life-long, healthy habits while protecting the environment and respecting the abundant resources the Dominican Republic has to offer. We are proud to announce that as of this year, all of the food that is prepared at our Center is entirely plant-based!
Shifting to a whole-food, plant-forward diet is not only beneficial to our girls’ health, it’s a tribute to their culture and an acknowledgment of the extraordinary life-giving resources that their country has to offer. The Dominican people have lived off the land for generations and our cooking classes focus on learning new and exciting ways to prepare familiar, local produce (and some new ingredients!). The girls’ palettes are expanding while developing the necessary skills needed to improve their eating habits and influence the people closest to them.
We know that when girls take ownership of what they eat and their health, it will have a ripple effect throughout the entire community. As large contributors to household responsibilities, most young girls in the Dominican Republic are at least partially responsible for preparing meals for their families. In an effort to focus on creating healthy habits that last a lifetime and pay homage to the incredible place they call home, we continually educate the girls and their families on local, affordable, resources and generate easy-to-follow recipes. The girls are becoming involved and taking ownership of the food being served. They look forward to programs and coming to the Center every day because they love the food and are learning how to prepare it themselves.
One of their favorites is our homemade granola! Growing and roasting our own macadamia nuts has put an extra special spin on this breakfast treat. By using seasonal macadamias from our farm in Jarabacao, our girls are a part of the process from start to finish. They visited the farm, saw the macadamia nut trees, picked the harvest, and brought them down to Cabarete where we dried and roasted them before adding them to the granola. They were definitely able to reap the benefits of their labor and appreciate the different ways we incorporate the granola into our plant-based menu. Esmeralda reports that the best days are the ones we serve fresh fruit kabobs with a side of granola. Filled with quinoa, organic oats, and natural honey- it is a perfect-HEALTHY- treat!
Healthy eating leads to healthy living and Mariposa’s commitment to a localized plant-based menu has been a tremendous step in educating our girls about wellness and proper nutrition. We continue to experiment with seasonal ingredients and new recipes and look forward to expanding our menu throughout the year!