Space still available in McKee Botanical Garden’s healthy cooking classes


There is still space for  McKee’s summer healthy cooking series by Sealantro at the Garden Café.

Michael Clifford, Jr. and Jayne McAllister of Sealantro at the Garden Café will be hosting a series of healthy cooking demonstrations.  All classes will be held in the Garden Café from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm.  The cost for each session is $45 for McKee members and $50 for non-members, with the exception of the children’s cooking class “Healthy Cooking for Children” which is $35 for McKee members and $40 for non-members. Participants will enjoy lunch at each demonstration.

“You’d Better Be-Leaf It!”  – Saturday, July 7 – Leafy greens are one of the most nutritious foods available to us and there are literally thousands of varieties in existence. Greens oxygenate our blood and help detoxify the liver, yet they are the vegetable group that is most missing from our diet. If you think vegetables are French fries and ketchup, or over-boiled collards, come and learn how to make out-of-the-ordinary dishes that are simply delicious.

“Getting to the Root of the Matter” – Saturday, July 14 -Root vegetables are wholesome and have wonderful grounding properties. When cooked right, root vegetables can help one overcome sugar addiction. They are also useful in thickening gluten free dishes.  In this class, we will go beyond the simple boiled carrot and look at ways of incorporating a variety of root vegetables into your diet. Subtle changes can make the biggest difference if you are addicted to potatoes… Gluten free, Keto and Vegan dishes will be demonstrated.

“Healthy Cooking for Children” – Saturday, July 21 – Involving children in preparing and cooking their own food is a guaranteed way to stave off pickiness and encourage a varied palate. The sooner children start to do so, the better. This popular class includes excerpts from Dr. David Katz’s (Yale University School of Public Health) Nutrition Detectives program in which children are taught to read food labels and to identify unhealthy additives. This is a very hands-on class in which teachers and students alike end up wearing their food.

“Gluten Free Deliciousness” – Saturday, July 28 – Maybe your physician has advised that you eat gluten free because of a Celiac Disease diagnosis, or you suspect that you have a gluten intolerance. The “What Do I Eat Next?” reflex can be disheartening if you don’t know where to begin. You might feel that your diet is going to be restricted for the rest of your life, a life dominated by gluten free bread that tastes like cardboard. We will teach you how to approach gluten free living from the standpoint of opportunity rather than restriction. There is a whole new world out there…

“Cooking for Diabetes” – Saturday, August 4 – While the first focus for diabetes patients is monitored medical care, modifying your diet gives you the opportunity to take control of managing your condition. Chef Michael shaved hundreds of points off his blood sugar within days of changing his diet and now he wants to teach others how to cook delicious, easy dishes that are low glycemic. We look at two options that have solid scientific support: Veganism and Keto. While ostensibly at polar ends of the healthy eating spectrum – one advocates no fat or animal products; the other is high in fat and protein – both have research* to support their effectiveness. We will showcase dishes from both schools to support the principle of bio-individuality – you have to find what works for you.

*Harvard School of Public Health and The Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine (a full list of peer reviewed articles is available on request).

Disclaimer: Always check with your physician before making any changes to your diet. This class should not be construed as an alternative to professional medical advice.

“Healthy Desserts” – Saturday, August 11 – While sugar is being widely heralded as evil, which it should be, that doesn’t help those of us who crave the sweet stuff in our lives. Even if you have adopted a largely sugar free lifestyle, there are times when you simply need dessert. We show you how to do so with natural ingredients that won’t lead to the energy roller coaster that sugar causes, or the weight gain, or the hormonal issues, or pimples.

All classes are held at the Garden Café at McKee Botanical Garden.  Class sizes are limited and require pre-registration and payment in advance, checks and cash only. To register, call 772-794-0601 or come to the Garden at 350 US Highway 1, Vero Beach. Due to our limited space, we ask that participants withdraw from classes at least seven working days prior to the start of class in order to receive a refund.  If we must cancel a class, we will make every effort to inform you prior to the class time, and you will receive a full refund. For more information, visit our website at


McKee Botanical Garden is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to nurture and enhance a historic garden in a unique tropical setting for the education, enjoyment and enrichment of all.  McKee Botanical Garden is located at 350 US Highway 1 in Vero Beach. Summer admission rates are $10 adults, $9 seniors and $5 children ages 3 to 12.  Admission is free for members and children under 3. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The last admission ticket is sold at 4 pm daily.  The Garden is closed Mondays.

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