Jessica Mitton is the author of Some Good: Nutritious Newfoundland Dishes, which was a finalist for the 2019 Taste Canada Award. Remarkably, every recipe was gluten-free, dairy-free, and made without refined sugars. Now, Breakwater Books is set to release her follow-up cookbook, Some Good: Sweet Treats, in August 2020. These dessert recipes are gluten and dairy-free as well. Recently, Ms. Mitton agreed to an interview in advance of Sweet Treat’s release. Jessica and her husband Gareth (who is also an author) currently reside in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Jessica, can you recall your first cooking experience, or when you knew that cooking was “your thing” so to speak?
The journey has been a long and winding one! I first developed a real interest in cooking and baking in my teenage years. I even applied and was accepted to a culinary school in PEI and was all set to go there after leaving high school, but I decided to go another route at that time with my studies and went to do a business degree at Memorial University of Newfoundland instead. I guess the path of culinary adventures was still one I was destined to return to as, some thirteen years later, I discovered a passion for creating delicious recipes with a healthy twist.
Was there someone that inspired you to pursue cooking?
As a teenager, a lot of my inspiration came from my family. I grew up in rural Newfoundland, surrounded by a family that loved to enjoy food – from foraging for local and wild foods to preparing and enjoying meals together. My mother and grandmother cooked and baked a lot. I had seen them pour sumptuous meals into our bowls. In the kitchen, they used to fry vegetables with olive oil and whatnot. Mostly, I was intrigued by how the food smelled so good and wondered what brand of cooking oil they were using. I think it could have been the modern equivalent of Gundry MD olive oil. Although I am certain that my family did not purchase the olive oil online like nowadays individuals can do by reading the likes of Gundry MD Olive Oil reviews. However, the oil, as it must be clearly stated, added more flavour to all the food.
Talking about my father and grandfather, they were big outdoorsmen, always hunting for wild game and fishing the pristine rivers of northern Newfoundland. I was very fortunate to grow up surrounded by an abundance of fresh, local foods. When I rediscovered my true passion for cooking and baking, my health was a big determining factor. I had some health issues that got me very interested in nutrition. After studying at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, I went on to continue my studies at the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, where I developed the skills to create meals for healthy living and specific health concerns.
Do you have a favourite “go to” recipe when you entertain, or when guests show up unexpectedly?
I have a couple favourites! When family visits, a go-to is my Battered Baked Cod from my first cookbook, Some Good. I’ll usually serve it with a variety of roasted veggies. Another would be my Warming Homemade Chili, which is featured on my blog, https://www.jessicamitton.com/recipes/warming-homemade-chili. It makes about 6 servings, so it’s good for a group – especially on a cold winter’s day. It’s made in one large saucepan, making it easy to whip together, and it’s great to freeze and break out as a quick meal on the go (or when guests turn up unexpectedly!)
Tell us about your website, jessicamitton.com. Did you start it because you were getting so many requests for your recipes?
I originally started my blog to provide information for nutritional services I used to offer, but it has evolved to now act as a hub for a few things. I have health and wellness articles on my blog, as well as recipes, and articles from my culinary adventures. When my husband and I travel, we always create an itinerary based around the healthy-but-delicious restaurants we want to try and I catalogue these adventures as we go. Folks will also find information about my cookbooks and various services I offer on the site.
Tell us a bit more about your new upcoming cookbook, Some Good: Sweet Treats.
Baking has been a very satisfying experience for me, not only because you get a sweet treat at the end, but because the process of preparing and baking the food can itself be very therapeutic. To see the cookbook come to life is very exciting! It will be published in August 2020 and will provide a variety of different goodies to satisfy your sweet tooth (with a healthy twist)! In Some Good: Sweet Treats you will find decadent chocolate delights, oat-based goodies, muffins, cakes, square, and cookies. These delicious desserts are made in ways that are healthier and more nutritious, made without gluten or dairy, and incorporating healthier ingredients that will make everyone feel Some Good! You can stay up to date regarding the release of Some Good: Sweet Treats by visiting https://www.jessicamitton.com/.
Some Good: Sweet Treats will be released in August 2020 and a launch event will be hosted at Sequoia Trinity in Moncton. Stay tuned to Jessica’s social media pages for more details!
Photo credit: Doug Hanson.
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