Award for cooking healthy in an effort to fight racism in Akron

On a recent Saturday afternoon, chicken simmered on the stovetop as three Hispanic moms prepared a traditional meal.

But instead of cooking the chicken in butter, the ladies were trying a new recipe with coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and vegetable oil.

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They used measuring cups to complete the recipe, which cut down on the heavy use of salt or traditional seasonings high in sodium. They also made guacamole, rice, chicken soup, salad and a fresh fruit salad with apples, blueberries, strawberries and more tropical fruits like papayas and mangoes. 

The moms were learning the techniques as part of a program for their children through Proyecto RAICES, a long-standing program in Akron that has been serving Hispanic/Latin youths from ages 4 to 14 since 1998. The program meets on Saturdays for a hot meal and activities including cultural retention programs to keep up their Spanish reading and speaking skills, STEM lessons and arts and crafts.