Get a taste of our seasonal Healthy Eating series


We’ve teamed up with naturopath and medical herbalist Paloma Velásquez to produce a series of seasonal Healthy Eating workshops.

The workshops feature vegetables, fruit and foraged ‘weeds’ grown in EcoMatters organic gardens. 

We’re sharing some tips and recipes from the series to help inspire some new ideas for healthy eating in your home.

An easy gluten-free staple

Arepas are made from ground maize and just two other very simple ingredients. They are a staple of Colombian and Venezualan cuisines and once cooked, can be filled with almost anything you fancy.

In our workshops we’ve filled them with chickweed spread, broad bean dip or pumpkin seed pesto, fresh salad and feta. Yum!

In this video, Paloma shows us what to look for in the perfect arepas mixture.

How to make Arepas

You will need the following ingredients:

Measure cornflour into a bowl, then add enough water to create a dough. You are looking for a texture that you can roll into a ball without it sticking to your hands.

You can make these as big or small as you like, but Paloma recommends a flattened disk of dough about the size of your palm. These can be shallow fried in oil for about 5 minutes each side.

Once cooked, eat as they are, or split and fill with your choice of filling(s).

Paloma Chickweed

A nutritious edible ‘weed’

Chickweed is a nutritious edible ‘weed’ which you may well find popping up in your autumn garden.

Also known as Stellaria media, it grows close to the ground in cool places.

Chickweed is packed with vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, potassium and vitamins A, C, B complex and D.

In this video, Paloma introduces us to chickweed and how it can be used.

Learn more about chickweed here.

You can also use chickweed to make a tasty pesto, which is great with arepas! Try this delicious chickweed pesto, kindly shared with us from the website.

Chickweed Pesto

Place all the ingredients in a food processor.

Blend well. Enjoy!
Recipe from
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Our Healthy Eating workshops

Dr. Paloma Velásquez is a Chilean Medical Doctor, registered Naturopath and Medical Herbalist (NMHNZ), and founder of 

She has been working closely with our EcoHub Education and Community Garden Coordinator Meg Liptrot to create the EcoMatters Healthy Eating seasonal series of workshops, using vegetables, fruits and foraged ‘weeds’ from our organic garden.

To learn more about these workshops or to suggest other workshops, please email Meg.