The Three Sisters Cookbook
In 1994, the Oneida Indian Nation Health Department began a community health effort called the Three Sisters Nutrition Project, to help bring nutrition and exercise to the American Indians of Central New York.
The lifestyle changes that have occurred among Indian people over the past 200 years have contributed to the high incidence of such disabling diseases as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. It is the goal of the Three Sisters Nutrition Project to help our people regain healthy diet and exercise habits by returning to their traditional foods, with the added benefit of current nutrition knowledge, which teaches us how to limit the amounts of fat and salt in our diet.
Modern day agriculturists know it as the genius of the Indians, who interplanted pole beans and squash with corn, using the strength of the sturdy corn stalks to support the twining beans and the shade of the spreading squash vines to trap moisture for the growing crop.
Research has further revealed the additional benefits of this "companion planting." The bacterial colonies on the bean roots capture nitrogen from the air, some of which is released into the soil to nourish the high nitrogen needs of the corn.
To Native Americans, however, the meaning of the Three Sisters runs deep into the physical and spiritual well-being of their people. Known as the "sustainers of life," the Iroquois consider corn, beans and squash to be special gifts from the Creator. The well-being of each crop is believed to be protected by one of the Three Sister Spirits.
Many an Indian legend has been woven around the "Three Sisters" - sisters who would never be apart from one another- sisters who should be planted together, eaten together and celebrated together.
The Three Sisters Cookbook was produced by the Oneida Indian Nation Health Department, with funding from the New York State Department of Health, Division of Nutrition. It is our hope that you will refer to it often when meal planning for your family, so that you may enjoy the benefits of healthy eating.
Information, photos, video or graphics from www.OneidaIndianNation.com may not be republished, uploaded, posted or distributed in any way without the prior approval of Oneida Indian Nation Communications. Permission is for one time use only. Any use of this material must be credited to: Oneida Indian Nation.
Current Condition : Mostly Cloudy