Whole Food Nutrition & Culinary Certificate Program | Bastyr University


Whole Food Nutrition & Culinary Certificate Program


Join Bastyr University culinary instructor Fernanda Larson, MS, CN for this six-week program that will teach you the basics of whole-food nutrition and food preparation based on Bastyr’s nutrition degree programs.

This certificate program is ideal for the home cook or personal cook/restaurant sous chef that would like to learn and integrate whole-food nutrition education and preparation skills into their current techniques. No prerequisites required - only a passion to learn how to prepare healthy, whole-food based meals. Minimum age: 16.

Each two-hour class is held on a Saturday for six consecutive weeks. The class dates for 2018 are: February 10, 17, 24, March 3, 10, 17.

By the end of this program, you will have the basic skills needed to shop and prepare nutritious meals with whole foods. This course includes:

  • Basic knife skills including vegetables cuts used in gourmet food preparation
  • Wholesome cooking techniques including blanching, roasting, steaming, and pressure cooking
  • Instruction on how to:
    • Select, store, and cook with healthy oils and fats, organic produce, and healthy animal and plant-based proteins
    • Substitute and complement proteins
    • Make vegetable and bone broths and use them in recipes
    • Source, select, cook and bake with wholesome sweeteners
  • Introduction to fermentation and how to incorporate cultured foods in menus
  • Guide to creating balanced meals

Detailed information on the courses are below.

About the Instructor

Fernanda Larson, MS, CN is adjunct nutrition faculty at Bastyr University California. She received her Master of Science in nutrition from Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington. Her award-winning cooking programs have reached thousands of curious chefs of all ages through her San Diego culinary classes, including programs for the Del Mar School District and e3 Civic High School.

She has been featured in the Del Mar Times, The Coast News, North County Kids Magazine, Red Tricycle San Diego, Mommy’s Guide to San Diego, and L’Chaim Magazine, and on NBC7 San Diego News and Channel 6's Wake Up San Diego program.


General Public: $400
Bastyr Students/Alumni: $375

The certificate program fee includes recipes from each class and a Certificate of Completion once all courses for the certificate are completed.

To register for the program, click here.



Week 1 - Whole Foods Kitchen Fundamentals

  • Understanding "whole foods"
  • Best tools and equipment for a healthy kitchen
  • Healthiest cooking techniques and knife skill basics
  • Select, prepare, and store fresh produce for optimal nutrient retention
  • Salads and the alchemy of dressings: fat/acid/salt/sweet

Week 2 - Creating a Healthy Chef's Pantry

  • Understanding calories, macro, and micro nutrients and nutrient density
  • Reading food labels and what to look for
  • Basics of recipe writing
  • Broth and stocks: how to create nutrient rich bases for soups and healthful broths

Week 3 - Fats, Oils and Whole Grains

  • Understanding fats and oils: different types, nutritional value, and roles in the body
  • Matching healthful fats and oils to their ideal culinary applications
  • Addressing the "complex" truth about grains
  • Identifying different whole grains, their health benefits and functions
  • How to cook whole grains to maximize taste, texture, and digestion

Week 4 - Protein Focus

  • Importance of proteins in the diet and roles in the body and ideal consumptions amounts for healthy individuals
  • Plant-based proteins: best sources and cooking preparations, nutritional density, and comparison to the animal counterparts
  • Animal proteins: clean and ethical sources, techniques, and combinations to enhance digestibility, substitutions
  • Vegan vs. paleo: understanding different approaches and how to live (and cook) in harmony

Week 5 - Liquid Nutrition and Wholesome Sweets

  • Simple and complex carbs, fiber and the basics of blood sugar control
  • Juices & smoothies - differences, applications, recipes and how to navigate health claims
  • Nutrient rich sweeteners: sources, culinary uses and how to select and store
  • Innovating with raw and cold desserts
  • Healthy baking basics: whole grain and gluten free flours, dairy, and eggs substitutions

Week 6 - Creating Balanced Meals

  • Understanding all elements that compose a balanced meal and maximize nutrition
  • Exploring mindfulness in the kitchen, social, and cultural aspects of healthy meals and learning form the healthiest populations
  • Introduction to fermentation, sea vegetables, and raw foods preparations
  • Putting it all together and creating your own vision for a healthy kitchen


Cancellation and Refund Policy

Refunds will be granted with a minimum written notice of 14 days.

Bastyr reserves the right to cancel courses with insufficient enrollment, in which case a full refund will be granted to those registered.

No refunds will be granted for participants once the six-week program has begun. Participants are allowed to make up one missed class during the next scheduled certificate program.