Living next to an Amish community, I’ve witnessed firsthand how food deeply connects them. Their early morning family breakfasts and the way everyone pitches in for big events are inspiring. It’s shown me the beauty of their simple, yet rich food traditions — secrets worth exploring and examining how they underly such a close-knit culture.

Amish family in a field with hay.
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Eat Breakfast Together as a Family

A table full of food.
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Imagine the house waking up before the sun does, the kitchen bustling while the world outside is still quiet. Breakfast in an Amish home isn’t just about eating; it’s the calm before the storm of the day. While some are out milking cows and others are tackling the laundry, there’s always something warming up on the wood stove, filling the house with comforting smells. But the best part? Everyone comes together to share these early moments, creating a bond over simple dishes that sets a solid foundation for the day ahead.

Almost Everything Can Be Canned!

Jars of pickles and tomatoes on a table.
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Canning isn’t just a hobby in the Amish community; it’s a way of life that captures the essence of each season. When gardens are overflowing with cucumbers, strawberries, and more, these goodies get tucked into jars and stowed away in cool cellars. This low-tech, traditional method means even in the heart of winter, families can enjoy the taste of summer’s bounty.

Cooking and Community Go Hand in Hand

A woman is preparing cookies in a kitchen.
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In the Amish tradition, the end of Sunday service, held biweekly in a family’s home, is just the start of a communal gathering. Hosting the service means also preparing a meal, a task that rotates among families to share the effort. This custom knits the community closer, turning each service into a chance to bond over a light lunch, tea, and cookies. It’s a beautiful blend of faith, food, and fellowship, showing how deeply cooking and sharing a meal can connect people.

Teach Traditions to Each Generation

Amish family
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In the Amish community, passing down cooking traditions isn’t about following detailed recipes from a book. It’s about mothers and daughters standing side by side in the kitchen, where a simple index card of ingredients is the only guide. Through hands-on teaching, girls learn not just to cook and bake but to master the techniques and methods by heart.

Pie is Good For Every Occasion

A pie with a lattice pattern on top.
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In the Amish world, pies hold a special place at the heart of cooking, becoming a canvas to celebrate the seasons or creatively use what’s on hand. Whether it’s the fruit of summer or the deep, rich flavors meant for Christmas, pies are a cherished way to share the bounty. Making 8-12 pies a week isn’t out of the ordinary, with the Shoofly pie, a breakfast favorite, often stealing the show.

Grow and Raise Your Own Food

A box of tomatoes.
Grow and Raise Your Own Food. Photo credit: .

An Amish farmers market showcases the essentials: crisp apples, fresh potatoes, eggs, tomatoes, and greens. This is because Amish families grow and raise most of their own food. Their meals directly reflect this, using ingredients straight from their land. It’s a straightforward approach to eating fresh and knowing exactly where your food comes from, ensuring every dish is filled with natural, homegrown goodness.

Nothing Goes to Waste

Sliced bread in a skillet on a stove top.
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The Amish approach to cooking embodies efficiency and respect for resources. When processing a pig, for example, every part is utilized over several days, resulting in an array of dishes from homemade sausage to smoked meat pies and hearty soups enriched with ham. Even the tiniest scraps find a purpose, often turning into cornmeal scrapple, a staple among the Pennsylvania Dutch.

Absolutely Delicious Food Can Be Made From Almost Nothing

Sugar cookies on a wooden cutting board.
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In Amish kitchens, less is often more. A few basic items like flour, butter, and eggs are all it takes to whip up something special, like their famous Sugar Cookies or the wedding treat “nothings” — light, deep-fried pastries sprinkled with sugar.

Keep Food at the Center of Every Important Life Celebration

A table full of Amish kitchen secrets food.
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In Amish communities, large events like weddings and barn raisings bring everyone together, sometimes feeding hundreds. It’s all hands on deck, with neighbors and relatives ready to help whip up massive meals. Imagine tables laden with everything from mashed potatoes and pies to sweet and savory salads, showcasing the abundance at these gatherings. This tradition of sharing a generous spread ensures that food remains a cornerstone of celebration, deepening community ties with every shared meal.

I Live In Amish Country, These 11 Foods Are The Best Part of Their Culture

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Last year, we moved to a rural area in the middle of Amish country. Our Amish neighbors helped us renovate the house, build a detached barn and throughout it all shared food from their garden and gifted us with some of the best Amish home-cooked foods to welcome us into the community. Amish culture is steeped in simplicity, community and a profound connection to the land. These classic Amish foods are some of the most genuinely delicious dishes I’ve ever tasted and will make you appreciate the culture on a whole new level.

See Them Here: I Live In Amish Country, These 11 Foods Are The Best Part of Their Culture

11 High-Fat Foods You Should Actually Be Eating

Avocado on a cutting board with a knife.
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Rethinking dietary fats has shown their indispensable role in health, from supporting hormone function to aiding nutrient absorption. Foods rich in healthy fats, like avocados, dairy, and eggs, not only fuel the body but also enhance fullness and slow carbohydrate digestion. With a shift from fearing fats to understanding their benefits, it’s crucial to focus on unsaturated fats and keep saturated fats within recommended limits. This article will guide you through the nutritious high-fat foods essential for a balanced diet, underscoring the importance of selecting the right types and amounts for optimal health.

See them all here: 11 High-Fat Foods You Should Actually Be Eating

Stop Refrigerating These 15 Foods

A pile of slices of cantaloupe on a table.
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Have you ever stored a tomato in the fridge, only to find it’s lost its juicy charm? You’re not alone. Many of us unknowingly shorten the lifespan and diminish the flavor of certain foods by refrigerating them. We’re shedding light on common kitchen staples that are better off outside the chilly confines of your fridge, explaining why room temperature can sometimes be the better choice for freshness and taste.

See them all here: Stop Refrigerating These 15 Foods

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Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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