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Featured Chef / June 2022

Annika Duden

Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Built From Bones
Golden, Colorado

Annika Duden is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Annika struggled for years with eating disorders until discovering the importance of focusing on her body’s specific dietary and hormonal needs. She now devotes her energies to helping other women learn about and develop their own individualized health protocols.


Tell us about yourself:

My name is Annika, and I’m a women’s health nutritionist specializing in the HTMA (Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis), a cookbook author, and a recipe developer. My goal is to help women return to the way God designed them to eat and live. In a world where diet culture and being skinny is valued over true health and wellness, my purpose is to show women how much more there is to life when we break through the lies and get back to our purpose.

How did you get involved in cooking?

I have always loved cooking and being in the kitchen, but my passion for recipe creation and development started when I saw a need in my community and for my clients to have access to a variety of healthy, diverse, real-food based recipes. I was so tired of having to alter recipes, and make substitutions for low-quality ingredients often called for in recipes that I began taking matters into my own hands. It really started with finding a bunch of my great grandmother’s recipes from Northern Italy and repurposing them into my first cookbook, Med·abolic, and continued to grow from there!

Describe your cooking style:

Real-food only, animal-based with high quality root vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Diverse, and NO rancid oils (like canola, sunflower, rapeseed, cottonseed, vegetable, soy, etc.).

How did you learn about grass-fed meats?

I was actually a vegetarian from 5th-12th grade, purely because I hated factory farming and animal mistreatment so much. Learning about grass-fed, properly-raised meats is the only way I was able to eat meat again. I didn’t realize there was a better way.

The only reason I continue to eat animal products is because of companies like US Wellness Meats, that are doing things differently. For me, coming from a family of hunters, I understand that animal consumption requires a great sacrifice, and is not something to be taken lightly. Detaching ourselves from the process of raising our food, harvesting our food, and the sacrifice required, is a devastating disconnection.

Understanding where my meat comes from and how the animals were raised was a must for me.

What is your favorite recipe featuring grass-fed meat?

Hidden liver meatballs

You’re stranded on a desert island; luckily, you’re stranded with your top 5 ingredients and one must-have kitchen tool:

  1. Grass-fed beef + beef liver
  2. Raw milk
  3. Eggs
  4. Salt
  5. Oranges

Kitchen tool: crockpot

Best cooking secret/tip/piece of advice you’ve learned:

Pre-salt, pre-soak, and pre-marinade as much as possible. Pre-salting meat 24-48 hours before cooking is a game-changer when it comes to flavor.

When it comes to poultry, I never make a whole chicken or a turkey anymore without a 24-hour brine or buttermilk soak. The moisture and depth it adds to the dish is incomparable.

And nothing beats a well-marinated cut of chicken or steak for flavor and tenderness. You can’t go wrong with adequately pre-prepping your food!

What’s your favorite quote/song for culinary inspiration (if any)?

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates

Anything else you want to share?

You don’t have to be afraid of food when you’re eating real, whole foods from high quality animals. There’s nothing scary about food in its natural, properly-raised, properly-prepared state.

Cooking is also one of the best gifts you can give to those around you. In a world where cooking real, delicious food with high quality ingredients has become a lost art of sorts, never underestimate the power of a good meal to bring people together and change the way we look at food for the good.

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Contest runs from June 1 – 12, 2022.

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