When I was in France, I experimented with a whole slew of root vegetables. Turnips, celeriac, parsnips, black radishes — you name it, I roasted it.
As a little girl, France meant 1 thing: Paris. Outside of glowing images of the Eiffel Tower, bustling bistros, and baguette, I’ll admit I knew very little. My horizons were broadened once I began studying French in school and even more so when I spent a semester at the Sorbonne. But only since packing my bags and moving back here after graduation have I truly been able to look beyond the city of lights to the other regions of metropolitan France, each of which boasts a unique character — a “claim to fame,” so to speak.
Hello, friends! For anyone new, “Lately on Instagram” is a series where I summarize what’s been happening in my kitchen lately, with posts revolving around larger themes such as meal prep, summer flavors, or high-vibrational foods. Today, it’s all about introducing new, french ingredients into my kitchen.
However much I’ve tried to deny it, winter is officially in full swing here in France. The temperatures are dropping, Christmas lights are turned on, and the winter coat is making its debut. Sounds wonderful and charming, right? Well, not entirely.
The first time I noticed persimmons I was navigating through an over-crowded outdoor market in Sète on the last day of my late-October vacation. Signs of the off-season were everywhere: windows with navy blue shutters intact, boats docked, and sails wrapped securely around the boom with thick white rope. It was a time when the breeze off the sea held the promise of a slight chill and the south of France should, in theory, have been slowing down. But the market was as alive as ever.
I’m always down to eat garbanzo beans in any form, whether they be roasted, tossed in salads, out of the can, or, my personal favorite, in hummus form. Because it pairs well with pretty much everything (carrots, crackers, sandwiches, celery, etc.) hummus has earned its prestigious spot as one of my go-to snacks. My favorite brand is the classic Sabra variety, but I thought I would switch it up a little and make some from scratch. If my food explorations this summer have taught me anything, it is that the simplicity of homemade foods is always better than anything you can buy at the store, so whenever I have the time, I always try and avoid the supermarket shelves and head to the kitchen instead. Get your taste buds ready, folks, this is a good one.
All you need is 1 can of drained and rinsed garbanzo beans, 6 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of tahini, 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2.5 teaspoons of olive oil. If you’re not a tahini person, that’s okay! There are lots of recipes without tahini that are just as delicious.
Just whip up all the ingredients in the blender and voila! A perfect summer snack full of antioxidants, fiber, and protein.
I’ve also been taking full advantage of the vending machine on my floor conveniently situated about 10 seconds walking distance from my desk. Latest discoveries? Dry roasted edmamae, kale chips, and Vita Coco coconut water. Sometimes in that order.
Whenever I eat soy products (which is not very often), I always choose brands, such as Seapoint Farms, that use non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) soybeans. This way, the products retain their naturally-occurring levels of healthy lsoflavones.
Kale is a superfood. Chia seeds are a superfood. Put them together and you get an extra super duper food. I’m into that. itskale chips use organic, gluten-free ingredients and are baked in extra virgin olive oil. There are only 7 real and easy-to-pronounce ingredients, 100 calories in the ENTIRE bag, and tons of flavor. You can’t get much better than that. #snackingheaven
As I get further and further into my half-marathon training, I’m trying to be extra conscious about properly hydrating myself while avoiding the sugar, fake sweeteners, and dyes hiding in many popular energy drinks. Thank goodness for coconut water.
In a Rodale News article about the best coconut waters on the market, author Christine Olley quotes Jonny Forsyth, a global drinks analyst at Mintel (a global data-research-analysis firm based in London) who explains that “coconut water contains naturally high levels of electrolytes, including potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which have made it popular as a sports drink for natural-foods consumers.”
If you try out any of these scrumptious snacks, let me know! I love hearing what you guys think. I mean, who doesn’t love snacking? NO ONE.