Named as one of the “Most Influential People on the Internet” by Time Magazine, Vani Hari is the intriguing food activist also known as The Food Babe. She’s a hard-liner about creepy, yet often unchallenged, processed food ingredients and all the other weird things we have to deal with at restaurants and the grocery store. We love her for making the unwell oddities of our current food system a bit harder to swallow.
So, what does Vani Hari eat at home? We wanted to know too and asked her to participate in this series with us…
In the Kitchen At Home with The Food Babe, Vani Hari
Always in my fridge: A large variety of fruits and vegetables. I love dark leafy greens for making smoothies and salads. I also keep a lot of berries on hand (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), Artisana raw almond butter, and one ingredient almond milk.
I usually grocery shop… two times a week – I go in person and do delivery for staples.
When not at a grocery store, I’m getting basics from… Thankfully, my husband loves to garden, so we have a huge organic garden at home — we grow everything from goji berries to bok choy. The kids love picking fresh produce and I know it’s reinforced their love of real food.
7 recipe staples always on hand: Steel cut oats, Tolerant lentil pasta, my own brand, Truvani’s protein and collagen powder, extra-virgin olive oil, Thrive Market balsamic vinegar, pastured butter, Food For Life sprouted grain bread.
Best label-reading tips: The best advice I can give anyone trying to get healthier and to learn more about their food is to start reading ingredient labels and stop looking at the front of packaging for information about the product and it’s health benefits.
I read ingredient labels closely. It’s the best way to know what’s truly in a packaged food and whether it’s good for you. If you don’t know what an ingredient is or how it can affect your health, put it back on the shelf and look for a product made with real food. This is why at my company Truvani, we use ingredients people recognize and staples you would find in your own kitchen in the development of our products.
Best bargain: Organic steel cut oats from Trader Joe’s. I will make this for breakfast most mornings and it is very inexpensive.
Fave veggie + what you make with it: If you know me, you know I love kale. Lately, I’ve been making a smoothie with kale almost every day for lunch. It’s made with kale, celery, cucumber, ginger, lemon juice, green apples, Truvani Plant-Based Vanilla Protein, and Truvani Marine Collagen.
Must-have pantry staples: Nutiva virgin coconut oil, raw local honey, organic steel cut oats (also used for making flour), organic raw nuts (various kinds), organic chickpeas, organic black beans, aluminum-free baking powder, bone broth, organic vanilla extract.
Must-have munchies: Kale chips, popcorn, dried unsweetened cherries are all delicious. I also like to snack on pistachios.. Instead of a snack, I often enjoy a cup of organic herbal tea instead.
Fave condiments: Balsamic vinegar, Wildbrine kimchi, and Primal Kitchen ketchup.
Ingredient that makes everything taste better: Organic pastured butter
Go-to proteins: Truvani Plant Based Protein Powders, wild salmon and other wild fish, pastured chicken or turkey, organic beans.
Sweets and other indulgences: Coconut Bliss Ice Cream, Hu or Alter Eco Chocolate, Truvani The Only Bar, Navitas Organics Goldenberries (these are like nature’s Sour Patch Kids!)
Dairy or non-dairy faves: GT’s CocoYo coconut yogurt is great with fresh berries and homemade granola.
Skip labels that read: Marketing terms on the front of packages like “natural”, “diet”, and “heart healthy” are very persuasive. Food companies know this and use it to their advantage. They are banking on you not bothering to read the ingredients to see what is really in the product.
Favorite splurge: High-quality bakery goods from a local place like Copain
For last minute entertaining: I love making guests mini smoothies for breakfast — especially with unexpected ingredients like ginger. I start with Truvani protein powder, add berries, lemon and a little ginger – it’s so refreshing!
I’ll share my homemade Kale & Artichoke Dip with The Chalkboard later in the season — one of my favorite appetizers to make for a get together or take to a party. You’ll also find this recipe inside my cookbook, Food Babe Kitchen. In the meantime, since I’ve talked so much about my love of kale, here’s my go-to salad recipe.
Food Babe’s Melt In Your Mouth Kale Salad
1 bunch of lacinato or dinosaur kale, stems removed, rinsed and patted dry
⅓ cup currants (or chopped raisins)
juice of one lemon
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp local honey
½ cup pine nuts toasted
salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp grated raw parmesan cheese
In a food processor, process kale into small chopped pieces.
To make dressing, stir lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper together in a large bowl.
Add chopped kale, currants, pine nuts and parmesan to the bowl with the dressing.
Stir all ingredients together and serve. (Optional – Save some pine nuts and/or parmesan cheese for top of salad before serving for presentation purposes)