Zooey Deschanel may have the flu right now, but she still has the energy to talk to Eat This, Not That! about one of her favorite topics: food. And more specifically, snacks!
The 42-year-old actor and musician of New Girl, Elfand She & Him fame is a big foodie, and has actually found the time in between all of her projects, taking care of her two children (son Charlie Wolf, 4, and daughter Elsie Otter, 6, whom she shares with her ex -husband Jacob Pechenik), and dating Property Brothers star Jonathan Scott to help make the food industry healthier, more affordable, and more accessible to everyone. Inspiring, to say the least.
Back in 2014, Deschanel was trying to clean up her own diet while pregnant with Elsie — and found the task to be quite difficult. “I was so struck by how inconvenient, harrowing, and expensive it is to shop for healthy food,” she recalls. “You basically have to have a degree in nutrition, endless resources, the time to go to a farmer’s market, and the [knowledge] at a restaurant to ask where something comes from. That was really frustrating, and I didn’t like the lack of democracy. “
To start tackling these issues, Deschanel co-founded The Farm Project, which encourages people to ask questions about their food and where it comes from. Next, she co-founded Lettuce Grow, a self-sustainable farm stand that helps people grow their own produce in nearly any space. And now, she’s co-founded Merryfield, an easy-to-use app that pays you back for buying healthy products at the grocery store from vetted brands like Califia Farms, Dave’s Killer Bread, Stonyfield Organic, and more.
To use the app, you simply grocery shop like normal, then upload your paper or digital receipt to earn points for every participating brand you’ve purchased. “Merryfield has a strict set of standards for all of our brands so that you know, if you’re buying something that we feature, it’s responsibly made and a better-for-you food,” says Deschanel. “But also, we reward you for doing that — when you earn enough points, you can trade them in for gift cards to retailers like Whole Foods, Target, Starbucks, Amazon, and more.” The app also donates 1% of its revenue to No Kid Hungry.
And yes, there are a bunch of snack brands (like Smart Sweets) that have passed Merryfield’s strict nutritional standards. But when it comes to snack time at Deschanel’s house, what’s on the menu? (Well, besides cough medicine and plenty of fluids at the moment…)
Keep reading to see Zooey Deschanel’s 5 best snacks that she swears by that can fit into your healthy lifestyle, too. And for more, check out how 16 Famous Celebs Make Their Morning Oatmeal.
“I like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, but my daughter likes bananas a lot and my son loves mangoes and pineapple,” says Deschanel. “I always get a lot of fruit and then chop it all up and separate it into giant containers. I leave them out on the table when we eat dinner and we usually just grab one and start eating a bunch of fruit from it.”
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“I like to make my own lemon hummus. I don’t like a lot of garlic, but rather, more of a lemony flavor,” says Deschanel.
Check out the one ingredient you need to make the most authentic hummus.
“The kids love a rice cake with peanut or almond butter and sea salt,” Deschanel says.
For our pick of the best-tasting almond butter on grocery store shelves, see how these 6 popular brands stacked up.
“These are always good because you know what’s in them if you make them yourself,” says Deschanel.
“You can make a protein ball with nut butter, some chia and hemp seeds, and rolled oats. If you like protein powder, you can put that in there and honey and mix it all together to make little balls. You can roll them in cocoa powder or cocoa nibs or unsweetened coconut flakes. You can also put chopped-up dates in there. “
It’s been a minute since Deschanel has laid out a snack spread for guests. “You know, I haven’t had people over in so long. I can’t remember the last time I had people over,” she says. Thanks to the pandemic, a lot of us can say the same…
Still, the star knows what she’d serve for a good time. “I’d probably do hummus and carrots, olives, and Marcona almonds. I love having nuts and seeds out. And then, I eat cheese, so I like a cheese plate, I might do a regular cheese plate and a vegan cheese plate because I have a lot of vegans around. “
Deschanel herself stopped eating meat once she learned more about how it’s made when hosting the show, Your Food’s Roots. “Before the first season I ate meat, and then after the first season, I fully became a vegetarian,” she says.
For more, check out 7 celebs who are still vegan in 2022.