How to Taste Fall in Israel

Chai tea lattes. Warm butternut squash. Freshly baked apples. Cinnamon. Piles of it.

When morning coffee talks switch to afternoon soup dates as you crunch in the colorful leaves on your way home.

And I would be remiss not to mention the seasonal Chobani flavors that are only available at this time (pumpkin spice blended anyone?). I could definitely go for that right now…

Fall.

It’s that brief period of lovely time where the weather is just right; crisp with the perfect combination of breeze and sunlight. You can comfortably wear your infinity scarf and ankle boots but you’d probably stand out in a winter coat.

With Thanksgiving approaching this Thursday, I can’t help being a little fall-sick as I look outside my window in Jerusalem. Although it is slightly cooler now, the characteristic breeze that defines fall seems to be absent. I miss watching the trees sway steadily as leaves descend to the ground.

Fall doesn’t seem to be a thing here.

But who says that has to mean missing out on all the seasonal foods? With a little bit of effort you can bring the best tastes of fall to Israel!

A. Fall in Love With Your Breakfast

To experience the taste of fall first thing in the morning, add some dried cranberries, cinnamon and nuts to your oatmeal!

Boil one cup of water or 1% milk (recommended!). Once the liquid is boiling, stir in 1/2 cup of instant oats. Reduce the heat to a simmer and keep stirring for several minutes until oatmeal is desired consistency.

Mix in a touch of maple syrup or honey and top with fall additions of your choice. Suggestions include:

  • Roasted slivered almonds
  • Pecans
  • Cashews
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Granola
  • Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin spice
  • 65% Dark chocolate
  • Dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, dates and apples that don’t have any added sugar.
  • Fresh fruit such as apples and pears (or both).
    *You can add the fruit in while the oatmeal is simmering for a softer texture or you can put it on top for an extra bit of crunch.

B. An Apple (Cider) a Day 

Okay, just to clarify, you shouldn’t really have one every day (sorry, the saying just fit too well…) but why not have a light dinner at home and then go out for apple cider with some friends? It will save you the extra calories that you would have had eating dinner (or ice cream…) out, plus you can still be a part of the Monday night social scene. Win-win? I think so.

image
Apple cider with fresh apples, cranberries and a cinnamon stick from Fresh Coffee and Kitchen in Jerusalem

Enjoy your classy apple juice! And leave out the kindergarten this time.

C. Orange You Glad for Marak Catom?

Imagine a delicious blend of carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin and other orange vegetables with the perfect amount of spice and just the right consistency.

See it?
Now imagine that it’s on every menu, available in practically every restaurant.

Marak Catom as it’s called in Israel is exactly that. Each restaurant has a slightly different version of this delicacy, but, somehow, each one turns out delicious. Soups here usually come with bread, which is a great thing (if you ask for whole wheat, that is 🙂 ). This soup in particular is super filling. I love it for lunch or even for a light dinner along with a high protein snack.

D. How could you Chai without Chai?

Chai tea lattes might just be my favorite drink ever.

There’s something about walking out of Starbucks with a warm mug of goodness that makes the morning so much better.

Except this is a health food blog. And Starbucks is anything but natural. So scratch that.
Here’s how to make your own chai tea latte. It will save you the extra money, chemicals, and calories.

  1. Steep your favorite chai tea in hot water for at least five minutes. You can use a regular tea bag or loose leaf tea leaves in an infuser. The tea should be extra strong for it to have the richest chai flavor.
  2. Once tea is desired strength, add in one teaspoon of maple syrup if desired. Mix until dissolved.
  3.  Pour in some 1% milk or unsweetened almond milk and stir.
  4. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Enjoy with some dark chocolate or banana bread.

I hope you fall in love with all these suggestions! (Pun intended).

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

DISCLAIMER – Yes, I am well aware of the cheesiness of the subtitles 😉

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