I have always been fascinated by Greek farmers’ markets. They are like my ‘second skin’ and I find them interesting in any city or village.
As best as I ca remember, back in the ‘90s was my first experience with the farmers’ market or ‘laiki agora’, meaning ‘the market of the people’.
I was excited as a child to pick up food and other stuff with my grandma and return home to cook. I was truly unfamiliar with some ingredients because it was 100% ‘Pontian village’. Farmers’ markets in Greece are a tradition and now it seems like they developing as a trend. In many touristic areas you can find people visiting the heart of Greece, interacting with its food and its producers. It seems that everyone is gaining from that.
And it stills fascinates me, that in each market there is something interesting and new to buy and try. This week for me was chickpea flour. I love chickpeas. It’s a great ingredient to replace meat. With the appropriate herbs and spices you can make almost everything! They are rich in micronutrients like magnesium, calcium, and iron and provides you with some protein and lots of fiber. In developing countries it is one of the best sources of protein. As a plant is “good for the environment” because it needs little water and nutrients. Actually in Greece it is traditional to cultivate it from the ancient times in poor soils with little water.
Usually I boil them and make veggie burgers with lots of herbs combined. But chickpea flour is perfect for breakfast. Rich in protein and micronutrients gives you a great start. Pancakes with a twist! Use 1 ripe banana, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon chickpea flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cocoa. For serving: honey or maple syrup, fresh bee pollen, nuts, fresh fruits! Start your day with something new! Don’t be afraid to taste new things! Investigate the world around you, whether you are in a new place or not. Next to you, you may find something innovative!
* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.
Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Botany-Biology.