by Seija Rankin | Wed., Oct. 25, 2017 7:00 AM
Sarah Michelle Gellar knows that you're hungry—and she's here to help.
The actress is doling out her much sought-after advice while holding court in a luxurious suite high above the hustle and bustle of one of Hollywood's busiest intersections. We're here to talk about her expertise in all things food and home, thanks to her partnership with the new Capital One Savor card, and just generally being, well, goals.
The former Buffy star is looked to now by her legions of adoring fans (and her Instagram followers who may not have even been of television-watching age when the iconic show aired on the WB) as a good food guru, someone who can dish her tips to the rest of us who are just trying to not have a Pinterest fail.
But interestingly, a large part of her self-titled second act in life is far less glamorous than the rest: She's the co-founder of Foodstirs, a line of baking mixes that is now sold in over 8,000 stores and make no mistake, it is a start-up. She's knee-deep in the entrepreneurial lifestyle and it's one that requires its fair share of elbow grease.
"It's really a startup," Gellar cautioned. "I mean I change the towels in the bathroom and I am the one who shops for paper towels and does the coffee run. But I also do the strategy and anything else—you name it."
She's also embracing the new opportunities that come with stepping away from the TV cameras and pouring yourself wholeheartedly into a new field, citing the challenge of trying something that (was) completely foreign to her.
"I like being able to utilize my platform—and my brain—for other things," she said. "And being able to impact my audience differently and rewriting the book on the way things are done."
One of the most exciting parts of being a company co-founder, a CEO, a business badass, has been learning about all those industries that used to be just a buzz word (you know, like the supply chain). Gellar made sure to point out that seeing where her food is actually coming from has been life-changing, which of course begs the question as to whether she's become a stickler for all things organic and home-grown in her personal life. The answer is...kind of.
"I live in Los Angeles, which is not the best place to grow anything," she laughs. "It's been frustrating, I've been trying constantly. I'd love to have a farm and a place where I can really get in there, but it's not really realistic in the canyons of Los Angeles."
And as she continues, it becomes evident that she was actually just being modest and that she's as good in the garden as she is in the kitchen: "We do have some good orange groves, I have a lemon tree, my avocados do well, there are herbs and we had tomatoes one year that did really well."
So, yes, Sarah Michelle Gellar has a knack for this.
She has a knack for helping the laypeople get started in their foodie journey, too. The first step in becoming a foodie, according to Sarah Michelle Gellar, is throwing out the term foodie—she eschews its often snobby connotation. The next step is to throw out any expectations and subsequent guilt. It's all about enjoying the food, she says, so if you want to sign up for a meal delivery service and present it to your friends and family as a gourmet meal, so be it: "It's all about the connections that happen around meals that I think is the most important."
Easy enough, right? After that you simply find your passion. If you're obsessed with pasta, learn a few pasta dishes. And for the people whose knowledge of an ingredient doesn't extend far beyond Sriracha or who keep sweaters in their stove, Gellar points out that everything you need is right where you're not looking.
"I always talk about how people think organic is just a really expensive way to eat, but it's not," she says. "Frozen vegetables are one of the best ways to keep nutrients in your vegetables, for example—you can even microwave. Go get frozen organic peas, broccoli in any major grocery store. Even Target."
Melissa Hebeler / E! Illustration
As all her fans know, Gellar is the mother two adorable children (Charlotte, 8, and Rocky, 5) with her husband, former co-star and teen-hunk-turned-silver-fox Freddie Prinze Jr.It's easy to see the former Buffy as the cool mom—and after having seen her up close and personal it can be confirmed that she is—but the parents have also laid down some strict ground rules that anyone looking to channel a little of the Sarah Michelle magic can follow. It starts with training mini foodies.
"I'm a big believer that if you want kids to really be adventurous you have to serve them that," she says. "Our thing is we all sit down at a table at least three times a week, sometimes more if we can, and there is one meal that is served and everybody eats that one meal. Let's be honest, I am not going to eat boxed macaroni."
The actress points out that she makes her kids part of the process, whether it's taking them to the grocery store and giving them a list or going to the farmers market (if that's available where you live) and asking them to pick out the best tomato.
This strict-but-sanity-saving tactic becomes very important during this time of year. Gellar's Halloween strategy is one that others will probably want to copy: She does a big baking day where the kids get to help make fun festive treats (she recommends the Little Monsters) and she'll also pick out some fancy chocolate. Then after the kids go trick-or-treating they get to pick out a few pieces of the standard candy (it's here that she very democratically stated that she didn't want to bash any candy brands, so we'll fill in the blank for her: Milky Ways, Sugar Daddy's, Reese's...you name it) to add to their fancier (and less artificial) loot and they send the rest of the Halloween haul to the troops.
"We just tell them, look, this is what it's made of," she explains. "So here's your option: Would you like a beautiful piece of handmade Swiss chocolate or a Foodstirs baked good, or would you like a [insert candy brand here]? We've managed to teach them to appreciate it."
It's not all serious business, though. We pried to find out what one recipe Gellar is loving right now and it was something totally unexpected. Breakfast for dinner.
"I'm on a crazy pancake kick right now," she exclaims. "This weekend I did pancake donuts, with the Foodstirs mix and put it in a donut pan and bake them. It's great because as parents you can walk away instead of having to flip them. Then I made a yogurt drizzle as the frosting."
And Sarah Michelle Gellar is human, so she has vices she can't quit the way she can Halloween candy. "I am an equal opportunity caffeine offender," she says. "I'll make it myself, I love my Philz Coffee, I love Starbucks. All of the above. How great is a mint mojito Philz on a day like this?"
[Pause to run out to our local Philz immediately].
Even more important than coffee is taking time to recharge—it's the thing she'll recommend to anyone running a family (or just their life) above all else (yes, even organic broccoli).
"We pay more attention to our smart devices than our bodies," she cautions. "We know when our battery gets low on a device to plug it in, but we don't treat our bodies the same way. To me food is that recharge and that's what our bodies need."
Food and a good long airplane ride to herself. Her personal prescription is putting her feet up, donning her self-proclaimed "hideous" compression socks, and reading a book for five hours uninterrupted. There's even a hack for that.
"I pretend the Internet is broken on my plane," she confesses. "So that I don't have to return emails. I tell my husband that if anything happens to the kids, it's really on, but to anyone else the Internet didn't work on the plane. It's funny how often I get those old planes!"
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