I’ve been worrying a lot about making sure Ohio kids get the nutritious meals they need during this pandemic.
For about 850,000 children in Ohio who receive either free or reduced price meals, school is normally the place they receive a hearty breakfast and lunch. But we all know this year, with the coronavirus pandemic, kids have not been in their physical school building since mid-March. So now, federal money is coming to these students to make up for those missed school day meals.
Mike is announcing this week that the Pandemic — Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) Program card is coming in the mail to families who don’t currently have SNAP or food stamp benefits. It’s a pre-loaded card that represents all those missed school meals that families can use at their local grocery store. For families who do receive SNAP or food stamp benefits, the money will be loaded onto the card they already have.
This all happens automatically. There is no need for families to apply — just take your card and head to your local store to provide your children with the nutritious food they need for their healthy development. If you need more information, go to OhioPEBT.org or call the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services hotline at 1-866-244-0071. I had fun making a public service video with my baseball friends — Mr. Red from the Cincinnati Reds and Slider from the Cleveland Indians — to explain this program!
Many people are continuing to pick up food from the food banks. One of the things that is sometimes in these boxes of food is a can of beans. Some of them, like garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are hard to know how to use. I don’t remember my mother ever serving them. But actually they are very nutritious and good. My daughter-in-law Kali roasts them for a delicious snack for her children. They are tasty and gluten free, and a good way to give the kids a little protein in the middle of the afternoon. A can of them is usually under a dollar.
The other recipe I like to make with garbanzo beans is hummus. It is pretty simple to make with a food processor. It is a combination of garbanzo beans, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and tahini. Tahini is made from sesame seeds, and can be a little pricey — especially if you are not going to use the whole jar. So I have substituted peanut butter for the tahini and it has a delicious flavor. My family likes the hummus dip with traditional pita bread, but it’s also good with other kinds of bread or tortilla chips, or fresh vegetables like celery and carrot strips.
Roasted Garbanzo Beans
Pre-heat oven to 415 degrees.
Drain and rinse 1 can garbanzo beans.
Toss garbanzo beans with 3 tablespoons olive oil and salt (or garlic salt) to taste.
Pour into baking dish.
Cook until golden brown, around 20 to 30 minutes, depending on oven and desired crispiness.
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drain and reserve liquid
2 to 4 tablespoons reserved bean liquid
¼ cup tahini or peanut butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
Add the garbanzo beans, 2 tablespoons of reserved liquid, tahini or peanut butter, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. If needed, add additional liquid to thin out the hummus and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to your taste preference.
Store covered in the refrigerator. Serve with pita or other bread or chips or vegetable strips.
Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, Yellow Springs native and guest columnist.