Tamera Mowry Shares the One Kitchen Tool She Cannot Live Without

"Don't be afraid to try new things and make it your own."

a photo of Tamera Mowry
Photo: Mondelēz International Group

You may know her from the '90s sitcom Sister, Sister, the reality show Tia & Tamera or from her stint co-hosting The Real, but Tamera Mowry-Housley is a wife and mom first.

A self-proclaimed foodie with a busy schedule, Mowry-Housley loves all things coffee, breakfast cookies, easy dinners and more. While partnering with belVita, Mowry-Housley curated a prize package for the company's Thrive-Thru @ Home Sweepstakes, which includes an espresso maker, coffee maker and coffee cart (hurry: there's still time to enter and win).

We were excited to sit down with Mowry-Housley and talk about her favorite way to make her coffee—which is when we discovered the surprising ingredient she puts in it. Read on to find out more, plus her tips for getting dinner on the table quickly and her philosophy on eating well.

EatingWell: We saw that the products you selected for the sweepstakes include an espresso maker, coffee maker and coffee cart. So we need to know: what's your favorite way to prepare your coffee?

Mowry-Housley: So I love coffee, but I didn't always. I started [drinking it] once I started dating my husband, no joke. He has so much energy, and we were always moving, traveling, doing something, so that's when I thought, "I need some help!" That's where my love of coffee began. And now that I'm a mother, it gets my day started. Ever since I was younger, I've always liked to share my experiences. And once I became a mom, that magnified. Whatever I felt helped me, inspired me, I wanted others to experience it. I have an espresso machine, I cannot live without it. I just wanted to be able to share that with other moms. Sometimes it's the little things that help make your day and make you feel good in the moment.

How I prepare my coffee: I have learned about different milks and nondairy milks, but sometimes I'll indulge in some dairy even though I'm lactose-intolerant, I'm a foodie! It's all about texture, that creaminess, so I have recently enjoyed goat milk. I was in Ireland shooting a film, and they had goat milk and it tasted amazing. It gave my coffee this creamy, velvety fluffiness. I also love pouring the milk over a spoon into my cup of espresso. For some reason, it lays into your cup; it just looks better, and I like pretty things. And I'll have it with honey.

EatingWell: Do you have any tips for moms trying to get dinner on the table quickly?

Mowry-Housley: What makes an amazing chef to me is someone that can take the ingredients you already have in your pantry or in your refrigerator and make an amazing meal out of it. My advice would be don't be afraid to try new things and make it your own, especially if you are a rule follower and like to follow the recipe. Taste it, and if you want to add a little more cinnamon here or a little more nutmeg here, go for it. Try it. You might make mistakes along the way, but sometimes you have to go through those little mistakes to find something that is awesome.

EatingWell: Is there a recipe or dish in your family that helped spark your love for cooking?

Mowry-Housley: It wasn't necessarily a recipe or dish. I mean my mom can cook. Fried chicken, collard greens, fried catfish, I was raised on amazing soul food. But it went further than that; you can feel the love, the excitement and passion for putting those flavors together and making a meal. My mom loves to watch people eat the food she prepared. To me, that lets me know that she put a lot of love in that, and she wants to see if you feel it. That's what I feel we're passing down into our family.

EatingWell: What does "eating well" mean to you?

Mowry-Housley: Intuitively eating. That's what eating well means to me. I feel like every body is different, so I would say you have to intuitively know what that connection is from food to body and mind. There are certain foods that you can eat that make you feel so sluggish, but someone else can handle it. It can mean eating balanced, some people can't just eat "clean," or they can't even afford to eat clean—that's where I really want to have a conversation. We should all be able to afford really good food, but if you don't have access to that, let's make sure you're balancing your meals so that you can feel good and thrive. Everyone on this planet deserves that right. Food is fuel, and we are what we eat.

Up next: The 8 Best Budget-Friendly Fruits & Vegetables to Buy in Spring

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