Having written many of the food recipes for Hip & Healthy and launched her own E book, Sassy has had such a following she’s set up her own website dedicated to all things foodie. As a professional ballet dancer Sassy’s approach to food is to ensure optimum nutrition to fuel, nourish and energise. Her recipes are all vegan, gluten free, sugar free and wheat free but don’t let that fool you into thinking they’ll be flavourless and bland, they are all full of flavour and incredibly delicious. My favourites are her sweet treats from her gooey chai spiced pumpkin brownies to vegan scones with cashew cream and raspberry jam – just writing these is enough to make me drool and yet they are all full of healthy goodness! Her sweet treats and puddings have become so successful she now stocks exclusive Naturally Sassy products in a few select locations and I’m sure they’ll be expanding rapidly. Excitingly Sassy is also set to launch her cookbook later this year.
26 Grains is transforming breakfast across London with a fresh approach to porridge and bircher muesli. With her exciting mix of flavours, founder; Alexandra Hely-Hutchinson has changed the formerly ‘bland’ oats into a heavenly treat. Alex’s love of porridge is behind this original pop up in Old Street and is setting her sights on conquering London’s breakfast scene with plans to ‘roll out’ more pop ups across the city. 26 Grains speciality is porridge and with a selection of grains available from plain oats to amaranth, buckwheat, spelt and barley amongst others, there is something to suit every taste. Not only are the ingredients all organic and of the highest quality, Alex takes her time to hand roll her oats and allow them to soak overnight to break down the phytic acid of the grain. This helps to ease digestion and to maximise the nutrients – certainly a stark contrast to instant oats! However it is 26 Grains’ toppings that really set them apart from the crowd; from spiced strawberry and coconut yoghurt to blackberry and rosemary, almond butter and roasted seeds make for an indulgent but nourishing breakfast. Having been lucky enough to sample the porridge which Alex cooked up in our little kitchen at work, topped with beautifully stewed plums, coconut yoghurt and pistachios; I can safely say it was the tastiest porridge I have ever tried and would highly recommend!
Rosie behind Gluten Free Rosie is currently training to be a nutritionist and dietician alongside being an avid blogger and supper club host. Her love of food and nutrition which is backed up by her scientific knowledge help to demystify some of the so called healthy foods out there. This makes Rosie’s blogs one of the most informative and interesting and sets her apart from many other health writers. Having been lucky enough to attend one of her supper clubs under Gluten Free Rosie these have undergone a makeover and now along with her boyfriend she runs The Camberwell Kitchen. If you want to attend her supperclubs, you best be quick because they tend to sell out immediately!
Having discovered the healing benefits of coconut oil whilst on a yoga retreat in Goa, Sophie Thompson founder of Sister & Co decided to bring the extra-virgin unrefined oil to the UK market. Along with help from sister Tilda, they’ve recently set up this joint venture. Sourced from Kerala, South India their coconut oil is of the finest, organic quality. Sophie swears by this ancient healer and not only is it her kitchen staple, she uses it as her main skincare product. Having tried and tested their gorgeous pots, I can safely say it is a fabulous all rounder and fantastic as part of an inexpensive beauty regime.
The ‘Yes Chef’ Tess Ward found her love of cooking and healthy eating through recovery from illness by finding natural ways to combat her digestive issues and IBS symptoms. Inspired by her success of using wholesome, natural and healthy foods for well-being, Tess was inspired to train as a chef in cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu and started her brilliant blog. Although her blog revolves around food it is also an interesting mix of recipes, restaurant reviews along with travel and lifestyle making it perfect daily reading. Tess also has a section on her website dedicated to Tailor Made Cooking Programmes (at a cost) so if you have budding chef ambitions, do check these out.
For me, one of the stand out cook books of 2014 was Anna Jones’ ‘A Modern Way to Eat’ which has revolutionised vegetarian food. Trained under Jamie Oliver, Anna brings her knowledge as a chef to combine flavours in a bold and exciting way creating dishes which are deliciously flavoursome. Anna is a cook, stylist and writer and has worked with some of the most famous chefs including Carluccio and Otteolenghi and written for many newspapers and magazines including The Guardian and The Telegraph. ‘A Modern Way to Eat’ was Anna’s first book and after its’ success, I hope she’s busy penning her next!
words by Francesca Londono-Brasington
Image – Naturally Sassy