Self-confessed “veg obsessed” chef, Niki Webster (author of hugely popular cookbooks, Rebel Recipes and Be More Vegan and recently published My Vegan Year) shares her wellness rituals, kitchen essentials and what her most versatile plant-based ingredient is.

My non-negotiable health habit
Exercising – it keeps me sane, de-stresses and makes me feel strong and fit. I struggle to focus if I can’t exercise most days. It doesn’t have to be an intense workout or long run but I benefit from doing something.

My top 5 kitchen essentials

  • My trusted Kenwood food processor. I use it daily. 
  • Storage jars and tubs – a must for storing bulk ingredients and portioning up food from recipe development
  • A good quality sharp knife
  • A large selection of spices and herbs 
  • A well-stocked pantry of pulses, tin tomatoes, grains – then you can always make a tasty meal 

A recent wellness discovery
Not recent but I think it’s fantastic that people are more aware than ever about the connection between gut health and overall health and well-being. I like to include a wide variety of fresh foods and fermented food in my diet.

A versatile plant-based ingredient everyone should know
Coconut or oat-based Greek-style yoghurt. You can eat it like yoghurt but I think it’s brilliant as an ingredient to make soups, stews and curries ‘creamy’ without adding too much i.e. 1 or 2 tbsp makes a huge difference.

The same goes with deserts or porridge- you just need a little to add lots of delicious creaminess. 

My favourite cosy meal this winter
Earthy puy lentil stew with creamy hummus and toasted sourdough. I love to make a huge batch as it lasts for a week or so and you can use it in lots of ways ie as a stew, toast or jacket potato topper or with veg and greens as a warm salad

My de-stress tool
I have a few but things which always work; a walk in the countryside or just getting out for a quick run. A warm bath always works…Cuddles with my kitten…Listening to BBC sounds podcasts in my kitchen whilst cooking.

My goals for 2021
I have a few goals for 2021. To further help people eat more vegetables and tasty plant-based foods – I have a new cookbook launching on January 6th, Rainbow Bowls, so I hope this will help with that. Plus I have some exciting plans for my blog and channels.

On a personal note I would love to get more involved in causes and charities I feel passionate about.

My Vegan Year out now!