SB: This is the absolute number one message that I’d like readers to understand. Things have changed so much in last decade – there used to be such a stigma of blandness attached to vegetarian food. I became a veggie when I was 16, but not a good veggie – I was all about bread instead of meat! It was when I started working on an organic farm and understood more about where food came from and realised the positive changes I could make, how interesting vegetarian food could be. Plus I started feeling wonderful!
OB: Your ‘Life-changing Loaf of Bread’ got reposted around the world – are there any other recipes of yours that have caused such a stir?
SB: Yes, it was incredible, I had a good readership before the ‘Life-changing Loaf of Bread’, but it exploded after that. A couple recipes that people seem to love are my Raw Brownies and Raw Cashew Dream Cake, which is like a cheesecake but with cashews. I think it’s because they’re convincingly rich and satisfying – not a poor replacement of the ‘original’ version.
OB: What’s your best tip that you give to your audience at cookery events?
SB: These events are one of the most fun things I do, I feel like going out in the world and meeting people is my reward for the work I do at home, when I’m by myself most of the time. It gives me energy to keep up with the blog, plus I love teaching – I used to be a school teacher. But that’s an aside!
A brilliant tip that goes down well is peeling ginger with the tip of a spoon. You simply scrape at the skin and it comes right off. This way you can get into the nooks and crannies and don’t waste as much. Also, as with lots of vegetables, the nutrients are in highest concentrations in the skin and just below it, so you retain more with this method.
OB: You mention on your site that you make little positive changes every day, it’s a lovely approach, but do you think some people need to make more drastic changes?
SB: Well, yes I think they do! If someone’s acutely ill, usually a more dramatic change is needed to make an impact. However, you’re right, that’s not my usual style! I like to do things gently. Changing to a healthier lifestyle is a process, and I find that extreme changes lead to disappointment. It’s better if the process is enjoyable and fun. When it comes to my own way of eating I’ve been working on it for years and I’m still going, it’s a continuous progression!
OB: What did you learn from your experience of working in a commercial kitchen that you use for your recipe development, blog or events?
SB: Well, I don’t really miss it! Rather than technical skills, I think what I learnt was to be more organised, patient, calm and centred.
What I do now, with my work on the blog, reaching 500k to 1 million people, I feel more fulfilled, like I can shift more perspectives. My energy is so much better placed to do the blog, it’s such a creative outlet, from thinking of the ideas, growing food, shopping, cooking, photographing, researching nutrition. It’s all so fun and nourishes every bit of me.
OB: What’s your favourite superfood and how do you use it?
SB: Organic Burst Spirulina is the freshest that I’ve ever tried. I don’t mind eating it on its own, I find it incredibly balancing and notice that it just makes me feel really good! Even my 14-month-old baby loves it; I started giving him spirulina at 12 months. I tend to add it into spreads, smoothies, truffles, brownies, oats – all over the place really! If I want something sweet, I’ll open a date and stuff it with some spirulina and cacao nibs, it’s so good for keeping energy levels more balanced.
OB: Your top 3 food saviours?
SB: The 3 foods I couldn’t live without are avocado, sweet potato and lemons.
OB: Your top 3 food devils (to avoid)?
SB: I’m a firm believer in not having a hit list, if you really want something, food is about pleasure. Making food forbidden and attributing feelings of guilt or reward around food is not helpful. I recommend that you identify what’s an indulgence, have it occasionally and enjoy with consciousness.