Q&A with food blogger Harriet Emily Smith
Q. How did you get into blogging?
A. I visited LA last summer, and instantly fell in love with the area. I was really inspired by the whole trip, and discovered a lot of foods I hadn’t tried before. I ate mostly raw and plant-based food there, which was so delicious that I decided to teach myself ways to cook more like that what when I got home. As soon as I returned, I began cooking, and decided to document my experiments by starting a blog. It was just something to do as a bit of fun, but it’s amazing how quickly it transformed and evolved into something that I now do full-time!
Q. What sort of topics do you blog about and why?
A. Well, I originally began focusing on food and sharing the recipes I made. I decided to centre them solely on plant-based cooking, as I found it a more challenging way to invent recipes, and I really enjoyed the creative side of it – as well as making things that were healthy. After a few months I branched out into other foodie areas, like how to make specific things, sharing YouTube demos and writing about my favourite food products. Cooking really helped me to unleash my creative side, so I’ve since begun sharing my other interests on there – namely art and lifestyle. I’ve only just started writing about these areas, but I’m really excited to see where they go. I think it’s important that we express our creativity, so I hope my blog will inspire others to try new things or spend more time doing the things they enjoy.
Q. Where does your interest in healthy food come from?
A. My interest in healthy food is something that stemmed from when I started my blog. When I was first experimenting with different plant-based ingredients, I researched into different foods and their health benefits. The more I read, the more I became interested in being healthy and learning about all of the different ways we can cook with simple, natural foods.
Q. From where do you get the inspo for your healthy recipes?
A. The ingredients I buy mostly inspire me. I like to buy lots of different, less conventional foods, try them, brainstorm what kinds of flavours would pair well with them, and then transform them into a recipe. I’m also really inspired by different cultures and cuisines, so am constantly trying to discover dishes I haven’t heard of before from around the world, and use them as inspiration for creating different combinations of flavours and spices.
Q. What are your fave current foodie trends?
A. With my sweet tooth, I think it has to be the sudden popularity for raw desserts. They’re so different from any other type of sweet treat, and they’re delicious! I’ve noticed more and more recipes for them cropping up online, and I’ve even seen them appearing in cafes and restaurants. I first tried them in LA, so seeing them here instantly gives me flashback to being there – if only I were!
Q. What’s your fave new ingredient to experiment with?
A. I really love baking, so I’m always looking out for different flours to get cooking with. I recently discovered hemp flour and teff flour, so I’m looking forward to using them to create some new recipes such as cakes or cookies.
Q. What’s your fave healthy meal?
A. I grew up in a household that loves curry, so for me it has to be something Indian inspired. I make them most Saturdays for dinner, as they are an easy way to make a meal that’s delicious but still really healthy. You can pack loads of vegetables into them and marinade them with spices to make something that tastes amazing. I love any vegetable curry really – but at the moment I really like tofu makhani.
Q. What’s your favourite cheat treat?
A. Anything to do with chocolate, I just can’t cope without it.
Q. What do you to stay in shape?
A. I really enjoy yoga. Once you find your practice it’s something that can easily become addictive. The first type of yoga I tried was kundalini, and ever since my first class I knew it was the right practice for me. I try to do some every day, and I follow along to Maya Fiennes’ teachings. I am also a huge fan of Tara Stiles, and I’d love to go to one of her Strala classes in New York one day. I discovered her yoga on YouTube, and I practise her yoga videos at home as often as I can. I really love the connection with the breath that you get from her classes, as well as feeling great afterwards.
Q. What’s next for your blog?
A. I’m going to be sharing more of my art and design work, and really transform my blog into something that allows me to explore the depths of my creativity. I’m looking forward to writing about all of my other interests, learning more and enjoying my journey as I go along. I’ll also be continuing to come up with lots of new recipes, and sharing more videos on my YouTube channel. Aside from this, I’m also about to begin filming, alongside Louise Houghton, our first series of the TV show, Inspired Foodie Passionistas, which is on the new lifestyle network VIVE. I will be sharing lots more details about it on the blog soon so watch this space!
Check out Harriet Emily’s blog at harrietemily.com.