I have another guest blogger with me on the Pantry this week and I'm so thrilled to be able to introduce you to her.
Today we are welcoming Sophie from stunning healthy eating food blog Oat So Delicious to answer some questions and then whip up a batch of cookies for us. I saw them on her blog and couldn't resist!
Hi Sophie and welcome to The Flourishing Pantry! Please tell us all about yourself and give us a little bit of your background.
My name is Sophie, I’m 24 and I’m the recipe creator behind the gluten-free breakfast and baking blog Oat So Delicious.
I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease 3 years ago after getting severely ill in the summer between my 1st & 2nd years of University. Luckily for me I was diagnosed pretty quickly (under 5 months) and I’ve never looked back! Prior to my diagnosis I was very into in healthy eating, so the transition wasn’t too hard for me.
Up until 9 months ago my career was in Fashion. I received my degree in Fashion Design in 2015, and then undertook a fashion internship in London, which led to a job in Fashion PR. After 6 months of commuting from my home in Lincolnshire, I decided to move to London full time. I soon realized the London lifestyle wasn’t really for me and around that time I started blogging to distract myself from my not so happy London life.
In May 2017 I decided to make the scary decision to leave my job and move back in with my parents – after 5 years living away from home it’s been a bit of a lifestyle change! I now work in Digital Marketing/PR and work with bloggers on a daily basis.
Why did you start blogging?
I wasn’t very happy in my job at the time and needed something else to focus on. I loved creating fun & healthy gluten free recipes and experimenting with flavour combinations, so photographing and documenting my food seemed liked a natural transition for me.
I’ve been creative my whole life and even as a child I was forever drawing, making scrapbooks and generally creating. Food photography is just another version of art and luckily I can eat it afterwards!
Why do you think healthy living / eating is important?
Having a rounded healthy lifestyle is very important not just for physical health, but for mental health as well. Balance is how I lead a healthy lifestyle – making sure I go to the gym 2-3 times a week (but if I don’t that’s also ok) and having an 80:20 diet. 80% of the time I eat healthy and 20% I eat more indulgent foods, although I firmly believe traditional ‘bad foods’ are still healthy for the mind!
Any advice for those wanting to eat healthier?
I would focus on what you enjoy eating already and find healthy substitutes or alternatives. You don’t need to be drinking kale juice everyday to have a healthy lifestyle. I love anything with chocolate and peanut butter, so yummy chocolate smoothies and peanut butter truffles are some of the ways I incorporate my favourite flavours into a healthier diet.
To me a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean restricting yourself and eating a low carb diet – it’s about a healthy body, mind and overall wellbeing. As long as I’m exercising regularly, I have no hesitation eating a big stack of pancakes with all the toppings – it’s all about balance!
How do you balance your work and blogging?
I’m very lucky that my job is working with bloggers and brands on a daily basis, so I’m consistently learning about the blogging world even at work. Planning and being organised it the key to having a successful blog when you work full time. I have all my blog posts scheduled days in advance so I’m not rushing on the day, as well as having my daily Instagram photos ready with the caption and hashtags the night before – the Later app is great for organising your Instagram!
What is your favourite recipe from your own blog?
This is a tough one, but my all time favourite recipe is my Chocolate Pumpkin Granola (see the picture above!) as it turns out amazing each time! Using pumpkin puree in the recipe creates the biggest granola clusters, which I sometimes find hard to create with healthier granola.
What is your favourite recipe from The Flourishing Pantry?
Your vegetable spiral tart is simply stunning! I’d love to serve it for a dinner party or a get together with friends - it sounds simple to make and looks so impressive!
Thanks so much Sophie, it's always lovely to get to know a fellow blogger better. Now, let's get in the kitchen to make those amazing cookies...
Serves: Makes 8 giant cookies
1 1/2 cup ground almonds (180g)
1/2 cup GF oat flour (60g)
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (65g)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp almond extract
75g dark chocolate (I used 70%)
freeze dried raspberries
Preheat oven to 180C/365F/gas mark 4 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Mix the dry ingredients for the cookie mixture together in a bowl until fully mixed. In a separate bowl stir together the wet ingredients, making sure there are no lumps.
Pour the wet ingredients in the dry ingredients and mix together. Next you need to take a spoonful of the cookie dough, shaping your cookies into the desired shape. Place the cookies on the baking tray, making sure there’s enough space between each cookie as they will expand quite a bit.
Bake for 12-15mins, then take the tray out of the oven and let them cool completely. While these are baking you can melt your chocolate on the hob – I use the bain-marie technique to avoid the chocolate burning.
Dip the cookies into the melted chocolate once they have cooled, sprinkling the freeze dried raspberries (or other toppings) over the chocolate.
Place in the fridge until the chocolate has set, then enjoy!
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