It’s funny how most of us were such fussy eaters as children and were so picky with what we ate. If one thing we can thank adulting for, it’s our evolved eating habits. We love to see the world transition towards healthy choices and that’s our sheer motivation to keep introducing you to the good humans who are making a difference.
The food blog Hazel & Cacao by Talida is something that we often turn to when we’re in the mood for some delicious desserts and don’t want to feel guilty about it after. Chef Talida, transitioned from literally being a food ‘hater’ to making such delicious and healthy recipes. Talida had quite a story to tell and we’d love to share it with you. A little dose of good inspiration is all you need for the week!
1. Tell us about your journey as a chef and what inspired you to embark on it.
I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a chef. I grew up a very fussy eater that barely ate and generally hated food. When my health took a turn for the worst and conventional medical treatments not only failed me but made me worse, my only choice was to turn to diet and lifestyle to get me better. I was so surprised at how quickly I started to improve once I started eating better that I became incredibly passionate about nutrition and eating and cooking. I started experimenting with lots of different recipes and I loved it so much, I started a blog.
2. Define your cooking style in three words.
Plant-based. Nutrient-dense. Chocolate
Recipe: Vegan no bake chocolate mousse cake
3. Who is that one celebrity or person that you’d love to cook and share a meal for and why?
That is a complicated question for me because I do not follow any celebrities on mainstream media at all and I also get really nervous cooking for people and I feel like cooking for someone I look up to would be terrifying. I have a friend that lives far away and is struggling with an eating disorder right now, I would love to be able to cook for her.
4. What is your advice for beginners with busy schedules but wanting to learn how to make healthy meals and change their diet?
My advice is to take it slow. Slow and sustainable change is always the best. Start with the changes you know are easy for you to make and then work on the harder ones. I also love the idea of looking up ways to make some of your favourite meals healthier by swapping out ingredients or fortifying food with more healthy ingredients. Every family has 10-20 meals that they cook on repeat, work towards building that list of 20 or so healthy recipes that you absolutely love and then you can make sure what you’re eating on a daily basis is nourishing and healthy. This does take time though.
5. What are your favourite three whole foods you should always have in your kitchen?
Potatoes. Berries. Oats
Recipe: Raw vegan coconut pomegranate slice
6. Tell us about a serendipitous moment when you discovered an amazing recipe.
The first thing that comes to mind was the first time I tried an avocado chocolate mousse. It was right at the beginning of my journey when I first started experimenting with healthy desserts. I was so afraid to try it thinking that it would be disgusting, but it was so incredibly delicious I could not stop eating it. I called my mum up straight away and forced her to make the avocado mousse right then and there. I became so excited over the fact that you do not need refined ingredients and processed sugars to make things taste good. It really was one of the pivotal moments that launched me into using whole foods in my cooking and mostly my desserts.
7. What tops the list of your favourite/most popular recipes and why?
My favourite recipes are sometimes not my most popular recipes. My favourite that I seem to want to make all the time is my roasted almond and goji berry chocolate fudge.
8. Any fan reaction that shocked and inspired you to do more of what you are doing? What was it?
One of my fans asked me to add more scientific proof in my health related blog posts.I initially took this as a criticism because I didn’t want to go through all that extra effort, but in the end I took the advice on board and it was the best thing I ever did for my blog and myself. Not only does it help me scan the literature to make sure I am giving accurate information but it has also helped me in my studies as I went back to university this year.
Craving some healthy desserts already? Check out her blog and get ready to be inspired to bake.
Contributing Author: Bhavya Jha