Saskia Gregson-Williams (AKA Naturally Sassy) is a dancer and healthy eating guru. She’s all about wholesome, vegan and natural recipes. She’s now added cookbook author to her resume with the launch of the Naturally Sassy book so we thought it was due time to catch up with her and get inside her kitchen (not that we’re snooping or anything).
So, Saskia, take us shopping! What’s on your shopping list?
I normally do bulk shops of pantry staples such as grains, legumes nuts etc, so my weekly shop is always fresh foods! I buy an abundance of green vegetables and root vegetables (sweet potato is a favourite of mine, so I tend to stock up on these). Lots of fresh berries, citrus fruits and more substantial fruits like banana, mango, pineapple, avocado and pear. I also tend to buy a few tubs of hummus, and a jar of tahini (or two!).
Do you have a particular routine for food preparation? Do you do a food-prep Sunday?
Yes, I always do tend to spend an hour on a Sunday prepping for the week ahead. In fact a whole section of my cookbook is devoted to this. I make big batches of overnight oats, salads, grains, roasted veggies and lots of dressings to keep everyday tasting a little different. My main tip when it comes to food prep is to buy a lot of Tupperware!
Which of your staples do you make from scratch and which do you buy?
Depends on how much time I have, honestly! I tend to buy dairy free milks, hummus and tahini from the store – then I make my own nut butters and all my mueslis and granolas.
Do you think it’s important to buy all of your fruit and veg organic? Are there some that should be bought organic and others that are less likely to have harmful pesticides?
For me, making sure the ingredients are unrefined and completely natural is of primary importance. Then I do tend to make sure I purchase a few key foods organically. The ‘dirty dozen’ as most of us know them are the ones I make sure to buy organic as they contain the most pesticides. These are: apples, celery, grapes, nectarines, potatoes, spinach blueberries, cucumbers, lettuce, peaches, strawberries and sweet peppers.
Do you shop for basics at supermarket chains e.g. Waitrose and then head to farmers markets and organic supermarkets and health food stores for your organic-needs?
I wish I had the opportunity to shop from local markets every day but because of my very busy schedule, and demanding kitchen (I do lots of recipe testing!) I order all my ingredients online from Ocado, Buy Wholefoods Online & Amazon!
What’s your shopping routine – one big shop, or a more European-style stance of smaller frequent shops?
I’m much more European, I buy food frequently!
Where do you go for hard-to-find health products?
Planet Organic and Whole Foods Market – I’m also pretty obsessed with goodnessdirect.com
Which superfoods are always in your kitchen?
I always have LOTS of cacao powder! I also love keeping stock of goji berries, chia seeds and pomegranate.
What is your favourite way to get the superfoods in? Smoothies? Bircher Muesli?
I love a smoothie bowl, but I also love experimenting with adding superfood powders into hot drinks like my cacao hot chocolate from my cookbook and my matcha latte.
Has the “superfood” been too hyped up by the industry?
I think it’s brilliant to bring awareness to nutrient dense foods, but eating superfood doesn’t make you ‘healthy’ – it’s a great help, but the basis of a healthy you and a good diet is great nutrition and this starts with what you eat every day – not just the occasional ‘superfood’ powder.
What is your go-to dinner on a busy day when you’re low on groceries?
Carrot fritters from my cookbook – there’s only four essential ingredients, only one of which is fresh, so I always tend to be able to make them! They go down such a treat too.
Do you have a particular focus on portion sizes between dinner, lunch breakfast or do you just eat three equally nourishing meals?
I listen to my body and eat as much as I think it needs. I have a good appetite though, so they’re all pretty hearty and nourishing!
Dinner Party favourites:
Do you prefer a hearty buffet style meal or a sit-down course by course set up?
Sit down course – if I’m cooking I love to make everything look pretty!
What’s your favourite canapé?
My raw pad thai and Mexican Quinoa Parfait from my Naturally Sassy Cookbook make wonderful, wonderful canapés!
Drinks? Superfood cocktails? A crisp white wine? What your favourite?
I don’t drink – so I’m all about a superfood mock-tail! Not as boring as it sounds…
>> For amazing recipes and inspiration – get your copy of Naturally Sassy by Saskia Gregson-Williams (Ebury Press, £16.99)