Home > Wanderlust > ‘Healthy eating needn’t be tasteless, elitist or anxiety-inducing’ – Sophie of Amaranth Journal

‘Healthy eating needn’t be tasteless, elitist or anxiety-inducing’ – Sophie of Amaranth Journal

If one of your new year’s resolutions is to be more mindful of the ingredients you put in your belly, Amaranth Journal is here to help. Existing as a digital platform for creative foodies and people passionate about the nutritional value of the ingredients they use, the new website certainly intrigued us. We had a chat with its creators to find out more…

Tell us about Amaranth Journal…where did it begin and what’s it all about?

Amaranth Journal is the combined effort of three friends, Sophie (food stylist), Monika (dietitian) and James (designer and photographer). It came out of spending long weekends in the countryside, preparing food together, eating and endlessly talking about recipes, photography and nutrition. We feel that now is a particularly exciting time to be involved in food but it has all got a bit confusing and nutritional messages are often misguided and inaccurate. Amaranth is a journal that celebrates healthy ingredients, creative cooking and truthful nutrition. We believe that evidence-based nutrition doesn’t need to be confined to books and needn’t be boring. All food should be enjoyed in balance and whilst we have different tastes and preferences this should not be refined by trends and marketing messages. We want to simplify things again and bring back enjoyment to the kitchen and to the table.

Who’s the food-loving person behind Amaranth Journal?

Sophie: We both love food but I am the one behind the recipes for Amaranth. I create, test and style the recipes, James shoots them and Monika ensures they are nutritionally balanced and is my sounding board for all of my ideas, good and bad.

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What inspired your love of nutrition?

Monika: I grew up eating fruit and vegetables from my parents’ allotment and my dad was evangelical about the medicinal qualities of fresh produce. This sparked my interest and made me want to learn more about nutrition and the science behind it. Degrees in clinical nutrition and dietetics further fuelled my interest and has enabled me to work with a variety of clients and empower them to make healthy choices that cater to their individual needs. I am passionate about helping people make positive changes to their diet whilst not robbing them of the joy of eating.

Tell us about the Amaranth Journal food philosophy and approach to eating?

Monika: With the current wave of health trends and move towards pint-sized green smoothies and turmeric and dates in everything, we feel that healthy eating has become a bit of a minefield and completely confusing. Too many foods have been demonised whilst others have been falsely elevated to superfood status.

Sophie: We want to simplify things, create delicious and healthy recipes, using seasonal and accessible ingredients, alongside evidence-based nutrition articles which separate fact from fiction. Healthy eating needn’t be tasteless, elitist or anxiety-inducing. We are also building an encyclopaedia of ingredients, their uses and nutritional properties. We hope that the ingredient encyclopaedia, along with our nutrition articles and recipes, Amaranth will inspire and empower people to make their own healthy choices.

Who are some of your favourite foodie Instagrammers?

Sophie: Green Kitchen Stories are my number one, closely followed by Anna Jones and Georgina Hayden.

When you’re not creating recipes of your own, which recipe books do you use the most?

Sophie: All of Ottolenghi’s books are in constant rotation in my kitchen. I often use A Change of Appetite by Diana Henry, A Year in My Kitchen by Skye Gyngell and I always have a Nigel Slater book open.

Monika: Plenty by Ottolenghi, The Flavour Thesaurus by Nikki Segnit and I recently bought 26 Grains by Alex Hely-Hutchinson which has given me plenty of ideas of how to use grains more creatively.

You’re based in London; what are your favourite places to eat in your city?

Monika: Wild honey in Soho or any of the Barrafinas for a special occasion. I go to Leila’s in Shoreditch for brunch and head to Sushi Cocoro in Highgate for a quick and healthy takeaway.

Sophie: There are so many good options in London its hard to choose! But three favourites are Dock Kitchen in Ladbroke Grove for a treat, BunBunBun on Kingsland road for fresh and tasty Vietnamese and The Good Egg for delicious shakshuka on a Sunday.

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Fancy a bite?

Try this tasty blood orange and caramelised fennel salad recipe from Amaranth Journal.