This month we have chosen Kate, who blogs amazing vegetable based recipes at Veggie Desserts, as our Blog of the Month.
What inspired you to start your blog?
I had a keen interest in healthy eating and fresh foods instilled in me since I was small and I’ve tried to pass that on to my own children. Coming up to my son’s first birthday, I was worried about feeding him cake, but I also didn’t want him to miss out. I had been so careful that he only ate healthy fresh food, mainly vegetables, so I started to look into healthier alternatives. The result was a beetroot chocolate cake with avocado icing. It was low in sugar and high in vegetables. It went down well and the experiments haven’t stopped since. After much interest in my recipes from friends and relatives, I started the blog.
Has your content changed much since you started? if so, how?
My vegetable cakes have perhaps become more experimental. What started as Butternut Squash and Chocolate cake has become Barbecued Celeriac and Apple Cake with Apple Ice Cream and Salted Bourbon Caramel. I’ve also started to expand into some vegetable-heavy breakfasts and meals. Even though my desserts are usually lower in fat and sugar, we don’t want to be eating them every day in order for me to blog!
What have your learned since starting your blog?
I’ve learned a lot more about social media. Subsequently, after being made redundant, I’ve studied digital marketing and I now do it for my job. Redundancy can leave you feeling very low, regardless of the reasons, but I’ve learned that I can merge a love of cooking, photography and writing into something that is becoming successful.
What has surprised you about blogging?
The community spirit. I’ve ‘met’ so many lovely and supportive fellow bloggers. I would have thought that blogging was an isolated activity, but the willingness to share knowledge, provide encouragement and grow friendships has been absolutely heart-warming.
How do you balance blogging and real life?
With difficulty! My children are small and I don’t want to spend all my time blogging instead of enjoying them. Blogging can take up a lot of time, but I’ve found that one or two posts a week is what I can handle.
What’s the best thing about writing your blog? And the worst?
I love dreaming up new weird and wonderful recipes and challenging myself to create a dessert with an unusual vegetable. I love tinkering in the kitchen, I love writing up the posts and I love taking pictures of my creations and slowly learning how to do it better.
I also get a real buzz from from all of the little successes: a recipe being posted by a major magazine, an interview in a newspaper, a blog award. It is wonderful when readers tell me how they’ve enjoyed my recipes. I love that!
Because of the experimental nature of my recipes, the worst part is when I try again and again to perfect a particular recipe and I just can’t get it to work!
What advice would you give someone starting a foodie blog now?
I would tell them to read as many food blogs as they can and to learn from them. Then just get started. Also, be certain about your name. You may only want to write about something specific now, but that could change. And make sure you can get it on all social platforms.
Has blogging brought you any amazing opportunities or experiences?
I’ve been blogging for two years and I can’t believe I’ve had so many opportunities. Writing a blog about desserts with vegetables is quite niche, but it has also been great for press. I’ve been interviewed in magazines like Top Sante, Fabulous (the Sun), The Telegraph, The Guardian, plus had recipes everywhere from Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire to Good Housekeeping and Grazia, among many others. Being one of the year’s top bloggers for Top Sante Magazine was amazing. I loved getting primped and preened in London for the photoshoot!
I’ve also been Jamie Oliver’s Food Blog of the Month and won best food blog at the inaugural UK National Blog Awards. I’ve been up for some other awards and I’m so thankful for all the amazing acknowledgement that my bizarre recipes have received!
I’ve now been asked to teach a class at the renowned vegetarian/vegan cookery school, Demuth’s. I’ve also had the chance to work with some amazing brands in order to monetise my site, plus I have a literary agent and I have big dreams of writing a cookbook. I’m excited to see what future opportunities arise.
Which have been your most popular posts?
My most popular post has been Kale and Apple Cake with Apple Icing. It’s green, it’s delicious and it’s full of superfood-of-the-moment, kale. It’s followed by Cucumber and Lemon Cake with Elderflower Icing, then Stinging Nettle and Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttercream and Blackberries. I think it’s safe to say that people like naturally green cakes! Once readers realise that you can’t taste the vegetables in my desserts, they get quite excited to experiment.
And which are your personal favourites?
I love the Cauliflower and Chocolate Ice Lollies with Pistachio Dust. They’re completely dairy-free as the base is pureed cauliflower. You can’t taste the cauliflower at all and it’s a great way to eat a portion of veg. Speaking of cauliflower, I also loved the Cauliflower and Banana Bundt Cake with Cinnamon Glaze. Bundt cakes are beautifully retro. I am also proud of my roast dinner waste cake – it’s a Carrot and Parsnip Cake with delicate spices, made using the peelings from a roast dinner.
How does it feel to be chosen as Foodies100 blog of the month?
I was absolutely delighted! Thank you so much 🙂