The Final Word: Izy Hossack

Successful blogger, author and recent food science and nutrition graduate, Izy Hossack shares the secrets of her fridge and food philosophy.

The Final Word: Izy Hossack
Where's home for you?

I've grown up in West London and have just moved back after living in Leeds for university. The best thing about where I live has to be that I can cycle to the neighbouring boroughs so easily, as I know all the back routes and can ride along the river to meet friends or do my food shop. Most days of the week there's an amazing food market on North End Road near Fulham Broadway where I go for cheap fruit and veg, and to get a falafel wrap to eat whilst shopping. Along the road there are also many Middle Eastern shops, which are great for buying spices and ingredients like tahini.

Tell us how and why you first got into blogging.

I started my blog in the summer of 2011 when I was incredibly bored and thought it would be a fun creative outlet for me. I think it started gaining traction after my photos were regularly being accepted to the food link sharing websites Foodgawker and TasteSpotting. That was about a year after I started the blog, as at first my images were all terrible!

You're a new graduate with the advantage of already having a flourishing career. What's next for you?

I'd like to be able to use my nutrition knowledge for 'good' to stop the perpetuation of food myths and diet culture – I just have to figure out the best way to do that. I'm really keen to start doing small-scale workshops for things like food photography and sourdough bread baking.

Do you feel that your nutrition degree gives you greater credibility now?

Yes, in terms of knowledge about nutrition and food science. But food blogging doesn't necessarily involve talking about those topics, so as a general food blogger I guess I'm not more credible. I have been blogging for seven years though, so I'm definitely experienced!

How would you describe your food philosophy?

I practise intuitive eating, which has meant letting go of food rules, honouring my hunger and thinking of all foods as neutral (not 'good' or 'bad'). I used to restrict myself, would diet, had an awful body image, and felt socially isolated and anxious around 'bad' foods. It was incredibly damaging to my mental and overall health. From studying food science and nutrition I've learnt to relax a lot more around food. I've learnt that a general attitude of enjoying food and having a good balance of all food groups is what keeps me happy. Nutrition is so individual and you have to figure out what's going to work best for you; there's no one-size-fits-all approach. Luckily, I've let go of restriction and I'm now a million times happier in my own body.

Which five ingredients are always in your fridge?

Miso, as it's so good for adding a punch of flavour to savoury (or sweet) dishes. Coriander – I buy big bunches and store them with the cut stems in a jar of water, covered with a sandwich bag over the leaves. It keeps for weeks that way. Oat milk, because I started drinking it at uni to help me cut back my dairy consumption (for environmental reasons) and I haven't stopped. It's great for coffee and tea as well as baking. Maple syrup – I'm an absolute pancake fiend so I always have maple syrup on hand! It can go mouldy if you don't store it in the fridge. Finally, eggs – I'm always baking things so for that reason alone I keep eggs on hand at all times. They also make quick, filling dinners.

What's your favourite foodie treat?

I make some banging chocolate chip cookies with super-dark chocolate chopped into large chunks folded in and a sprinkle of salt on top. I always keep cookie dough in the freezer, preballed, so I can bake as I need!

And what do you like to cook for friends?

I'm kind of obsessed with making fresh pasta at the moment. It's easy to make with just plain flour and a few eggs. I especially like trying to make different shapes like pici (long, worm-like noodles), or orecchiette (little ears). It is time consuming but if you get your friends in on the making, it's actually a pretty fun group activity and you can just chat away as you shape.
• Follow Izy's blog at topwithcinnamon.com. She is an ambassador for British Lion Eggs and their #EggsMyWay campaign. Visit eggrecipes.co.uk to find vegetarian egg recipes and more about the nutritional benefits of eggs.

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