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Featured Foodie: Kate Bradley - Kenkō Kitchen

What are your ‘non-negotiables’ when it comes to diet & lifestyle?


After being diagnosed with coeliac disease earlier this year and being lactose intolerant these are now my biggest non-negotiables. I used eat gluten on occasions before this diagnosis but after being hospitalised for a week with a completely depleted immune system I now extremely strict and conscious of what I eat and put on my body. Even today I realised my lip balm was made with wheat oil so had to pass it on! I also try and say no to supermarkets as much as I can, sticking to independent stores, farmers markets and growing as much as I can myself - we have over 100 fruit trees on my small suburban property, vegetables everywhere, nuts growing, herbs and various teas! If we can try and grow it ourselves, we will. On top of this I have to move my body every single day, whether its swimming, going to the gym, a light jog or bike ride and every morning is meditation and oil pulling for 10 minutes, no getting out of it!


Eggplant-Chips_banner{image - Za’atar Eggplant Chips with Artichoke Cashew Hummus}

When & how did you first begin cooking?
I first started really getting into cooking in high school. I wanted to be able to make people happy with food the way my grandma and mum did. They had such a touch! They would put down food on the table and you could just watch everyones face light up and feel so many emotions as they took a bite. It was incredible. I can still remember all my grandmas signature dishes and how they tasted and made me feel. That is something special! After watching my mum every night in the kitchen and then writing down all my nanna’s recipes I started trying to recreate what they made by myself. I would teach myself how to make stir frys, pasta dishes, soups, currys and all kinds of baking. If I saw a chef make something on TV, I would have to give it ago. All to recreate those emotions people felt when they tried it!

When did you realise how much you loved it?
I first realised I loved it when I realised I couldn’t go a day without getting in the kitchen and making something. I must have been 14 or 15 and everyday after school I would have to either cook dinner or bake something. I would wake up thinking about food and would go to bed dreaming of food. It was my stress relief and it was my meditation without me even knowing. During the hard months at school and uni my mum would always force me to have study breaks and get in the kitchen to make something. If I had a bad day or felt stressed it was just my instinct to get in the kitchen. I could go into another world where nothing else mattered. After break ups or fights with friends I would be crying and baking. When I was happy I would be making a mess and inventing. No matter how I may feel on a certain day it is apart of me and I couldn’t imagine life any other way.

Sticky-Date-Pudding_banner{image - Sticky Date Puddings with Lucuma Salted Caramel Sauce}

What inspired you to start doing what you do?  How has your website developed and what have been some milestones for you?
I first started struggling with my weight and dealing with depression in high school. I was always tired, getting migraines and I just knew I didn’t feel like the other girls my age. I first started getting into healthier eating later in high school to try and combat this and even though my mum had always had us eating awesome healthy foods I was also young and had rubbish.

When I was 22 and still dealing with my insecurities and depression I decided I would completely give up sugar, dairy and gluten. This is when I started by website just as a way to share these recipes that I had loved in the past and grown up knowing with a healthy twist. I wanted to be able to inspire young people to eat more healthy and pay more attention to what they ate. Saying this, I never thought it would be viewed by anyone but my friends and family but soon I had followers from right around the world. It was crazy! After three months of having my website live I was approached by my publishers Hardie Grant who asked me to make them a proposal for a cookbook. Three months later and I was signing a contract, another three months later and I was handing over all the recipes and photographs for the proposed book to them. One year later and my book is on shelves around Australia and the USA and soon to be UK and the world.

I still can’t quite come to terms with any of it. I just wanted to make people happy and I want them to understand the power of food. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t have to just involve lettuce on a plate and it doesn’t have to be costly. We need to pay attention to what goes on our plates and into our bodies. Our bodies love us and we need to love them back. Food is so cool and cooking it yourself is even better!

What do you love about living in Melbourne? Are there any restaurants, cafes, stores you visit for inspiration?
Melbourne is a complete health hub. I feel really lucky to live here. I love that I have such easy access to so many many inspiring and beautiful foods. I will always head north side to shop at Terra Madre and Ceres market to get my groceries - and at the same time I always pop into Shoku Iku for a smoothie and a kombucha on the go. I love the fact we have so many farmers markets and so many more young people that are really starting to become more health and eco conscious. Being healthy isn't just about being “cool” anymore, it’s real and people are really starting to make positive conscious changes. I love being a part of this movement. There are also so many awesome young farmers, makers and growers. Pat Drapac from Pat’s Veg, like seriously, what a legend. He is younger than me and has his own store and goes to markets selling the best fermented veg I’ve ever tried. Lentil and Matt from Grown and Gathered are also so young and have their own farm and sell beautiful seasonal vege boxes to the public each week! It’s just so amazing!!!

{image - Brown Rice, Mung Bean & Mulberry Pilaf}


When did you first become aware of Loving Earth?
I first became aware of Loving Earth when I was about 21 years old (three years ago now) and I had just heard about using cacao instead of cocoa in baking. I remember I bought a tin of the cacao drinking chocolate and the cacao and I was completely hooked. I would just longingly look at the Loving Earth selection at my local health food store and every few weeks I would treat myself to trying a new product! It really was special.


What's your favourite way to use our foods?
There isn’t a day that goes by where a Loving Earth product isn’t used in one way or another. I wake up with a glass of lemon water with 1 tsp of Gubinge Powder every single day! The products really just make healthy eating so easy and my pantry is always stocked with the various superfoods and pantry staples such as Cacao, Maca, Lucuma, Gubinge, Yacon Syrup etc. I am obsessed! I am always substituting sugar in recipes for coconut sugar or Yacon, and am always pimping my smoothies with all the superfoods!!

For delicious dose of inspiring wholefood recipes check out Kate's website and while you're at it, take a look at her newly published book.

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