It’s hard to believe that Emerson McMaster hasn’t turned 21 yet (he will this year!) but this young foodie’s passion for living a healthy, sustainable and plant-based life shines through his recipes that are equal parts nourishing and delicious – just one look at Emerson’s Instagram feed and website will have you wanting more!
We chatted to Emerson recently about his “fuel good with real food” motto, recipe inspiration and his plans for 2019.
Hi Emerson, thanks for chatting with us! You share all your recipes on your website as well as your Instagram page. Can you tell us when about that a-ha moment that made you realise you had a passion for creating plant-based meals?
The a-ha moment was when I was making recipes that resonated with some nostalgia to my childhood. I have to say that in the early days of my plant-based journey the recipes I was making were not too good. Over time I have developed an instinct with the way flavours, and ingredients work in recipes. To pinpoint the a-ha moment though was when I discovered the wonders of cashews and creating cheesy sauces – revolutionary they are!
Health is obviously a priority for you, and we love your motto “fuel good with real food”. What’s your go-to meal that never fails to refuel you and why?
My go-to nourishing meal is a ramen bowl. It’s versatile, super quick to whip up and after a busy day requires little effort – just veggies thrown in a pot! The broth usually consists of Tamari, miso, coconut aminos and water. Then I’ll add vegetables I have in the fridge that I’ll fry up and stir through some noodles with edamame beans or tofu ‘bakon’. There you go, bonus recipe 😉
Where do you find inspiration and how does this inform your cooking?
The best recipes I have created are often spontaneous and happen by mistake; I love when that happens!. If I find myself lost for ideas I usually turn to my mum’s old cookbook collection and look through cookbooks from chefs like Jamie Oliver or Donna Hay and this often gets the creative juices flowing – I do love veganising old favourites!
There are definitely more people adopting a plant-based diet now than ever before, what advice would you give someone who’s beginning their plant-based food journey?
I would honestly say don’t over think it or try to emulate another person or guru’s diet. Invest in a good greens powder and protein powder, but don’t go purchasing a whole new pantry full of wonder powders, and don’t stress, you’ll be fine!
If you could choose just one, what would be your favourite ingredient to use in your recipes, and can you tell us what recipe we must try?
It would have to be maple syrup – the real maple syrup! I find a way to use it in anything and everything. I recommend trying maple syrup and tamari coated tofu- it’s the best!
We love hearing about how people enjoy their Cocobella. What are your favourite ways to use Cocobella coconut water or yoghurt?
Lately, I’ve been using Cocobella coconut yoghurt in my morning bircher. I’m also a huge granola fan – I used to sell and make granola for cafes. A generous dollop of coconut yoghurt on granola satisfies… ahh *mouth waters*.
A great thing about social media is the people you discover doing great things! Which Instagram accounts are in your top 5 for foodie inspiration?
We’re excited to see what you’ll be up to next! Can you share with us any exciting plans for 2019?
My schedule is already very hectic as I work full time and I’m also completing some marketing and business studies. Although, when I do have spare time, I feel guilty if I know I haven’t used my time wisely or fulfilled my to-do lists on the day or weekend – you won’t see me watching a Harry Potter movie marathon on the weekend!
Saying that I do have some exciting plans for 2019 including travelling to Europe, creating a recipe e-book, working on a brand new website, collaborating with like-minded brands, developing new content and recipes, building a house, turning 21 and more travel!
Thanks for having me Cocobella!
Visit Emerson’s website here.