This week for Wonky Meets, I caught up with Firanna, the foodie mastermind behind the sensational Instagram account Nourishing Fir.
Fir is all about sharing nourishing recipes on her journey to healing her immune system, I first came across her account about 2-3 years ago and I instantly fell in love with her beautiful creations and how pretty her feed is! While on her journey she has amassed a whopping 100K followers!
I’m constantly salivating over her posts, whether it is her signature sweet potato wedges or one of her stunning sweet treats, be warned don’t go on her feed with an empty stomach – you may find yourself licking the screen!
Great to chat to you Fir! You have got to be the Queen of plant-based treats, where do you get your inspiration? Thank you so much for having me, Nic! A lot of my recipes, especially the sweet ones, are my personal take on the classics. Brownies, cookie dough, pancakes and all the decadent things that we love! I think a lot of my inspiration comes from wanting to show people how delicious these treats can be using less sugar, more fibrous wholesome ingredients and made accessible to those with gluten or dairy intolerances. I also get so much inspiration from other recipe accounts on Instagram and from YouTube too.
We’re also constantly drooling over your amazing sweet potato wedges, what’s your secret to the perfect batch & what dip should we be teaming them with?!
The secret to my perfect batch of sweet potato wedges is a hot oven, loads of spices and a little olive oil. I brush the sweet potatoes with the oil first so that the herbs and spices stick on easily and it also adds to the crunchiness. Too much oil will make them soggy, so you don’t want that either. For me, the choice of dip totally depends on what I’m craving – but my favourite is some good old sweet chilli sauce! Guac, hummus, hot sauce or even ketchup work too, the possibilities are endless!
If you had to choose one food that you cannot live without, what would it be?
Does coffee count as a food? Haha! Probably oats. I love porridge, and I also use oat flour so much when baking.
You have a whopping 100K Instagram followers, congratulations!! What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Thank you so much! First off, I think I was lucky with timing when I first set up my account three years ago. There were very few food pages in Ireland back then whereas now Instagram seems to be completely oversaturated with both food and fitness accounts, so it’s obviously going to be much more competitive to grow now. My main advice would be to find your style of photography, something that your followers will recognise as your photo before they even see your name. Be creative and unique. I am also a big advocate for quality over quantity – it’s better to post less often with good quality content than to post several meaningless photos per day!
Who has been the biggest inspiration on your cooking journey?
My biggest food inspiration would have to be Deliciously Ella. I followed her journey on my personal Instagram account before I even set up my Nourishing Fir page. Like Ella, I have a chronic illness and I struggle a lot with serious issues affecting my immune system. Plant-based eating completely improved her life and cured her disease, which has always been so inspiring to me and given me hope that I could do it too. We can’t forget the Happy Pear brothers either, can we?
Has moving to a plant-based diet change the way you cook?
In some ways, it has because I rarely would have used foods like chickpeas, lentils or tofu before. At the same time, I still cook a lot of the same recipes as before – such as curries or chilli – but I just replace the meat with some form of plant protein. It’s that easy!
With so many amazing Irish food products entering the market, what is your favourite at the moment?
Oh, there is definitely more than one! I tried Fiona’s Nutterly Nutritious nut butters recently and they were incredible. It’s one of the best nut butter brands I’ve come across… and I’ve tried many! I love Maria Lucia bakes granola and Magic Mayan raw chocolate is fantastic too! For indulgent treats, my good friends Evie and Eliza from Nutshed make the yummiest vegan cakes and I’ve heard great things about Oh Happy Treats too. It really has been amazing to witness this growth in wellness in Ireland over the last couple of years.
What is your food philosophy?
More than anything, I think we all just need to eat more fruits and vegetables, regardless of what you eat in addition to this. I want to spread the message that you still can enjoy plant-based meals even if you aren’t a vegetarian. I feel like Instagram and other forms of social media have overcomplicated what it means to be healthy, probably because it is not a one size fits all concept. At the end of the day, what’s healthy for me might not work for someone else and copying the diet of a stranger you saw on Instagram may not be right for you either. We need to find what works for us and this can take some time. To be honest, this is something I am still trying to figure out for my own body and health! I am anti-diet and very pro-balance. I don’t eat perfectly healthy all the time and I’m a firm believer in the 90/10 rule.
5 quick-fire questions at the end for a little bit of fun!
1. What is your coffee order?
Oat milk latte made extra hot ????
2. If you were a fruit or vegetable what would you be?
A sweet mango!
3. What is the one thing you can’t live without?
4. Who is your biggest inspiration?
5. Where is your favourite place on earth?
Keep an eye out for the next instalment of Wonky Meets in 2 weeks time!