For the past five years, Pamela has been promoting the concept of #IndulgingInnocently through her blog of healthy recipes ‘Spamella B’.
Championing food as fuel and the importance of nourishing ourselves on the inside and out, her blog is filled with gluten-free, low/no refined sugar, healthy recipes made from clean ingredients.
Her creative inventions of healthy treats have led to impressive collaborations and features with the likes of John Lewis, Truvia, One Green Planet, Hello! Magazine, Holland & Barrett, Percol Coffee and Booths.
Pamela talks to us about her food predictions, tv debut and balancing work with being a mum.
How did you become a food blogger?
My blog initially started out as a platform to showcase my past online work when I was hunting for a job having just moved to Manchester. It then became a place to post recipes – I’ve always had a sweet tooth but I am very health conscious so I love experimenting in the kitchen baking healthy treats, everything from brownies, cheesecakes, desserts… My recipes and photography have certainly improved over the years and I’ll always love my blog for acting as a springboard in allowing me to become a freelance recipe developer working with some amazing health food brands.
How long have you been blogging for?
For nearly 5 years now, madness!
Have you seen a change in the blogging world since you began?
Absolutely! Blogging has become hugely popular and as such, a larger community has sprung from that, whatever the industry. Especially in Manchester with the ever-growing We Blog North community (next becoming We Blog UK!), the Northern Blog Awards, it’s nice to champion what so many people are doing out there.
For many it is a passion, for others it is also a job. I’ve seen a rise in people who are full-time bloggers and earn a living out of it, which is crazy but great. I think brands also see the value in bloggers more so are willing to perhaps offer payment in return for all the time and effort that goes into posts.
What does food mean to you?
During my teenage years it used to be the enemy and focus a lot around restriction and calorie counting; now I see it as an enjoyable way to fuel your body and mind to help it perform at its best. I’m very conscious of how food affects my mood so I make sure I eat well, highly nutritious foods and choose things that fuel a very active and busy lifestyle. However, I also love going out to eat with family and/or friends to share as an experience, as well as cooking food at home and making it a sociable thing. That’s what it’s about, isn’t it?
What are your favourite restaurants for eating out?
That’s a tough question as we really are spoilt for choice in Manchester when it comes to eating out! I love places like Federal in the Northern Quarter for brunch, LEAF for a relaxed lunch, Kettlebell Kitchen for something filling but healthy, or Evelyn’s for a dinner date. I know there are so many more but they are just a few!
Describe an average ‘day in your life’ of a food blogger
As well as a blogger I’m a mum to a toddler and a big fitness fan, so my days are always hectic! After an early start, play time and breakfast with Thomas, I smash out a home workout then we head off on a long walk in the huge forest right on our doorstep. Tom always sleeps and I like to get my steps in and enjoy the fresh air!
After lunch, we play then I get to work in the kitchen while Thomas loves crashing pots and pans around or playing with his toys while I experiment with different recipes. A day or two before I’ll always plan what I’m making and whether it’s for one of my clients or a blog project. After a mass baking session there’s always plenty to clear up then it’s time to cook dinner for us all and make a mess all over again!
I’ll usually style and photograph the recipes either the same day in the afternoon depending on how light it still is, otherwise it’ll be the day after. After playtime, dinner, bathtime and bedtime for Thomas, some evenings I might continue working and write up recipes, edit photos, reply to emails and get social media posts planned for the next few days (I don’t like to work too far in advance!). If I’m not working I chill with my other half or I’m out being invited to restaurants to review for my blog which is always fun!
What has been the highlight of food blogging for you?
I’d have to say being featured on Nadiya’s Family Favourites BBC2 programme earlier this year. It was an amazing opportunity and popped up while I was on holiday thanks to Twitter and my blog. It was a very quick turn-around in terms of prepping and deciding what recipes to make for the episode but it was so much fun and amazing to be filmed alongside a national favourite and star of GBBO.
What are your food predictions for next year?
I guess from a health food perspective, the vegan trend is only going to grow, especially when it comes to baking – we saw on Great British Bake Off Vegan Week which is a great indication of how big the trend is growing! Using alternative ingredients like flax eggs, aquafaba and silken tofu is surely going to become more commonplace.
Also there’s a huge rise in being more economical and sustainable with food and not letting anything go to waste, we’re seeing more interesting uses of different parts of ingredients which would otherwise be unused. Likewise there are more products made from dismissed foods, while supermarkets and independent shops are even offering ‘wonky veg’ – I think we’re going to be seeing more of this in 2019.
What is your all-time favourite dish?
Oh gosh this is a hard one! One of my favourite meals is a really well-made butternut squash risotto, otherwise it’s Shakshuka, loaded nachos, or anything with halloumi in it! For dessert, if there’s a gluten-free crumble on the menu with custard, that’s a winner for me.
What ingredient could you not live without?
I’d have to say peanut butter! Not only do I absolutely love it, but it’s such a key ingredient in many of the recipes I make – from the base of raw cheesecakes to filling raw snickers bars, the list is endless. I love how versatile it is and also how well it works in savoury dishes too.