The technicolor recipes on Bo’s blog are both beautiful and healthy – and they’re all vegan, as Bo’s been a vegan for 10 years. “It was partly for health and partly for ethical reasons, but mainly because I wanted to see if I could do it,” she says. “I was raised a vegetarian and one day I was in a supermarket and just thought, ‘I’ll give it a go’.”
Bo’s stunning Instagram recipes reflect her eating habits. “Most of the food is cooked and eaten on the same day,” says Bo.
“Today, I posted a beetroot mousse which I made this morning. Setting up a photo takes at least two hours, plus the time spent prepping the food. These days it takes longer because I’m such a perfectionist! It’s usually cold food rather than hot, although my boyfriend is sick of eating cold pancakes!”
Make Bo’s vegan gingerbread crumble as a sweet treat
Her friends and family love her food and want to come around all the time – non-vegans included. “I don’t believe in labelling vegan food, as people have certain expectations of what vegan food is like,” says Bo.“Just give it to them without saying what it is and they usually love it.”
Becoming a vegan forced Bo to expand her tastes and try new things. “For most vegans the biggest question is ‘What do you eat?’,” she says. “But it’s not difficult to get all the nutrients you need from vegan food.”
While Bo’s recipes are extremely healthy, she definitely has a sweet tooth – her Instagram feed is dominated by pictures of desserts, from pancakes to parfaits. “I used to be a huge fan of fizzy sweets and my friend called me Haribo, which was shortened to Bo,” she explains. Bo doesn’t eat non-vegan sweets any more, but aims to create “sweet, colourful food that’s good for you.” “I dig anything that looks sugar-laden but isn’t,” she explains. “My food is all really healthy and there’s no downside to what I cook.”
Join the best Instagrammers with Bo’s guide to food photography
Bo often adds natural colourings to her food: spirulina for green shades, butterfly pea tea for blue, a pinch of turmeric for bright yellow, fresh beetroot or beetroot powder for pink, and to get purples she uses blackberries or red cabbage. And she recommends shopping and eating with your eyes. “If you see something you like the look of then buy it. Fruit may be more expensive, but you’ll feel the benefit of eating more healthily in the long run.”
4 health-boosting foods to add to your plate
Bursting with nutrients, vitamins and anti-oxidants, these foods will give you even more of the good stuff and promise to add a vibrant touch to your increasingly colourful meals.
As well as adding a pretty pink shade to your food, whether used fresh orin the form of powder, beetroot has numerous health benefits. It increases antioxidants in your blood, reduces blood pressure and can help improve your stamina. Many athletes swear by it, including Paralympic gold medallist David Weir. Drink beetroot juice before hitting the gym and work out like a pro.
The humble cauliflower is finally getting the recognition it deserves, cropping up in all kinds of recipes from cauliflower rice to cauli steaks and even pizza. When lightly cooked, this cruciferous vegetable can help protect against cancer and even lower your cholesterol. Steaming or light sautéeing will stop the cauli becoming waterlogged and will preserve its nutrients.
One of the easiest superfoods to add to your diet, blueberries are high in anthocyanins, which reinforce blood vessels and collagen. Like other berries, they’re a good source of antioxidants and give your body a dose of potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6. Add a handful to yoghurt for a quick dessert or sprinkle some on your breakfast cereal.
Add a dash of this vivid powdered green tea to sweet dishes for instant colour. It’s super-healthy too: matcha has 137 times more antioxidants than ordinary green tea. It boosts your metabolism and can also improve your concentration thanks to its L-theanine content, which has a similar effect to caffeine (minus the jitters).
Photos by Bo Porterfield and Brenda Godinez, Gabriel Gurrola, Marine Dumay via Unsplash