Please wait, the site is loading...

If you haven't heard of Hemsley & Hemsley – where have you been? Sisters Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley are rocking the health food scene with their low sugar, gluten-free and grain-free diet. It's no wonder they both look radiant all the time! It might not sound like a barrel of laughs, but recipes like their banana and basil cake, peanut butter shortbread cookies and raisin quinoa flapjacks in our February issue (pictured below) taste amazing and they're (pretty much) guilt free...

We caught up with the sisters on the photoshoot for our February issue of Sainsbury's magazine.

How did you get into healthy eating?

MELISSA: Our mum always cooked with plenty of seasonal vegetables and an appreciation for all styles and flavours of cuisine. Fat was always on the menu - oh and proper butter was a must on Dad's strict instructions, none of this margarine malarky! When we came to cooking for ourselves we realised that there was nowhere you could buy really nourishing, healthy food, and the messages out there around healthy eating were really confusing.

Jasmine worked as a model for over 10 years and during that time developed a way of eating that focused on easy-to-digest, nourishing foods, while avoiding those that can negatively affect your mood and energy levels, or cause any skin or stomach issues.

Do you cook for the rich and famous?

MELISSA:

We do, yes, but we also cook for all sorts: busy people that work in an office all day with big families; busy bachelors and people recovering from illnesses or operations...

JASMINE: We work with a lot of people who have been stung in some way by cooking and food so we try to integrate them back into doing it for themselves and find a way of eating that really suits them.

How did you start as a company?

MELISSA: Hemsley and Hemsley began without a name; our clients called us their food fairies.

Jasmine had been helping lots of people understand food better - myself included - and I in turn started helping friends and family. Word spread and before we knew it we were coaching people and cooking for them as private chefs.

Many of our clients had tried lots of food delivery services, recipe books and regimes, but nothing was working for what they wanted whether it was weight, energy levels, how they felt... so we'd go to their houses and cook them all their food for the day from local markets and put it in their fridge with labels on listing all the ingredients and heating instructions.

We did that for about two and a half years, very underground, then we started our food blog which was picked up by vogue.co.uk and they asked us to be their food bloggers.

What do you do with fussy customers?

MELISSA: Well, we came up with some great ways to get people to eat more vegetables that they didn't like; we snuck them in everything! One of our clients said he didn't like cauliflower so we put it in everything: cauliflower mash, cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza and then he loved it.

What's different about the way you cook?

JASMINE:

This is healthy food but not as you know it. Instead of the low-calorie, low-fat dogma that's been around lately, we embrace the old-fashioned foods such as bone broth, soups and stews and mix it up with modern inventions like smoothies and vegetables noodles for a fun, delicious and completely satisfying way of eating.

We champion fats including the much misrepresented saturated fats, which makes us quite different to other health foodies, and we are gluten free, grain free and refined sugar free. We use just enough natural sugars like maple syrup or honey to sweeten a dish but we don't go heavy on them as we aim to promote balance in the body and reduce cravings.

What are your favourite ingredients?

JASMINE:

A proper cooking fat like coconut oil, which is heat stable. It's not only really tasty, but incredibly moisturising and antimicrobial - we use it on our hair and skin, too.

MELISSA: A proper sea salt or rock salt. People get quite nervous about salt but as well as flavour it has a lot of nutritional benefits.

JASMINE:

Of all the 'super foods', our favourites would be broccoli, watercress, proper butter, bone marrow, eggs and chicken livers.

MELISSA:

There are ingredients like chia seeds (full of omega 3 with a slightly nutty flavour) and maca (mineral-rich powder that can be added to smoothies etc.) that you can get from health food shops and that have huge benefits but they are hard to come by and a bit more expensive. If you can get hold of them and they encourage to you experiment and cook more at home, then great, but you don't need them to eat more healthily. There are lots of steps you can make to make you feel better. You definitely don't need to change everything.

A few of the Hemsleys' favourite ingredients from The Art of Eating Well:

Coconut flour

– a bit more dear than normal flour but you don't need much as it expands to three times its size when mixed with liquid.

Ginger – great for flavour and has great immune-boosting properties. Freshly grated ginger in tea is great for digestion.

Fish sauce – great for salt flavouring; use sparingly.

Maple syrup

– it's full of minerals but make sure you buy a pure syrup and not a blend.

Cacao and dark chocolate – full of antioxidants. The higher the cocoa percentage, the less room there is for additives.

 

About the author

We value your privacy

We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our site and to allow us and third parties to customise the marketing content you see across websites and social media. For more information see our cookie policy.

Cookie Preference Centre

Learn more about what each cookie category does and choose your settings (toggle right to opt in or left to opt out). Cookie policy


Strictly Necessary

These technologies are needed to enable our websites and apps to run and to keep it secure.

Sainsbury's Magazine

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
PHPSESSID Until the browsing session ends
device_view 1 month
recentlyViewedRecipes 1 year
subscription-{popup-version-date}-PopupClosed 12 days

Vimeo

Enables Vimeo videos on the site

Cookie name Duration
_derived_epik 1 year

Constant Commerce

Enables shopping tools for recipe ingredients

Cookie name Duration
cc_a_h 10 years
cc_a_s Until the browsing session ends

DoubleClick

DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) is an integrated ad-technology platform that enables us to more effectively create, manage and grow high-impact digital marketing campaigns.

Cookie name Duration
DSID 10 days
IDE 1 year
RUL 11 months

Performance/Analytics

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Google

Google Analytics tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
__gads 13 months
_ga 28 months
_gat 1 minute
_gid 1 day
1P_JAR 1 month
ANID 10 days
CONSENT 18 years
NID 6 months
__Secure-3PAPISID 2 years
__Secure-3PSID 2 years
__Secure-3PSIDCC 1 year

Marketing/Targeting

These technologies help us decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you. We use this data to customise the marketing content you see on websites, apps and social media. They also help us understand the performance of our marketing activities. These cookies are set by us or our carefully-selected third parties.

Pinterest

Pinterest conversion tracking gathers conversion insights and builds audiences to target based on actions our visitors have taken on the site.

Cookie name Duration
_pinterest_ct_rt 1 year
_pinterest_ct_ua 1 year
_pin_unauth 1 year

Outbrain

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
outbrain_cid_fetch 5 minutes
adrl 5 weeks
apnxs 6 weeks
criteo 2 months
obuid 6 months

Twitter

Twitter conversion tracking enables us to measure our return on ad spend by tracking the actions people take after viewing or engaging with our ads on Twitter.

Cookie name Duration
personalization_id 2 years
muc 2 years
ads_prefs 5 years
auth_token 5 years
dnt 5 years
guest_id 2 years
twid 5 years