Meet Jacqui Toumbas: The woman behind the Tammy Fit app’s new healthy treats

Jacqui Toumbas's famously addictive bliss balls earned her the name "Miss Bliss", which is also the name of her wildly popular Brisbane wholefoods cafe. The wholesome sweet treats in the Tammy Fit app were Jacqui's creation. We sat down to chat about how she creates recipes that make us feel so damn good.

Follow Jacqui on Instagram, or check out her website here. 

 

💡 Tip: 

Whether you’re looking for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up or want to make a nutritious gift, the sweet treat recipes Jacqui made for the app will hit the spot.

✨ The addictive hazelnut bliss balls can be made in bulk, because you’ll want to eat them in bulk.

✨The blueberry oat muffins are just as good with other berries and spare fruit from the fridge.

✨The peanut butter cacao popsicles are amazing on a hot day. Go wild with the toppings, from crunchy peanuts to dark chocolate and shredded coconut.

✨Peanut butter cookies are a crowd favourite... that’s if any of them even make it into the oven.

 

 

For some of us who are not so good on the baking front, which recipe would you recommend starting with? Are there any that don't require cooking?

BLISS BALLS! This is the go-to recipe for someone getting started. All you need is a blender or food processor and a bowl. Rolling them is probably the most intricate task, and if you can’t do that, just portion it out flat and cut them into squares. Who cares what they look like; they will still be delicious!  

 

What’s your food philosophy, and what drives you to do what you do?

I want people to love cooking, not see it as a chore. I have a passion to help children develop healthy eating habits and also share knowledge around seasonal produce. It’s great not only for our health but for our environment and farmers as well! Starting a business in an industry that I didn't know much about made me doubt myself A LOT. There is no rulebook for any job or industry, so I had to learn to back myself and know my worth. It has been (and is) such a journey. 

 

A healthy mindset plays a significant role in fitness, business, health, and of course, your nutrition. What advice do you have for someone trying to make the switch to a more nutritious diet?

Don't overwhelm yourself! That's one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Each week chose a habit you want to change; it can start with making sure you are drinking enough water each day, then the following week add something else on; maybe limit your processed or take out food. Slowly, week by week, you will be making changes that will become lifelong healthy habits. 

You make amazing recipes that taste just as good as they look. What's your secret tip to making food look so good?

Fresh seasonal produce is key. When you start cooking with food that’s in season you will notice the difference in colour & taste! Always have an array of serving plates on hand – different colours, textures and sizes help when plating up meals. It's all about enjoying the process! Spending time in the kitchen for me is therapeutic – it's my 'me time'. 

 

Are there any staple ingredients you'd recommend having in your pantry?  

My staple pantry items are organic brown rice, corn thins, tuna, spelt flour, pure maple syrup, chickpeas, lentils and oats. Oh, and some sneaky dairy-free dark chocolate Turkish delights *drool* (if they even last a day after I buy them).

 

Let's assume that the default snack foods are ice-cream, chocolate or chips... Which sweet treats recipes would you recommend as a replacement for these, and why?

Easy!

Ice-cream – Two options: DIY homemade popsicles (sneaky recipe up on the TammyFit App soon!) or low calorie/vegan substitutes. These are still 'treat' items though, and should always be eaten in moderation. 

Chocolate – Dark chocolate with sea salt or mint is my go-to. There are a range of proven health benefits in dark chocolate, and I buy it pre-portioned for moderation.

Chips – Air-fried chips! I recently got an air fryer and it's changed my life. Don't forget to add FLAVOUR! Season with herbs and spices.

Did you create any of the app's healthy treat app recipes to be made for a special occasion, or are they designed to be snacked on during the week?

They can all be snacked on during the week. My favourite is the oat muffins – I made them last week with raspberries because I didn't have any blueberries. They can even be frozen and kept for later in the week.

 

When you’re feeling a little ‘blah’ and need a pick-me-up, which food do you turn to and why?

It depends; if I am feeling 'blah' due to low energy, I'll go for a salmon nourish bowl, with brown rice and lots of greens. I know the rice will give me energy, the omega-3 fatty acids from the salmon will help clear my brain-fog and boost my mood. Greens contain magnesium which can positively impact serotonin levels and boost my mood too. 

Don't get me wrong… there are days that I am 'blah' and want comfort food. This might be leading up to my period, or just hormonal. My go-to for this mood is pasta, pasta, pasta! I make my own from scratch, it's actually quick! I use organic flour, eggs and a really good extra virgin olive oil. Most of the time I make ravioli with spinach, feta and ricotta and serve it with fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic sauce. Comfort food can become nutritious so easily – especially if it’s served with greens or fresh produce.