Thursday 17 June 2021 9:13am

Their careers might be going in different directions, but Emily and Sophie Martin - aka Instagram influencers the Tasty Twins – are still producing delicious recipes and promoting ways for their followers to achieve a healthy life balance.

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Sophie and Emily Martin

The twins grew up in Auckland and Wellington and headed to Otago in 2017. Emily completed a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and is now studying Clinical Psychology at Victoria University, while Sophie graduated with a BAppSci in Consumer Food Science and Marketing and is working in social media and digital marketing for Sanitarium in Auckland.

Their Tasty Twins journey began in the pair's first university summer holidays, when they started posting photos on their @tasty.twinsss Instagram account about great cafes and food they'd discovered in Wellington. From there, they slowly began to incorporate more of their own baking and recipes, with a focus on easy meals and snacks for students that wouldn't break the bank.

“With students, we wanted to have food that tastes good but is also good fuel for studying.”

Today, the twins have 19,500 followers, and in December published their book The Healthy Kiwi Student, which is packed with “student-friendly, flattie-approved” recipes. They have both also trained as Les Mills instructors, and their goal is to spread their message of balance – balance between how you eat, exercise and live, and promote a healthy mentality towards life.

Emily and Sophie say their passion for food came from their mum, whom they describe as “the most incredible baker”.

“I think that was how she showed her love to us, through her baking and through food,” says Sophie. “So we kind of wanted to do the same thing, but with a little bit of a different spin on some of the recipes she would make. We'd try and take a bit of a healthier alternative.”

For the first time in their lives, they're living in different cities, but they still find time at night or when they're visiting each other to make Tasty Twins creations, and Sophie's flat is enjoying trying out the recipes.

“We studied together, went to halls together, flatted together, so this is the first year being apart, but when we're together we create some really cool content, which seems to still go down well,” says Emily.

We asked Emily and Sophie to share some wellness tips for winter, along with a few of their favourite recipes for keeping warm, and happy, when it's cold outside.

Wellness Tips and Tricks

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Emily and Sophie

  1. Eating well is important all year round, but it's especially important to look after your immune system during the colder months. Look for produce that is packed with nutrients, like kiwifruit and oranges for Vitamin C, and apples and spinach for iron.

  2. Relatedly, whip up some warming winter dishes to fuel your body and mind during winter. Recipes like soups, curries and crumbles can easily be loaded with fruit and veg. Plus, nothing brings more comfort than a warm and hearty meal on a cold winter's night.

  3. Get some z's! Sleep is something else we should be prioritising all 365 days a year. But as flu season starts to set in, it's beneficial to aim for eight hours' sleep per night. After all, sleep is linked to enhanced immune system function too, while lack of sleep can have wider implications for your overall health!

  4. As the temperature starts to drop, it's easy to neglect your water intake. But staying hydrated is key to looking after your immune system - the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation recommends six to eight glasses of fluid a day. Maybe try a herbal tea if cold water isn't so appealing in the cooler weather, and adding fruit and vegetables to your diet can also help with hydration.

  5. Some people do start to notice their mood taking a dip heading into the winter months, as mornings get colder and skies become grey. It might help to incorporate some movement into your day - as well as keeping you warm, endorphins can give your mood a bit of a boost! Weather permitting, a walk in the fresh air can work wonders for your mind.

Winter-warming recipes

Em and Soph's Choc Pudding

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Em and Soph's Choc Pudding

Makes/Serves: six servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 - 30 minutes
Nutritional information: DF, RSF, GF


1 ¾ cups almond meal (or flour of choice)
⅓ cup melted coconut oil
⅓ cup chocolate chips (OPTIONAL)
3 Tbsp cacao/cocoa powder
3 ½ Tbsp coconut/brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder

¾ cup boiling water
¼ cup maple syrup/rice malt syrup/honey
2 Tbsp cacao/cocoa powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 180℃.
  2. Stir all pudding ingredients until combined
  3. Pour mixture into a large dish. If you like, you can sprinkle with chocolate chips as well!
  4. Combine topping ingredients and pour on top of pudding mixture.
  5. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Dig in!

Lentil Bolognese

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Lentil Bolognese

Makes/Serves: four serves
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Nutritional information: DF, RSF, V.

300g spaghetti
2 cans tinned tomatoes
2 cans brown lentils
1 onion
1 capsicum
1 zucchini
2 carrots
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp mixed herbs
2 tsp ground basil
1 tsp coriander
Fresh basil and coriander (OPTIONAL)


  1. Chop all the vegetables into small chunks.
  2. In a pan, fry onion, chopped capsicum, chopped zucchini, grated carrot, chilli powder, paprika, ground coriander, mixed herbs and ground basil for five minutes, or until brown.
  3. While this browns, bring a saucepan of water to boil and cook spaghetti pasta.
  4. Add tinned tomatoes and lentils to the veggie/spice mix and bring to boil (add 1/2 cup water if needed).
  5. Dish up - we served with chopped basil and coriander on top!

Lemon Raspberry Bliss Balls

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Lemon Raspberry Bliss Balls

Serves: 12-14 balls
Dietary information: GF, DF, V, RSF

1 ½ cups almond meal
¼ cup desiccated coconut
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp maple syrup/honey
2 Tbsp freeze dried raspberries/dried berries
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp oil


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Roll each ball into tablespoon size balls and coat in more desiccated coconut.
  3. Place on a plate and set in the freezer for one to two hours.
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