There is an Instagram quote currently doing the rounds that says, "If cauliflower can be a pizza, you really can be anything you put your mind to." While they do have a point, we couldn't be happier. Because who can say refuse an opportunity to sneak a vegetable into our children - regardless of the way it's delivered?
Lorraine Sarayeldin knew this all too well when she developed PomPom Paddock, a company designed to help you unleash your culinary creativity through simple and super nutritious, plant-based products.
With their signature cauliflower flour, they’ve created a bespoke gluten and wheat-free product that can be used as a cup-for-cup flour replacement. Muffins, cupcakes, pizzas … You’ve met your healthy match.
You founded PomPom Paddock with the mission to create simple, delicious and nutritious, plant-based products that promote health & wellbeing – talk us through your career path and how PomPom Paddock came about?
My background and experience has largely been a corporate one, having spent over 15 years at an international property group. I am fortunate to have held a number of senior roles – from Project Director of a new master planned community to my current role as Head of Experimental Projects. In the latter role I head up our Innovation Lab in Australia.
My current role involves helping others validate their ideas in the market using the design thinking methodology. This methodology is a skill-set I was taught first-hand having undertaken an executive program at Stanford University’s d.school in San Francisco in 2017. It taught me the importance of having an idea that responded to a real problem, not a nice to have, and how to quickly prototype and get something in front of your customers for feedback without wasting weeks and money assuming you’ve got a product they need.
Through what I learnt at Stanford University’s d.school I took that methodology and applied it to my own ambition to create something meaningful to myself and for others. This was realised when I was faced with the challenge of finding riced cauliflower at a time when the local grocery stores had run out (our daughter loves it!). I then tried to discover if there was a problem worth solving – which led to me spending the next two years researching, talking with my targeted customer group, testing and learning and then forming a multi-disciplinary team comprising of subject matter experts, including food technologists, branding and design consultants to help me get to where I am today.
How do you incorporate plant-based products in your life – what does a typical day look like on your plate?
I am very grateful for my traditional Mediterranean upbringing, when my mum spent hours in the kitchen making amazing meals and I’ve now tried to continue that with my own daughter- less the hours! As long as I can remember, we always enjoyed fruit and vegetables with every meal, starting with cucumbers and tomatoes alongside our scrambled eggs, to smoky eggplant, cauliflower and chickpea ragu for lunch and stuffed zucchini with pine nuts and rice for dinner. Vegetables were never seen as a side dish; they were mostly treated as a main.
I try to carry this on with my own family today. Luckily my daughter has a similar palette to me and loves a broccoli ‘tree’ and a cauliflower ‘pompom’ with her meals.
I typically have meat-free lunches during the week, with big salads, nuts and avocado and at dinner, I make the vegetables the hero of the dish and supplement it with lean meat and fish.
What are some healthy snacks for mums on the run?
I love to pack overnight soaked walnuts and dates – something I learnt from my mum. I find it keeps me satiated for longer and fuels me while I’m on the go. I also love to make PomPom rosemary flat breads with a dip like hummus or labneh. The flatbreads are very easy & quick to make and great for a wholesome snack throughout the week.
Talk to us about how we can all incorporate more plant-based foods into our children’s diets?
Trying to get kids to eat vegetables is not always so easy and my advice is to start small and try to integrate it into their favourite dishes (subterfuge helps a lot). With my daughter, I made it fun, calling broccoli ‘little trees’ and riced cauliflower ‘rainbow rice’. I found she loved the whole storytelling part of it.
More recently, my daughter always stops to ask if a cupcake she is having is made with PomPom. She just loves them so much. I find with other cupcakes she would eat the topping only, but with PomPom cupcakes she eats it all up. What’s really helpful with PomPom Flour is your sneaking in some vegetables and essential nutrients and minerals, without them even knowing it. The neutral taste and texture of our PomPom Flour makes it so versatile, suiting sweet as well as savoury recipes.