The Hemsley Sisters Explain Why Sugar Is The Enemy Not Fat

The Hemsley Sisters Explain Why Sugar Is The Enemy Not Fat

Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley aka The Hemsley & Hemsley sisters explain why it's ok to eat saturated fat but not okay to eat refined sugar

"There's this myth that saturated fats are bad for you, but natural fats like coconut oil are great for you and really easily digestible," says Jasmine Hemsley in-between bits of a raw chocolate brownie. I'm with Jasmine and her sister Melissa at the launch of Vita Coco's debut coconut oil. As avid users of coconut oil it's not suprising they're backing the product that's 100% raw, organic, extra virgin and cold pressed.  "Coconut oil is heat-stable, so is much better for you than processed vegetable oils" explains Melissa. "And most importantly it's natural, unlike chemically extracted or refined fats." But what about those that are terrified of the saturated fat content – it's got a whooping average 80 grams per 100 grams?  "Over the past few years there's been a lot of advice to eat low fat food but often low fat means that sugar and chemicals have been added instead," says Jasmine. "Obesity levels are higher nowadays than what they were pre all this low fat advice. Sugar is a key trigger not fat." So what's their advice for those attempting to use coconut oil for the first time? "You can basically use it like you would any other oil or fat. So slather it on buckwheat banana bread. Or add it to vegetables like broccoli. It will help you absorb all the fat-soluble nutrients from other foods too." 


For more inspiration check out three of their coconut oil based recipes below...



Squash and ginger soup with coriander lemon drizzle

A quick immune boosting soup

Serves 4



1 tbs coconut oil

2 medium onions roughly chopped

thumb sized piece of ginger

4 garlic cloves

3 celery sticks roughly chopped

1 large butternut squash peeled and roughly chopped

1.4 litres bone broth or water

1 lemon

1 tbs tamari (gluten free soy)

sea salt and pepper to taste


To top

2 handfuls coriander - stems and leaves separated, leaves finely chopped

zest of the lemon

1 garlic clove, finely diced

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and pepper to taste



● Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan with a lid over a low heat and gently fry the onions, garlic, ginger and celery together for 10 minutes until softened, stir occasionally

● Meanwhile peel the squash, half, scoop out the seeds and roughly chop the squash

● Add to the pan then cover with the broth, put the lid on and simmer away until tender, about 20 minutes

● Meanwhile, finely chop the coriander leaves and mix in a small bowl with the lemon zest, garlic and extra virgin olive oil and season to taste

● Blend the soup in batches with lemon juice, tamari and the coriander stems until smooth and taste for seasoning (tamari is salty so you’ll need less salt)

● Serve each bowl of soup with a drizzle of the coriander oil

Beetroot Cinnamon Smoothie

This bright pink smoothie makes a delicious breakfast

Serves 2


A small handful almonds, soaked

1 ripe banana

1 ripe avocado

1 small raw beetroot, scrubbed but not peeled

1 handful baby spinach

1 tbs coconut oil

1.5 tsp vanilla

tiny pinch sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)

Opt: 1tsp raw honey


2 tsp desiccated coconut

1 tsp raw cacao nibs


● Soak the almonds for 8 hours or overnight in double their volume of filtered water. Be sure to discard the soaking water and rinse before using.

● Wash the vegetables well, then chop them to fit your blender.

● Blend everything together with 500ml water until smooth, adding more water if needed

● Pour into 2 glasses and top with dessicated coconut and cacao nibs and drink immediately

● Alternatively pour into a glass jar or stainless steel flask and keep in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Mint Choc Pavé

Little squares of layered mint and chocolate ganache

Makes 20 pieces


Chocolate layer:

100g coconut oil, melted over low heat

50g cocoa powder

3 tbs raw honey

1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp mint extract (or to taste)

pinch of salt

Mint layer:

150g coconut oil - room temp (not melted)

3 tbs raw honey

¾ tsp mint extract (or to taste)

1.5 tsp spirulina powder and 1 tsp turmeric (or use a few drops of natural green colouring)


For the chocolate layer:

● Whisk the cocoa powder into the melted coconut oil a little at a time and then whisk in the other ingredients until smooth.

● Use a spatula to smooth it into a small parchment paper lined tray roughly the size of your hand/bit smaller than A5 / approx 17cm x 11cm (we used a glass lunchbox). Place in the fridge to set for 10 minutes.

For the mint layer:

● Use a whisk to blend the ingredients for the mint fudge layer together until smooth.

● Smooth over the chocolate layer and set in the fridge. 

Slice into squares and enjoy straight from the fridge.

Hemsley + Hemsley have teamed up with Vita Coco for the launch of the brand's new 100% raw, organic and cold-pressed coconut oil, which is available nationwide at Tesco (prices start from £5.99). Check out @vccoconutoiluk for more information.

By: Chloe Mac Donnell / @tweetchloe

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