Green Stars

Meet Fria Hiemstra and her Amazing Superfoods!

Fria is the owner and founder of Fria’s Superfoods. She is a health enthusiast but, just like you and me, struggles to eat well all the time and has often ‘fallen off the wagon’ in favour of sugar, white flour and additives. So, many years ago, she decided to “healthify” the treats she eats to have her (healthy) cake and eat it too. What started as a hobby turned into a small business in 2016 and thus, the Fria’s Superfoods brand we know today was born!

  • What are you most passionate about?

It’s so hard to single out one thing. Is it okay if I name a few?

– Making stuff from scratch: A passion of mine that is also an intricate part of why Fria’s Superfoods was started is making stuff from scratch. Sprouting seeds, making nut milk, brewing kombucha and kefir. I love finding a new product in store and being like “I can absolutely make this myself!”. Part of the fun is researching how other people go about it and then when you are comfortable with the whole process, putting your own spin on it.

– Going back to basics: I absolutely love going back to basics these days. I make my own body lotion, face cream and hand wash using natural products. It’s so interesting to see what you can do with only a few ingredients. I love it!

– New foods and trends: It’s not the best for our local economy to have foods available from all over the world to purchase in your nearest health store, but it also gives one the opportunity to “travel” to other countries and gain some culinary experience without spending that much! Freekeh, quinoa, dragon fruit powder, spirulina, moringa, chia, fire tonic, matcha – I get so excited when I find out about a new food available in South Africa that I’ve never heard of before. It’s an absolute passion of mine, to find out as much as possible about the food and how to use it.

  • What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Stopping my actuarial studies to focus on a completely new career, the food business! It’s actually still an ongoing risk as I haven’t quite made the plunge yet, I am still working as an actuary to support my business.

  • What makes you angry?

Taxis who pretend that the rules of the road don’t apply to them and people abusing animals in any shape or form.

  • If you inherited an acre of land what would you do with it?

I would turn it into a sustainable farm. I would set up an aquaponic system first (hopefully there won’t be a drought when I inherit the land, or I’ll have to drill a borehole first!), have a lovely vegetable garden and plant plenty of trees all over my land. There would be some chickens, goats and cows too, which will live happy lives and provide us with milk and eggs.

Saying that, I would continue working on Fria’s Superfoods and perhaps build a nice big work area for making the treats.

  • Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?

A gatherer. I gather kitchen gadgets, and interesting foods and ingredients for all the foods I want to make myself. I also gather information and knowledge on new things I would love to try.

I would love to literally gather my own food as well. I recently found out about this amazing company called Veld and Sea where you gather seaweed, fynbos and other foods and then cook a lovely feast with it.

  • How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Probably around twenty. I wear maybe five of them all the time as the rest are cheap buys or so used up that I can’t really wear them in public anymore!

  • If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

That would depend very much on your dietary preferences. I would make a completely different dish for vegans than for meat-eaters and not just because of the obvious ingredient choices. I also have this very nasty habit of trying out new recipes when I invite guests for dinner. It works out well – most of the time – but I have some lovely stories I can share about undercooked chicken and other flops too.

  • How would people communicate in a perfect world?

What an interesting question. The actuary in me wants to analyse this question from an electronics vs face-to-face perspective, but that is probably not what you are asking.

The first thing you notice on a person is a smile or lack of one. In a perfect world, people would communicate with a smile on their face because in a perfect world there would be no sadness, hatred or anger!

  • What do you work toward in your free time?

Realising my dream of making Fria’s Superfoods my only “career”.  Getting fit and strong at my local gym and agility training with my puppy, Lolita.

  • If you woke up and had 300 unread emails and could only answer 30 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?

I would filter by family and friends first, then by Fria’s clients and colleagues.

  • Name 3 things in nature you find most beautiful 

 Dogs playing

– A clean, unspoilt beach

– A green, luscious forest

  • Have you used plastic bags for your shopping in the last two weeks?

I have indeed. I do not throw them away though, I reuse them.

  • What would you say are some small steps that people can take to improve their relationship to the environment

 Don’t litter. If it’s not thrown on the ground, it can’t land up in the ocean

– Change all your household cleaning supplies to biodegradable ones

– Recycle plastic, glass, paper and tin. I was so surprised when we started recycling by how much “waste” could be recycled

– Re-use plastic and glass bottles to store your spices and other food ingredients

– In Cape Town this has become standard, but I’ll list it here anyway: save shower water and use it to flush the toilet or water your plants

– Educate yourselves on where your food comes from. The more you know about certain sources of food, the less you might want to eat it

– Stop using straws or replace with a glass or recyclable one.  I don’t drink cooldrinks often, and if I do, I keep the straws and reuse them, but now we have amazing non-plastic options available.