Annie, Chelsea and Holly Forsyth began Natural Sweet Recipes (www.naturalsweetrecipes.com) in June 2011 as a way to share recipes with family and friends that were interested in eating sugar-free. Because they enjoyed sharing their recipes so much they decided to broaden their readership and make their blog public. Since then their recipes have been featured all over the Web on sites such as BuzzFeed, The Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen and Huffington Post. Their first cookbook The Everything Naturally Sugar-Free Cookbook was published in September 2014 which features 300 of their favorite naturally sweet recipes. The book features drinks, appetizers, breads, main dishes, and, of course, desserts that can all be made without refined sugar!
Welcome to my blog, Girls. This is fun having sisters on my blog. Please tell us about your cookbook and why it is unique.
Thanks so much for having us! The Everything Series is a great series of books that spell out everything you need to know about a topic. The company contacted us and asked us if we would be their “Sugar-free Experts” and write a book dedicated to cooking and baking without refined sugar. It was the perfect fit for us and we jumped on board. The book features some of our reader’s favorite recipes from the blog but also has many new and improved recipes as well. We think something that makes the book special is it really became a labor of love for our entire family, not just the three of us. We had family near and far testing recipes and even creating new recipes. This book really pays tribute to our support and love for each other as well as our collective pursuit of health. If we had a family time capsule for the year, (which we should make!), this book would definitely be in it, representing a lot of collaboration, work, laughter, tears and late night phone calls.
Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
We get inspiration from absolutely everywhere! We love to travel. Annie and her husband have done a lot of traveling all over Europe and always come back with fantastic recipes that we set out to re-create in a healthy way. Chelsea is currently in Brazil where she is learning a lot about food and traditions there. Holly lives in Los Angeles where the food scene is top notch and is always taking pictures of beautiful dessert cases and restaurant food presentations. Whenever we see unique flavor combinations at gelato shops or a dessert presented in a particularly pretty way, we text a picture to each other and store the idea away for later. The fact is, most desserts are not healthy in the slightest, so we always have our work cut out for us in recreating recipes. We currently have a recipe list with over 200 ideas that we hope to share on our blog or add in a future cookbook!
Did you have to do any research for this cookbook?
Yes! When it comes to science, the world is always changing! We wanted to make sure our readers had the latest research on what sugar does to their bodies. We have an entire chapter dedicated to refined sugar and why people should avoid it. We did a lot of research trying to ensure we were using the best techniques in our cooking as well as ways to make procedures easier for our readers. Not to mention endless “tasting research”! Taste testing was definitely the most time-consuming (and enjoyable!) part. We reworked recipes over and over, at 3 different altitudes, in 3 different test kitchens, trying to make sure they were the best they could be.
What is your most favorite recipe from this book and why?
Annie: I really enjoy the Vegan Lemons Bars because lemon bars are an old family and personal favorite that I am so excited to enjoy now in a sugar-free way. I also love that there is a secret healthy ingredient in them! It’s always a blast telling people after they eat dessert that you snuck in something super healthy that they didn’t notice!
Chelsea: I love the Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. I have a weakness for gourmet cupcakes and this recipe is my go-to for any celebration!
Holly: I love the Honey Mustard Dressing. I can’t believe I’m picking this recipe over all the wonderful desserts in the book, but my three little girls, ages 8, 5 and 2 will literally eat anything with this dressing on top. I’m a big green vegetable fan, and it makes me giddy seeing my two year old ask for seconds on her salad at dinner.
Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.
Something real about us is that we are recovering sugar-addicts! We each suffered from various health problems in our teenage years and over time realized that our diets had a lot to do with how we felt. We have strived ever since to heal our bodies by cleaning up our food. After a lot of reading and consulting health gurus, we decided that a big part of an optimal diet is eliminating refined sugar. We are grateful to be in this together, because it’s so much easier making good food choices when we have support. Also, we are best friends in real life! We live very far away from each other right now so this blog has been a way to work, eat and laugh together across long distances.
Thank you so much for this interview, girls. I hope my readers check out your new cookbook. Congratulations!