Monday, January 12, 2015

Interview with Cook Book Authors Annie, Chelsea and Holly Forsyth

Annie, Chelsea and Holly Forsyth began Natural Sweet Recipes ( 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!


Cyndi F said...

I love that they got there inspiration from travel!! And I love lemon bars too yummmmmy!!! I would so love to have this cookbook!! I love to cook but tend to go crazy on bad things yet, I go to the gym daily!! Stupid I no!! So I want to share a little story!!!
My husband builds high rise scaffold and went to a Surger making plant....He said IT WAS THE GROSSEST MOST DISCUSTING THING,THAT STUNK TO HIGH HEAVEN!! HE HATED IT SOOOOO BAD...he made me drive 18 hours each way to go get him!! When I got there I was gagging SO BAD I ALMOST GOT SICK!!! So if that does not turn You OFF SURGER!!! besides health....ewwwwww was so nasty!!! So we of course still eat surger but for me so much of it is laziness I did switch to organic coconut surger for me. But my hubby still uses reg. Surger and I cook with it! So besides needing to loose weight, get healthy, and wanting to eat healthy! I need to LEARN HOW NOT TO USE IT!!!
So thank u so much!!!! I no I talk to much!!! But this is amazing love it!!!

Cyndi F said...

I also forgot to say that One of my favorite things is cooking recipes from "around the world" that is why I think it is so cool you got you inspiration from travel. I have never left the U.S so I guess this is how I "explore" lol
Thanks again
I really hope I get to try out those vegan lemon bars
As someone who calls eggs- Chicken Butts. and milk Cows Snaught you can see why vegan is also appealing!!! Lol I am not vegan!!! Just grossed out by some things and really if I could go vegan I most likely would!! But I like to many things that are not vegan lol!!!
Thanks again!!!

Anonymous said...

Love the idea of a great cookbook that also is healthy! I'd give that a try! Nice to see a cookbook interview also for a fun change! Way to go!

-- anmlvrami AT

Nancy Luebke said...

Really love this idea. A couple years ago I found out I'm diabetic so this cookbook sounds wonderful. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

Kat said...

I love this! I have been working on eliminating sugar from my family's diet, but struggle with a lot of things. This would be great! Thanks!
katsaddress AT gmail. DOT com

Ashleigh Swerdfeger said...

Ooh sounds yummy~ I would love try any of those mentioned recipes. It would make for a yummy dinner and I love that it low sugar.
ash_o3 at hotmail dot com

Mutti said...

Thanks for your delightful interview with these creative cooks! I know from personal experience that people will enjoy using their terrific recipes. I don't need to be in the drawing. Let someone else have the chance to try their fun new book!

Michelle Willms said...

I loved this interview. I can't eat refined sugar (or many other types of sugar) due to my yeast allergy. My children both have ADHD,so we try to avoid refined sugars in their diets. It really helps them to concentrate much better. I'm so thrilled to hear of a cookbook that's really addressing this issue. So many times, I'll read about a sugar-free cookbook, but discover it's not really sugar-free. That's become a real issue for my family. My mom and I have developed many of our own sugar-free recipes. It would be so nice to win a copy of this. As always, thanks for a great interview and giveaway. michelle_willms at yahoo dot com

Sonja said...

Love cookbooks! Specially ones that don't use sugar. I am trying to cut back, haha! Would love this!

Sonja said...

Forgot my email! Sonja dot nishimoto at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

Great ideas. Food is Love! And to be able to enjoy it and not feel guilty is wonderful.
Rexene Robbins

Benita Alan said...

Looks like a fun book! I like The Everything Series and they usually pick out great contributors.

Good interview too, I don't think I could trust these women if they were not recovering sugarholics!

Will definitely buy and try it out

Amy said...

I would love to win a copy of their cookbook. I've known the girls for years and love seeing their success.

Emily said...

Sounds like such an amazing cookbook! Congrats on the publication of this! I know I could use a little less sugar in my life!

rebecca said...

I love lemon bars, but the sugar always burns my throat! I would love this book just so I could enjoy a lemonbar! Congrats Annie, Chelsea and Holly. How fun to be on this adventure to health as sisters.

leslieeva said...

Wow 300 recipes? I would love to get this book! I am interested in trying every single recipe. We can all use new ideas for healthier eating! Thank you!

Maria said...

This is my go to blog for sweets without all the guilt. Love all the recipes I've tried so far and looking forward to the cookbook.


Kristin said...

Love i, Forsyth girls!I need to get this book!

Anonymous said...

I have tried their almond butter oatmeal cookies and they are the BOMB. Love their site.

HeyPaula said...

You girls are such an inspiration! I would love to get this book!

Shirley Strait said...

I love cookbooks! I have had to learn a lot about cooking without refined sugar since my hubby was diagnosed with diabetes. This sounds like a wonderful find.
straitfromthehive(at) gmail(dot) com

Anonymous said...

I'm working on minimizing my sugar intake as well. This recipe book would be a great addition to my kitchen! :)

Bill Forsyth said...

I love every single recipe in their book! Everything is so good and is easy to make as well.

As one who constantly craves sweet things but can't afford the calories, this cookbook allows me to eat things the way I should and still enjoy the taste I crave.

I hope there is a book 2 coming soon!

Bles in Va.

Michelle Owen said...

Congratulations on the cook book! If only I wasn't a chocoholic and I'm not giving it up...

That being said I'm totally up for Sugar Free recipes without chocolate :)

Holly - If my name is drawn for the cookbook I can be reached via FB/MILKS

Cindi said...

I absolutely have to buy a copy of this book for my household. My 17 year old daughter, 20 year old son, and I are all about mid-size but we all have the 'sugar' belly!! So BAD!!!

cc_clubbs at yahoo dot com

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Katherine Anderson! You are the winner of this wonderful cookbook. I know you'll enjoy it very much.

Annie, Holly & Chelsea at Natural Sweet Recipes said...

Thank you so much for having us on your site, Linda! We so appreciate your help with sharing our book and hope everyone will enjoy it. :) Congrats to Katherine on winning! Have a wonderful day!