Hi! My name is Ashley. I’m a 20-something food lover living in New York City. I have a passion for baking that is rivaled only by my passion for nutritious foods. I believe in real food – whole, unprocessed, healthy. Food that comes as close to nature as possible. I also believe in sweet treats – brownies, muffins, cookies. Who says these can’t be one in the same?
The baking bug hit me at an early age. I remember the excitement I’d feel when Grandma came to our house each year during the holidays to make Christmas cookies. We’d spend an entire day rolling sugar dough and cutting out reindeer, wreaths, ornaments and Santas. Into the oven they’d go while we mixed red and green icing from scratch and organized different colored sprinkles into bowls. Then came the decorating! Grandma had these great time-worn metal piping tools that helped me create fun designs and made me feel like a very professional little baker. We’d make hundreds of cookies. It was wonderful.
As I got older, I started to bake on my own. I scoured cookbooks and websites for recipes and was always eager to try a new baking creation. We constantly had dessert in the house because as soon as one was getting low, I’d make another. Caramel-filled chocolate cookies. Pumpkin streusel bars. Gooey butter cake. Peanut butter-honey brownies. I sometimes wonder if my family ever got tired of all the sugar!
When my interest in nutrition was sparked, I became more aware of what I was eating. I wanted to fuel my body with wholesome food to keep me healthy and give me energy. I began looking for healthier recipes and adapting the not-so-healthy ones. It all started with the classic applesauce for oil substitution. From there it was using whole-wheat flour in place of all-purpose. And now I’ve entered the worlds of agave nectar, date sugar, whole-wheat pastry flour. I’ve learned about a lot of good tricks and new ingredients over the years and can’t wait to expand my baking repertoire by learning more.
I created Sweet + Natural as a way for me to combine and explore my passions for baking and nutrition. I’ll be testing recipes, creating my own and musing on related thoughts along the way – sort of like an interactive cookbook. Everything I bake on Sweet + Natural will be made from whole foods. No refined flours or sugars. And no butter or unhealthy oils. Just wholesome ingredients. Deliciously sweet and all natural.
Hope you join in on my baking fun! I’d love to hear about your healthy baking tips or favorite recipes as I share mine. And feel free to contact me at email@example.com with any questions or comments. Happy baking!