Conversation with a Food Blogger: Naturally Sassy

In this column, we're interviewing the tastemakers, foodies and chefs that are dominating the web. Here are just a few of our favorite food bloggers. This week: Saskia Gregson-Williams of Naturally Sassy.
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Naturally Sassy is a gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free blog filled with delicious, satisfying and indulgent recipes. Saskia, or Sassy as her friends call her, is here to quash the stigma that healthy eating is bland, boring and hard to maintain. She is all about embracing pure, natural whole-foods and making her recipes with simple ingredients that taste amazing. Everything Sassy makes is plant-based and tastes completely indulgent, from superfood salads to brownies and ice cream and even pizza and lasagna. Based out of London, England, Sassy is a professionally trained dancer and uses food to to reduce inflammation, increase stamina, boost immunity and promote muscle recovery. Currently working on a book deal, developing an app and creating a line of energy bars, Sassy seems to have her plate full, but she still found time to talk to us about her favorite things.

What is your favorite meal of the day?

My favorite meal of the day is definitely breakfast! I love making super food smoothie bowls topped with sugar free granola, porridge made with homemade almond milk, fresh berries and almond butter and, of course, my healthy pancakes for a Sunday brunch with friends.

What’s an ingredient that you just can’t live without?

I can’t choose one; there are so many fantastic natural ingredients I would be lost without; avocado, sweet potato, cashews & dates would have to be my top four. They’re all so diverse, and can make a simple meal completely delicious. Avocado is incredible for making dips, creams and creamy toppings. Sweet potato is incredible roasted or baked and filled with guacamole. Cashews are a staple in my house, they’re the most incredible ingredients as a substitute to dairy products, you can make cheesecakes, milk, chocolate, parmesan - it’s quite incredible. Finally Medjool dates, they’re natures candy and the best alternative to refined sugars, whenever I have a sweet tooth I’m always whipping up some raw banana & medjool date ice cream.

If you were stranded on a deserted island what two spices would you want to have with you?

Turmeric & Ginger. They’re my favourite and most loved spices, their health benefits are incredible; they’re incredibly anti-inflammatory.

Where is your favorite place to shop for ingredients?

Whole Foods is definitely my favorite. Though, if I’m too lazy to visit the store, I order my ingredients from Goodness Direct.

You're a popular food blogger with thousands of followers. Is there a food blog that you follow?

I was previously the food editor at the online magazine Hip & Healthy, so that’s definitely my go to when it comes to reading everything about Health & Wellness.

As a health conscious food blogger, do you still treat yourself to guilty pleasures?

All the recipes in my free Healthy Raw Chocolate eBook always come to the rescue when my sweet tooth hits. My favorites are my vegan, gluten and sugar-free chocolate cupcakes with a silky peanut butter coconut icing!

What is your favorite late-night snack?

I love some homemade almond milk heated with cinnamon and a little vanilla essence. It’s a really great late-night snack. It’s packed with plant protein, omega 3’s, and the cinnamon will soothe and relax you for a great nights sleep!

What are the biggest challenges and greatest rewards of being a food blogger?

I’m always so enthused to make new recipes, the hardest part for me is giving myself the time to do all the slightly less creative parts: the editing, the uploading. The best part of being a food blogger is the incredible feeling of connecting with people that appreciate and love what you do. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing you’re inspiring people to lead a healthier lifestyle and, in incredible cases, having such astounding effects on their wellness. I’m so grateful for all my readers. Their encouragement and support is unfathomable.

Do you have any recipes that stand out for being epic fails?

My first attempt at scones (a very British tea time treat) turned out really badly. It was one of the first things I’d ever tried to make, and tasted a whole lot like sandpaper. I’ve come along way since then!

What’s next in your career?

There are going to be lots of very exciting announcements in the next few weeks! I'll be announcing them on my blog and Instagram (@naturallysassy_) so stay tuned!

Finally, can you share one of your favorite recipes?

There are a few dishes I particularly love like my Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cheesecake, my Risotto & Cashew Cream, my Healthy Pancakes, and my Raw Banoffee Pie. Yum!

banan-cream

Raw Banoffee Pie (Gluten Free, Vegan, Raw, Sugar Free)

Serves: 8

INGREDIENTS:

BANANA CREAM

  • 5 bananas
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 5 medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup almond/oat/rice milk

COCONUT CREAM

  • 2 cans coconut milk/cream (placed in freezer two hours before making)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

CRUST

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 cup medjool dates
  • 3 tbsp cacao (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Start by making the base. Grind the cashews in a blender into a fine flour. Pour into a bowl then add the dates and 1 tablespoon of water, blend into a paste, add to the bowl and massage with your hands until every things combined and you have a crust. Mould into the bottom of a greased tart case, moulding a little up the side too. Then place in your fridge.
  2. Now whilst the base hardens, add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth. Pour onto the base and put in the freezer to harden a little quicker.
  3. Remove the coconut from the tins (just the cream) and pour into blender. Add with 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and allow to set.
  4. When you’re almost ready to eat remove the pie from the freezer, allow it to thaw before adding dollops of the cream and slicing a couple of bananas on top.

Alexis Nilsen has a blog called Cow Crumbs.This princess is filling her paper bags with wholesome good-for-you ingredients, proving one recipe at a time that gluten-free can be so much more than rice flour and tapioca starch.