It feels so weird to be introducing myself and Naturally Sweet Kitchen to the world. This blog has been my little secret for the past two months and now here we are! It’s terrifying. It’s embarrassing. But mostly, it’s beyond exciting. So let’s get it going, shall we?
Who am I?
I’m a late 20-something Canadian currently living in London, England. By day, I work in digital marketing for an environmentally-focused e-commerce start-up encouraging people to buy things that last and rallying companies to make products that last longer. By night, I research, bake, code, write, photograph, and breathe Naturally Sweet Kitchen. What can I say? I like to keep busy!
I’m a self-taught baker who enjoys experimenting with different ingredients and creating exciting flavour combinations. When I’m not whisking up a storm in the kitchen, I love to explore. I’m in such an excellent location now to visit so many parts of the world that I’m hoping I get to travel more and share the adventures with you. I’m also a huge book nerd and consume almost as many historical fiction, fantasy, and food writing books as I do cookies.
Why a food blog?
I started blogging in 2015 when I moved across the world to Australia in an attempt to jump-start my career in publishing. After doling out some 200 resumes and not getting anywhere, I ended up depressed, homesick, and more than a little broke. I needed a connection to the people I loved back home, and since I was teaching myself to cook, I figured sharing the food I made would be the perfect avenue. I launched The Cinnamon Scrolls that Christmas and spent two years honing my recipe development, photography, food styling, and (less than basic) web dev skills.
But when another huge life shift came around in 2017, I couldn’t commit the time and energy needed to run a blog and I had to say goodbye. The Cinnamon Scrolls will always hold a special place in my heart. It, and the people who came to visit, share, and connect over the content, are the reason I was able to wade through my post-graduate depression and emerge more alive and confident on the other side.
But I digress. You’re not here for my life’s history, are you? You’re here for cake.
Let’s get stuck in!
First of all, you need to know something: Naturally Sweet Kitchen is not a healthy baking blog. Yes, the ingredients we use here are whole, natural and good for you in moderation, but these treats are not by any means waistline-friendly. I will never make claims that you can lose weight or lower your cholesterol by eating my desserts. They’re dessert, full stop.
That being said, I believe that a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle includes a little indulgence. I don’t do fad diets. I don’t count calories or ketos or macros or whatever the hell else people are counting these days. Somewhat because I hate math, but mostly because I try to eat consciously. I believe that listening to what my body needs and respecting that it knows best is probably a better use of my (limited) time than sweating over whether my lunch was Points Plus compliant. I’m very new to intuitive eating, but trust me when I say that it’s been one of the best changes I’ve made for my physical and mental health.
I try to live by an 80/20 rule – get your greens, essential fibre, lean proteins, and a boatload of water into your body 80 percent of the time, but allow yourself that last 20 percent to make you happy. Food is comforting, endorphin-inducing, and there’s no reason why we should deny ourselves that feeling as long as we moderate it. Life is too short to worry!
Naturally Sweet Kitchen follows my 80/20 rule. Here, we do whole foods. You won’t find overly processed ingredients, artificial colours or gels, refined sugar, bleached flours, or unpronounceable preservatives. When I began the journey into developing baking recipes, I did a lot of research on the ingredients I was using, how they worked together chemically, but also how they were made. I discovered a lot of things I didn’t agree with in the production of commercial bakery ingredients; I knew that we could do better.
So what will you find on Naturally Sweet Kitchen?
Delicious, naturally made versions of your favourite desserts and bakery treats (and, if you’re brave, maybe a little flavour experimentation!) We’ll use good old butter, unrefined coconut oil, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, raw cane sugar, unbleached and gluten-free flours, dark chocolate, free-range eggs, and lots of other good-for-you ingredients. This is indulgence without the nasties. Happiness without the guilt.
My hope is that you’ll come visit for recipes you can trust and that you feel good about eating. I hope you discover what living a balanced, fulfilled life means to you (because it’s different for everyone), and I hope you do the things and eat the food that makes you happy. If all goes well, you’ll also walk away with more knowledge about how our ingredients are made and learn about some new natural alternatives and how to substitute them in your own baking.
But most importantly?
I hope we satisfy your sweet tooth. Naturally.