Meet our Queen Baker Saskia (Sassy) Gregson-Williams from Naturally Sassy

Interview with Saskia Gregson-Williams.

We’re pleased to say that we’ve reached over 1000 #bakedairyfree entries and have now revealed the short list!

Make sure to keep up with the #bakedairyfree hashtag as our Queen Bakers Sassy and Sadie will be announcing the grand prize winner of £1000 worth of baking kit this Friday 23rd October. Until then, please meet Sassy health-food blogger and author of Naturally Sassy.

BDF: Hi Sassy, could you tell us where you are based and where you do most of your baking?

Sassy: I’m based between London and Chicago. I have a huge sweet tooth, so I bake constantly wherever I am, though I have to admit that living in the US has certainly increased my sweet cravings, and thus the amount I bake!

BDF: How many times a week are you dairy free and why?

Sassy: I’m dairy free 100% of the time! I had terrible eczema growing up and It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered the root of the problem was a dairy intolerance. I cut dairy out overnight and after just a month it had totally disappeared, it felt like a miracle!

BDF: How did you get involved in eating clean and becoming health-food advocates?

Sassy: When I cut out dairy, gluten and refined sugar from my diet I knew it wouldn’t be maintainable unless I was able to still enjoy the flavours and unhealthy dishes I formerly ate. I set myself a goal of cooking something every-day, and over time I started to develop a real passion for it. My sister Sadie had just launched Hip & Healthy at the time, and I started creating recipes to share on their platform. Readers seemed to really enjoy them, and I began to get a following over social media.

Photo taken from Naturally Sassy.

BDF: Is that how Naturally Sassy was born?

Sassy: I had developed such a loyal following who were passionate about my recipes and I wanted a space to be able to share more. I launched my website in March 2014 and the response was overwhelming. It came at a brilliant time as the health industry was just starting to blossom, so it was fantastic to be part of that.

BDF: What would you say is the biggest myth in healthy cooking and baking?

Sassy: That sweet treats will be disgusting without sugar! My friends always look at me perplexed when I tell them my desserts don’t have any refined sugar, it seems like an impossibility that something so delicious doesn’t contain sugar.

BDF: What’s your all time favourite dairy free bake?

Sassy: My Double Chocolate Cake with a Salted Caramel Drizzle has to be the top of my list. It’s moist, light, fluffy, rich – everything a cake should be.

Photo taken from Naturally Sassy

BDF: If you had to choose one thing to bake for the rest of your life what would it be?

Sassy: My healthy vegan brownies… they never let you down and are so moreish I don’t think I could ever get bored of them.

BDF: What’s your favourite classic cake and have you made a free-from version?

Sassy: A victoria sponge cake. My mum and I used to bake them for every occasion growing up, so it was definitely top of my list to make when I started experimenting with healthy bakes.. maybe I’ll make creating a free-from version my next baking challenge!

BDF: If you were a Queen Baker on GBBO, who would have you chosen and what was your favourite bake from the show?

Sassy: I was definitely behind Nadiya, every week she produced something brilliant and had a real instinct when it came to baking – I always like it when people on the show experiment with different flavours that perhaps aren’t as used in baking! My favourite bake was probably Paul’s Lion though – that will definitely be hard to top next year!

BDF: What secret baking tip would you give those wanting to introduce healthy ingredients into the kitchen?`

Sassy: It can be difficult for people change baking habits they’ve grown up with, so I would say by using alternatives to butter like ‘Pure’, alternatives to sugar like maple syrup or applesauce, and alternatives to egg by using flax seed or banana can help you ease into the change slowly – usually these alternatives don’t just provide more health benefits but I think they actually taste so much better as well!

Photo taken from Naturally Sassy

BDF: If you could ask people to make one small change to live a healthier lifestyle, what would that be?

Sassy: Make sure you eat foods that make you happy and do forms of exercise that make you happy – healthy living doesn’t have to be boring, I promise!

Thanks Sassy! We’re excited to see you and Sadie’s pick for our #bakedairyfree Grand Prize Winner on Friday!

Make sure to follow Sassy on Twitter and Instagram, and let the Queen Bakers know who you’d like to see win!