F O O D
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Clean Sweets by Sasha, Redwood City cleansweetsbysasha.com Sasha Lipton makes a living selling cakes, muffins, cookies and other desserts with no grains, gluten, soy, dairy or refined sugar — basically, the ingredients that people associate with baked goods. “There are a ton of gluten-free and vegan bakeries, but vegan and gluten-free doesn’t mean healthy in any sense. There are tons of sugar and gums and thickeners and weird oils added to make those baked goods be the texture and taste that you would expect,” she said. “I think the more simple, the better. I’m staying true to that.” After plenty of trial and error, Lipton created a base recipe for her baked goods. She uses almond flour, which she said makes her desserts more dense, and replaces butter and cream with coconut oil. She sweetens her desserts, made in her home kitchen, with maple syrup. She makes everything from lemon poppyseed muffins and banana bread to peanut 8
butter blondies, vegan raspberry thumbprint cookies and coconut chocolate chip cookies. When she was living in New York in 2014, a doctor told Lipton to cut out grains, gluten, dairy, refined sugar and soy from her diet to remedy her cystic acne. She quickly realized there were few truly healthy sweets available. Motivated by a major sweet tooth, Lipton, who has baked and cooked throughout her life, started to experiment in the kitchen, making healthier variations of her favorite sweets. As her skin started to clear up and she started to feel more energetic, she said she started sharing her baked goods with family and coworkers. Lipton said she hopes to help other people who are trying to be more conscious of the ingredients that they put into their bodies while also making a delicious product. “I don’t want to make baked goods that taste good for being healthy,” she said. “I wanted to make baked goods that taste good and happen to be healthy.” —Alicia Mies (continued on page 10)
D R I N K
Top: Sasha Lipton, creator of Clean Sweets by Sasha, mixes brownie batter made with almond flour, cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla, coconut sugar and coconut oil in her home kitchen. Above: Raspberry thumbprint cookies made with homemade raspberry jam are among her healthy baked goods. Photos by Veronica Weber.