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Have Your Cake and Eat it, Too

Regaining health with chocolate, ice cream, and other too-good-to-be-true desserts

{From the 2024 Spring magazine}

Written By Megin Potter |  Photos PROVIDED

Britt Young gained 70lbs when she was pregnant with her first child. She’d remained strict with her diet and never experienced pregnancy cravings. Working with a personal trainer after the birth, she diligently chronicled her food intake, but nothing seemed to help her lose the weight. Then, Britt learned she had a gluten intolerance. By eliminating grains and sugars while adding more whole foods and vegetables to her diet, the weight began melting away. Her skin and stomach issues cleared up, her sleep and mood improved, and she had more mental clarity.

“It made me feel fantastic and made me a better mom,” she said. 

Healthy by Choice

A picture of Britt with her two daughters (now ages 8 and 10) is centered behind the counter of The Sweetish Chef, the bakery she opened in 2021 at 76 Front Street in Ballston Spa as a tribute to her mother, Sandra, who was an excellent cook and baker who struggled with her weight. 

“Her portion control was out of control,” said Britt. Her lifestyle choices complicated an otherwise minor leg injury to the extent that it took her life in 2018. 

“It made me very angry. I didn’t want that to happen to anybody else. In our society, we eat a lot and are not good at finding that happy balance. I wanted to make treats where people feel like they have a choice,” she said. 

Delicious by Design

The Sweetish Chef started selling sugar free, gluten free and grain free desserts for Farmers’ Markets and for porch pick-up during the pandemic. Today, they are creating cupcakes, donuts, bread, bagels, cookies, bars, brownies and more using almond and coconut flour sweetened with monk fruit (natively grown in Southern China) blended with erythritol, a zero calorie type of carbohydrate called sugar alcohol that is used as a sweetener.    

“I was trying to figure out – what would I want if I couldn’t have it?” said Britt.

The fudgy chocolate-topped Peanut Butter Bars and their Kitchen Sink Bars, made with coconut, walnuts, and milk chocolate are the shop’s best sellers. Their seasonal small-batch items include to-go half-pints of dairy-free, sugar-free ice cream in vanilla, chocolate, and cookies & cream flavors. 

“It’s all about balance. I have to eat this way in order to feel good. When you eat well, you do feel better. It completely changes your brain and your gut. You sleep better and wake up better, ready to have a great day.”

Chocolate Fest Winner

Using a small number of clean, recognizable ingredients, Britt has recreated her mother’s famous recipes including her barter-worthy apple pie, spritz cookies, and coffee cake. In February, The Sweetish Chef released a packaged DIY low-carb brownie mix, and plans to add vanilla and chocolate cookies, as well as coffee cake mixes to the product line. 

This was The Sweetish Chef’s second year participating in Ballston Spa’s popular Chocolate Fest. Their tried-and-true recipe for Banging Stout Chili (made with stout beer and cocoa) took first place in the “Savory” category. Blending chocolate and chilis dates back to the Aztecs because of chocolate’s ability to coax flavor and perk up the spices, indulging the senses while enhancing the richness and depth of a dish. 

The more than 600 chili samples (handed out at the nearby Boho Chic Boutique) and an equal number of Chocolate Truffle samples, were sold out within two hours. This kind of community event is one of the reasons Britt was attracted to the location. Antiques and memorabilia from her parent’s house create an inviting atmosphere in the space, which was previously a tack shop.

“I love being part of the village, and that’s part of the reason why I wanted this shop. It really is like you’re part of a village here,” said Britt, adding, “Orange was my mom’s favorite color and when my dad saw pictures of this place, it had orange walls. He said, ‘that’s your mom, telling you to do it.’”

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