Monday, September 30, 2013

September Cookbook Review: Naturally Sweet & Gluten Free & A Winner!

Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free
Allergy-Friendly Vegan Desserts

Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free will prove that you can have your cake and great health too! The desserts and other baked goods found in this book were inspired by the author’s decision, after decades of baking and indulging in unhealthy sweets, to radically heed her body’s wake-up call and radically alter her diet.
The book features:
- 100 dessert recipes all free of gluten, eggs, and dairy; many are also soy-free (or offer a soy-free option), corn-free (all but one!), and nut-free (or offer a nut-free option)
- Comprehensive introductory matter, including helpful information on: ingredients, tips & techniques, tools & bake ware, and an at-a glance pantry list
- The author’s first book, Sweet Freedom, is listed on Ellen
DeGeneres’s Web site as one of her top vegan cookbook picks



This cookbook is different from almost any other book I've used before. The desserts are familiar, with items such as cupcakes, muffins, brownies, pies, but they are all made with non-traditional ingredients. It's not a low-fat dessert book, or a book that substitutes a few ingredients here and there- it truly calls for ingredients that are much healthier than regular dessert ingredients. I'll be honest, some of these ingredients might not be familiar to the average baker, particularly if you're a novice. I've been baking for many years, but I tend to stick to the usual ingredients; some of these were brand new and unfamiliar to me. The final products, however, were really, really, good.

I stuck to the simpler recipes to start, using shorter ingredient lists and more familiar flavours, and had a lot of success. I probably shouldn't admit this, but if you're not avoiding ALL of the items that are excluded, some ingredients could be substituted back in. SSSHHHH, don't tell anyone, but I **may** have occasionally used an egg or two. Maybe. You can't prove it. The muffins, cupcakes, and cookies in particular are easy to bake and have pretty short ingredient lists.

In all seriousness, though, these recipes are fantastic for anyone who either has multiple allergies or food restrictions, or who is just looking to eat cleaner but isn't ready to give up dessert. With these recipes, you don't have to. These desserts aren't lacking in flavour or texture, and they look exactly (or at least pretty close) to the traditional versions. It did take a while to adjust to the ingredient list since I'm used to baking with all those things that are left out, like white sugar & eggs, but the recipes were easy to follow. The cookbook is beautifully laid out, with gorgeous photography and straightforward instructions. Now you can have your gluten-free (and sugar free and egg free and nut free and dairy free) cake and eat it too!


One lucky reader has been chosen to receive her very own copy of Ricki's book. Lisa S., check your email, and congratulations!


  1. Thanks for the giveaway!!! I am enjoying your blog.

  2. Thank you so much for this! I'm so sorry I missed this earlier--I think I thought it was just a follow-up to the giveaway. I LOVE what you said about the book! Honestly, that was my intention--so that people could make the recipes and, if they didn't have the specific sweetener, or if they DID use eggs or dairy milk, etc.--they could just put it back in (ssshhh, I won't tell anyone!) :D . Thanks so much for your honest review and for running the giveaway. I am so glad you've enjoyed the book!