Book Review – Sweet and Natural

This time of year is birthday season in my family, so I want to be able to make desserts that I can actually eat too. I saw Sweet and Natural: More Than 120 Sugar-Free and Dairy-Free Desserts and decided to take it out of the library to check out. It’s excellent. All the recipes are dairy and egg free, and many use alternative grains or have suggestions on how to substitute alternative grains (usually spelt). Most recipes have no refined sugar, although there are many sweeteners used that are currently on my no-no list: brown rice syrup, barley malt syrup, and FruitSource (brown rice syrup and grape juice concentrate). Still, there are plenty of recipes that are completely acceptable, and many that can be altered, and I don’t have to worry about figuring out if replacing eggs in this or that recipe will come out OK, and the recipes sound great.

I tried the Almond Mocha Cake with Mocha Mousse Frosting, using carob instead of chocolate, and it was pretty good. It was nice and moist and light. I think it would have been really good with chocolate, but sadly, I am not allowed it right now. It was a big hit with a few family members who aren’t health food/carob people, they actually took home some of the leftovers.

Even if you don’t have food restrictions, this book is great and a must-have. My only complaint, and it’s not much of one, is that there aren’t a lot of gluten-free recipes. I was trying to find something to bring to a Christmas party with there are 3 people who can’t have gluten, and I couldn’t find anything that really interested me. I made my coconut balls instead.

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