Ricki Heller’s blog, Diet Dessert & Dogs, was one of the first that I discovered, and quickly fell in love with, back in the early blogging days. Her wit, her stories, and oh, those wonderful recipes. Sure, anyone can make a pepperoni pizza, but have you seen a truly tasty, made-from-scratch version that is also vegan and gluten-free? What about decadent truffles that are dairy-free, low in sugar, and sneakily packed with sweet potatoes? And have you ever thought to replace the carrots in quick bread with nutritious parsnips?
This woman is immensely creative with healthy food and can take on ANY special diet challenge. Honestly, I am so grateful to have a friend who is so inspirational.
But lest you think she is too perfect when it comes to nutrition … Ricki is human … she has a voracious sweet tooth. So it came as little surprise to me when she married her passions for sweets and good health in her latest e-cookbook, Desserts without Compromise.
Ricki already has a vegan and wheat-free dessert cookbook under her belt (just in case you aren’t familiar, Sweet Freedom is a must have too!), but she took it several steps further, creating a collection of desserts suitable for her ACD Diet. That means these desserts are all low glycemic, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, … and just for kicks, Ricki makes all of her recipes egg-free, since she is also vegan. Yes, if you are looking for diabietic-friendly, ACD (anti-candida diet) and SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) qualified, or simply healthier dessert recipes, then Desserts without Compromise is definitely for you.
Desserts without Compromise was literally my savior during my recent ten-day “sugar break.” Just when I thought I couldn’t hold out any longer, I remembered Ricki’s e-cookbook, and went straight to the kitchen. Within minutes, I had several Carob-Coconut Sweeties just waiting to be devoured …
(This is actually Ricki’s photo, my photos were not nearly this nice!)
As Ricki mentions in the recipe, it makes a small batch, just in case you can’t stop. Smart move, because yes, I did devour the whole batch. I’m not a big tahini fan, so I prefer all nut butter in this recipe, but it does have a nice contrast for those of you who do like tahini.
With that success, and my strict sugar-free challenge completed, I moved on to the lightly sweetened recipes, and these awesome Grain-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies …
Loved, loved, loved them! Ricki mentioned that you could use any nut in the recipe. Since we didn’t have any hazelnuts, I used ground cashews, and the cookies still turned out perfect!
Of course, once I get started on cookies, I can’t stop. So I also made the heavenly Grain-Free Coconut Macaroons …
Again, I used cashews instead of the almonds called for in the recipe (this time, because the husband is allergic to almonds). In addition, I made a few little changes to the recipe, customizing it to the ingredients and tools that I had on hand. So Ricki was kind enough to let me reprint my version for you here …
Grain-Free Macaroon Cookies
Recipe adapted from Desserts without Compromise by Ricki Heller.
These little gems brown quickly on the outside, but stay soft and chewy on the inside … like a cross between a macaroon and a chewy cookie. This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Wheat-Free, and optionally Vegan.
- 1/3 Cup (1.5 ounces) Raw Cashews
- 2 Tablespoons Flaxseeds
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
- 1/4 Cup Honey (or agave nectar if you are keeping it vegan like Ricki)
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil, melted
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- up to 1/4 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips (I chopped up some dark chocolate chunks) or Cacao Nibs
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
In your spice grinder, grind the cashews and flaxseeds into a powder (takes just about 30 seconds). Place the cashew / flax mixture in a medium-sized bowl, and add the coconut flour, honey or agave, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt. Stir until everything is well combined. Fold in the shredded coconut, followed by the chocolate or cacao nibs.
With slightly wet hands (to avoid sticking), shape the dough into 12 little rounds. Flatten each to about 3/8 to 1/2-inch thickness (they don’t spread). Place the cookie disks on your prepared cookie sheet, and bake for 5 minutes. Turn the cookie sheet for even browning, and then bake for another 4 to 6 minutes (I take mine out at exactly 10 minutes total), or when they are turning a golden brown on the outside.
Makes 12 macaroon-cookie gems
Now this is just the tip of the iceburg for Desserts without Compromise. Check it out on Ricki’s website. Other great recipes that I hope to make soon include the Soy-free Corn-free Creamy Vanilla Custard, Almond Cinnamon Fudge (with other nuts for us!), Mint Chip Ice cream, and Individual Bread Puddings with Caramel Sauce …