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Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free Giveaway!

Naturally Sweet and Gluten Free - Vegan Desserts

Gluten-Free AND Vegan Desserts and NO Refined Sugar!

Today, I am sharing my new favorite dessert cookbook with you. This one will be a perfect book to get into your collection right before all of your holiday baking. Written by renowned cookbook author, Ricki Heller, Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free is packed with 100 gluten-free, vegan, and allergy friendly desserts. The best part is that all of the recipes in this book are actually healthy and contain no gluten, dairy, eggs, OR refined sugar.

I have gotten to know Ricki over the years and I feel that it is a must that I first mention that she is just an incredible soul from the inside out. She is kind and generous, super witty, and has an amazing knack for developing some delicious recipes…

I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of this book because I knew there would be so many gems waiting inside.

Some of the recipes that caught my eye (just to name a few):

  • Oatmeal Poppy Seed Scones
  • Chocolate Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Cinnamon Coffee Bars
  • Apple Pumpkin Crumble Bars
  • Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
  • Chocolate Mystery Cupcakes

And the recipe images in this FULL-COLOR cookbook are totally stunning as well…

I have included a little sneak peak at some of the images that you’ll find inside (posted with permission from the publisher, Sellers Publishing). They are peppered throughout this post to tease you and perhaps even make you drool a bit.

Photo credit: Photos by Celine Saki, as seen in Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free)

Like these Chocolate Layer Cupcakes….

Vegan Desserts

or these Dalmation Cheesecake Brownies…

Naturally Sweet and Gluten Free

(And just to note…. while I did receive an advance copy of the cookbook, I was not paid for this review and the opinions are entirely my own. The cookbook included in this giveaway below is being provided entirely by me)

Recently, I had the chance to interview Ricki about her new book. I thought I would share part of my interview here to help you get to know her and learn a bit more about Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free

Before I do… I just want to remind you that one lucky reader will be winning a copy of Ricki’s new book, so do not forget to enter down below!!

Okay… now for a bit about Ricki….

ME: What were some of your symptoms that led to your Wellness Crossing to a plant-based diet that is free from gluten, dairy, eggs, and refined sugars? Considering all of the other diets out there, how did you come to choose to follow the Anti-Candida Diet (ACD)?

RICKI: I actually began to eat a plant-based diet long before I had symptoms. I’ve always been naturally drawn to a vegan diet and just prefer vegan foods to meat-based dishes—even though my dad was a butcher and we ate meat virtually every day when I was a child!  As I mention on my blog, I think my mom was a latent vegetarian, so I must have inherited that tendency from her! When I lived in residence at university, I ate what was pretty much a vegan diet without even knowing what the word “vegan” meant at the time.

In my late 20s, I began to have strange digestive symptoms and was diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Because I was on medication to control the symptoms, I foolishly assumed I could still eat whatever I wanted. Big mistake! Things only got worse, and by my early 40s, it came to a crisis point when I suffered from four sinus infections in the space of three months. I ended up on six or seven courses of antibiotics. Of course, the antibiotics wreaked havoc on my digestive system even more, and eventually I was diagnosed with candida, an overgrowth of yeast in the body.

As part of my treatment, my naturopath prescribed the Anti-Candida Diet (ACD). Part of the ACD involves cutting out all potential allergens along with all sugars, so I didn’t have eggs, dairy or gluten during that time, either. At that point, since I had no desire to eat meat anyway, I was on an essentially a vegan diet. When I studied holistic nutrition at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and learned more about how meat, chicken and dairy are produced, I decided I would just continue with a completely vegan diet. I never went back to sugar after the ACD, either, and have continued to use lower glycemic sweeteners.

I’ve been eating this way for over 10 years now, and it feels right for me. I feel best when I eat a plant-based, whole foods diet.

Fluffy Fruited Pancakes

Vegan Desserts

ME: I love the opening section of Naturally Sweet and Gluten Free titled “Making the Leap to Naturally Sweet and Gluten Free Desserts”. It is packed with such a wealth of information.  Starting on this new path of healthy eating can often seem overwhelming in the beginning. What is the one thing that you want readers to get out of this section of your book?

RICKI: Thanks so much, Kim! My hope is that readers come to understand that it’s really and truly not as daunting as they may think, and that they can easily create delectable sweet treats that look and taste like their old favorites. And they will come to love cooking, baking, and eating this way—really!

I provided that section to show how simple it can be to switch out one sweetener, or one flour, for another. Honestly, once you mix up your all-purpose flour (or else buy a bag of gluten-free all-purpose flour from the grocery store), you can simply swap out one cup of the all-purpose for one cup of your old wheat flour. The same applies to sweeteners, egg replacements, and so on. It’s just a matter of learning about the different options, how to measure them and when to use them. Before you know it, you’ll be mixing up amazing baked goods that everyone can enjoy!

Like these Apple Pumpkin Crumble Bars…

Vegan Desserts

ME: As the author of numerous other cookbooks and ebooks, how is Naturally Sweet and Gluten Free different from some of your other books, such as “Sweet Freedom” or “Desserts without Compromise”?

RICKI: This new book is different in quite a few ways.  Perhaps not surprisingly, the various books reflect the kind of diet I was following at the time, and the progression is kind of an illustration of my own culinary evolution.

My first full-length cookbook, Sweet Freedom, was filled with whole-foods, vegan recipes and natural sweeteners, but at the time, I still ate gluten, so very few of the recipes were gluten-free. I also still used higher glycemic sweeteners like Sucanat, maple syrup or dates. Those are still healthful, all-natural sweeteners that are much better for you than white sugar, so for anyone who can have sugar, the book is still a great collection of recipes, but I no longer eat that way.

The three shorter ebooks are each designed for a different stage of the anti-candida diet. So the first one, Anti-Candida Feast, provides recipes for people on the very first stage of the diet, when they can’t eat any sugars at all, even fruit (and of course anyone on the later stages can have these recipes, too). The second book, Desserts without Compromise, is filled with dessert recipes for people on the ACD.  Finally, the third ebook, Good Morning! Breakfasts, offers breakfast recipes for people on any stage of the ACD.

With Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free, I’ve gone beyond the ebooks and feature recipes that anyone can eat, whether or not they have food allergies, or whether or not they’ve followed an anti-candida diet.

The recipes are all gluten-free and vegan (that is, without eggs or dairy), and they are also free of corn, with easy substitutions for soy and most nuts in the recipes, so that people with multiple food allergies can enjoy them.

Because I use lower glycemic sweeteners in all the recipes, they are also suitable for anyone with Type 2 Diabetes, or anyone who has completed a candida diet (like me), but still wants to consume a lower level of sugars to avoid spikes in blood sugar levels.

With recipes from Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free,  you can feel confident serving these treats to anyone, even if they already consume gluten, dairy, eggs, or sugar, and people will be more than happy to share them along with you; they won’t even know they’re eating a “special” treat.  Many of the book’s testers served up the desserts to their families and co-workers—and none of them realized they were testing “healthy” recipes!

And just a little more about Ricki…

Using only whole foods ingredients, a generous pinch of humor and input from her two chatty canines, Ricki shares gluten-free, allergy-friendly and sugar-free recipes on her blog,

Ricki’s second cookbook, Naturally Sweet & Gluten Free, will be released in September, 2013. Her first book, Sweet Freedom, is one of only three cookbooks recommended by Ellen DeGeneres on her website. Ricki is also an Associate Editor for Simply Gluten-Free Magazine and has written for Clean Eating magazine, Allergic Living, Living Without, VegNews, and many other publications.

Gluten Free Desserts from Ricki Heller

Ricki lives near Toronto, Canada with her husband and two dogs.


If you would like a copy of this book, just simply do One, Two, or all Three of the following for a chance to win one. Just leave A SEPARATE COMMENT for each one that you do so that you can earn an extra entry for each.

1. Tell me what intrigues you about this cookbook!

2. Follow Cook It Allergy Free and/or Ricki Heller on Facebook, or tell me if you already do.

3. Share this post with your friends on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook or other social media and leave an additional comment saying you did so. Help spread the word about this great new cookbook!

The contest will end on Tuesday, October 8th at 9am PST. The winners will be announced then. You must be at least 18 years old to enter.


  1. On October 1, 2013 Kristina said

    Already like this page…it’s great!

  2. On October 1, 2013 Kristina said

    Shared on Facebook :-)

  3. On October 1, 2013 Kristina said

    Finding out how to make tasty treats for my gluten free son and family so that they don’t feel deprived….that’s what I’m excited about!

  4. On October 1, 2013 Carolyn said

    What intrigues me is the naturally sweet recipes as I am trying to eliminate refined sugar from my diet.

  5. On October 1, 2013 Carolyn said

    I follow Cook It Allergy Free on Facebook.

  6. On October 1, 2013 Andrea said

    I’ve been trying to eliminate refined sugar from my diet and am very interested in some healthy recipes for treats.

  7. On October 1, 2013 Andrea said

    I follow Ricki Heller on Facebook

  8. On October 1, 2013 Sarah/appifanie said

    I would really love to learn to love baked goods with no refined sugar!

  9. On October 1, 2013 Andrea said

    I follow Cook It Allergy Free on Facebook

  10. On October 1, 2013 Angie B. said

    Being allergic to cane sugar, gluten, egg yolks, etc makes it very difficult to find products or even recipes that are suitable for me. I have been without one single purchased baked good for almost a year and would love to have this cook book’s help. This cookbook is very exciting and gives me hope for having treats again! :)

  11. On October 1, 2013 Angie B. said

    I already follow cook it allergy free on facebook :)

  12. On October 1, 2013 Angie B. said

    I shared the contest on facebook :)

  13. On October 1, 2013 Kim N said

    I follow Cook It Allergy Free on Facebook.

  14. On October 1, 2013 Kim L said

    i am intrigued that Ellen promotes it on her website because I know how clean she eats! How awesome is that?

  15. On October 1, 2013 Kim L said

    I follow this page and Ricki Heller on FB

  16. On October 1, 2013 Kim N said

    The cookbook interests me because my son is Gluten Free.

  17. On October 1, 2013 Kim L said

    i tweeted about the giveaway

  18. On October 1, 2013 Kim N said

    I shared the post on Facebook.

  19. On October 1, 2013 Jill werschin said

    The title sounds so delicious! I shared on Facebook and follow you both on Facebook.

  20. On October 1, 2013 Christy G said

    This whole book looks delicious!

  21. On October 1, 2013 Christy G said

    I follow on Facebook :)

  22. On October 1, 2013 Mollie said

    Over the summer I was diagnosed with IBS and an intolerance to diary and gluten . The idea of a book dedicated to sweets that I could eat would be fantastic!!

  23. On October 1, 2013 Jenna Weil said

    I Follow Cook It Allergy Free on Facebook

  24. On October 1, 2013 Adria said

    I like that it is gluten and dairy free with natural sugar. Those cupcakes looked really good too!

  25. On October 1, 2013 Adria said

    Already a fan of ‘cook it allergy free’ on facebook!

  26. On October 1, 2013 Nancy Schupman said

    Am now following on FB.

  27. On October 1, 2013 Maureen Hayes said

    I am a cancer survivor and I really wan to be able to enjoy some healthy sweets and not feel guilty.

  28. On October 1, 2013 Maureen Hayes said

    Pin’d it!

  29. On October 1, 2013 Maureen Hayes said

    Following on FB :)

    • On October 1, 2013 Dorothy Martens said

      The part that caught my attention with this book is the No-dairy & no-refined sugar. My body does not process these items well, and so I’m constantly on the look-out for tasty recipes that fit these restrictions. I love it that the food looks so delicious, too. :-)

  30. On October 1, 2013 Ricki said

    Kim–thank you SO much for this wonderful intro and kind words! I am thrilled that you liked the recipes, too, of course (LOL!). It was great fun being interviewed by you–loved “chatting” about all things vegan, sugar-free and gluten-free. I hope your readers enjoy the giveaway! 😀 xoxo

  31. On October 1, 2013 Dorothy Martens said

    I also am part of the “Cook it allergy free” on facebook & love it.

  32. On October 1, 2013 Wendi S said

    Love that these recipes are gluten and dairy free!

  33. On October 1, 2013 Wendi S said

    Already follow Cook it Allergy Free on fb :)

  34. On October 1, 2013 Dorothy Martens said

    I just “shared” this with my friends on facebook.

  35. On October 1, 2013 Denise M said

    I follow you on Face book & love your page!

  36. On October 1, 2013 Denise M said

    I am now a fan of Ricki’s page. Thanks

  37. On October 1, 2013 Simona said

    I think i’m most intrigued by that lemon poppy seed cake :)

  38. On October 1, 2013 Simona said

    I follow Ricki on facebook (Simona Cattina)

  39. On October 1, 2013 Simona said
  40. On October 1, 2013 jody estabrook said

    I liked both pages on facebook, shared the giveaway with the link on facebok and Im very interested in this cookbook because I am refined sugar free and am always looking for new and exciting things to cook to show my family you can live refined sugar free and still eat treats!

  41. On October 1, 2013 Christa said

    I would love to try the Dalmatian Cheesecake brownies…that picture is what intrigues me! I have made some of Ricky’s fabulous desserts, and would love to see her new recipes! :)

  42. On October 1, 2013 Christa said

    I follow Cook IT Allergy Free and Ricky Heller on FB.

  43. On October 1, 2013 Christa said

    I shared this giveaway on FB.

  44. On October 1, 2013 Amy M said

    We are a nearly vegan family with allergies, and have friends with food allergies, so this book would be perfect for baking for my family and friends!

  45. On October 1, 2013 Amy M said

    I shared on facebook. :)

  46. On October 1, 2013 Amy M said

    Following Cook IT Allergy Free on facebook, now. Pick me, pick me!!

  47. On October 1, 2013 Kim said

    My husband is currently struggling with a diagnosis for his extreme stomach pains and Candida is one of the possible reasons. He has a major sweet tooth and this would be an amazing resource for our family as we transition our diet.

  48. On October 1, 2013 Tricia T said

    I have an egg allergy and my husband could have a gluten sensitivity, but he loves his baked goods. Would love some new ideas for things to make at home that we could actually eat, that the kids would like too.

  49. On October 1, 2013 Tricia T said

    Shared on FB too!

  50. On October 1, 2013 shauna price said

    I love sweets, and it’s hard to find a good gluten free cookbook that’s easy.

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