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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 shauna price said

    I have already liked Cook It Allergy Free on facebook.

  2. On October 1, 2013 Tricia T said

    Liked your page on FB too

  3. On October 1, 2013 Joy said

    Being able to make a delicious treat would make my day shine brighter and happier. Can’t wait to try the recipes!

  4. On October 1, 2013 Katie D'Andrea said

    I have a passion for healthy, clean cooking and baking. I love to experiment with all types of natural ingredients. I call them Katie Creations. I generally make up my own recipes but I find that I’m leaning towards taking the next step and learning about the complexities of ingredients and food pairings. I take on dietary restrictions with enthusiasm and am very excited about these challenges. I myself struggle with a gluten intolerance. I’m a HUGE fan of your blog! You’ve helped spur my passion!

  5. On October 1, 2013 Penny said

    I am intrigued by the “naturally sweet” part. I have baked gluten free but not “naturally sweet” with it.

  6. On October 1, 2013 Penny said

    I like Cook It Allergy Free on facebook

  7. On October 1, 2013 Julie said

    Everything intrigues me about this cookbook…I love that it’s gluten-free and vegan! And the recipes (pictures) sounds amazing!

  8. On October 1, 2013 Julie said

    I’m already a fan of cook it allergy free on facebook!

  9. On October 1, 2013 Julie said

    I’m already a fan of Ricki Heller on facebook!

  10. On October 1, 2013 Julie said

    I shared the post on facebook!

  11. On October 1, 2013 jeryl said

    I like cook it allergy free on facebook! 🙂

  12. On October 1, 2013 Robin Whiting said

    I’m intrigued by looking at the “sneak peak” photos it looks like the food would be as good if not better than non gluten free desserts.

  13. On October 1, 2013 Robin Whiting said

    I Follow Cook It Allergy Free and Ricki Heller on Facebook

  14. On October 1, 2013 Niv said

    I follow CookItAllergyFree and Ricki Heller on FB. Ricki puts lot of effort in her recipes and I am sure every single recipe in the book will be worth trying.

  15. On October 1, 2013 SHAUNNE SOLEM said

    One of the most difficult change I am having to make is the baking. I bake for stress, I bake for those I love and I bake because it brings such pleasure to the senses. I am still in the healing stages and far from pain but know that these treats would be incredible for my family and myself for those moments of much needed enjoyment. Thank you for doing this give away!

  16. On October 1, 2013 SHAUNNE SOLEM said

    Going onto FB right now to become a groupie !!! Can’t wait to see your posts and learn more about your recipes! woohoo.

  17. On October 1, 2013 SHAUNNE SOLEM said

    Going on FB to like Ricki next! I love finding new resources!!

  18. On October 1, 2013 Tina said

    Liked the book and Rikki and shared!

  19. On October 1, 2013 Brigitte said

    pinned you on pintrest read about you on dreena burtons web

  20. On October 1, 2013 Olivia Emelie said

    1. It’s the first of it’s kind and there are so many who waited so long for a book like that. So many people think they are alone with their allergies and feel helpless! 3. Shared, liked and recomended it to everyone I know who has allergies! THANK YOU!

  21. On October 1, 2013 Connie Myers said

    Liked & shared on both my sites! Love GF desserts!!

  22. On October 1, 2013 Cindy W. said

    I eat gluten free and really like the idea of cutting out refined sugar and using more natural ingredients to make a dessert.

  23. On October 1, 2013 Susan Dold said

    I would live this book!! I experiment with gluten free, sugar free desserts and snacks. U am helping provide these types of snacks for a challenge at a gym my friend owns. Thi book would be a terrific resource in my health and helping others in their quest for good nutrition!!

  24. On October 1, 2013 Becca F said

    I’m a vegan that has an allergy to wheat. I’m also trying cut down on sugar because I have fibromyalgia that is negatively affected by sugar. I also have a mega sweet tooth.
    It’s like this book was made for me!

  25. On October 1, 2013 Becca F said

    I liked Cook It Allergy Free on Facebook

  26. On October 1, 2013 Becca F said

    I already liked Ricki Heller on Facebook

  27. On October 1, 2013 April Paik said

    Please enter me! Thanks!

  28. On October 1, 2013 Gina said

    I am trying to cut sugar out of my diet and saw this cookbook in a magazine and said I have to have it!! Now it’s being given away! 🙂

  29. On October 1, 2013 Gina said

    I liked Cook IT allergy free and Ricki Heller on Facebook!

  30. On October 1, 2013 Judy Harlow said

    I already have liked Rikki on FB!
    Due to a head injury I must avoid refined sugars. I would love to have help with low glycemic sweeteners!

  31. On October 1, 2013 Gina said

    Shared this giveaway on my Facebook page.

  32. On October 1, 2013 Briita Noyes said

    we try to eat without sweeteners most of the time, so this book would be great

  33. On October 1, 2013 Briita Noyes said

    i already like you on Facebook

  34. On October 1, 2013 Karen said

    I have multiple food intolerances and am always looking for new, healthy, delicious recipes. I’ve Made some of Ricki’s other recipes and loved them so this is just building on that already solid foundation. Her recipes work, taste good, and are generally easy to make. What’s not to like?

  35. On October 1, 2013 Karen said

    I “Liked” “Cook It Allergy Free” on FB!

  36. On October 1, 2013 Mary Jampel said

    Liked Cook It Allergy Free on Facebook.

  37. On October 1, 2013 Mary Jampel said

    shared this giveaway on FB

  38. On October 1, 2013 Mary J said

    Liked Rikki on FB

  39. On October 1, 2013 Karen said

    I am really working hard to lessen the sugar in my diet so this cookbook would be very interesting. I’d like to learn how to sweeten naturally. I’m already cooking/baking gluten free. This would be a treat!

  40. On October 1, 2013 Karen said

    Already liked Cook it Allergy Free, now liking Ricki Heller

  41. On October 1, 2013 Wendy said

    I am interested in this cookbook because my daughter and I are on the GAPS Diet with the additional restrictions of no eggs and no fruit and no sugars as we to must also follow an anti candida diet on top of the GAPS. Any help with GAPS and ACD legal, tasty food for a 5 year old is appreciated!

  42. On October 1, 2013 Vee said

    I’d love this because I’m allergic to “everything” including wheat, dairy, eggs, and soy. I can’t wait to see what they came up with for my sweet tooth!

  43. On October 1, 2013 Vee said

    Of course I like you on FB!

  44. On October 2, 2013 Nikki said

    Who doesn’t love to eat desserts and not feel bad about it!? I love Ricki’s recipes!!

  45. On October 2, 2013 Nikki said

    I also liked you on Facebook!

  46. On October 2, 2013 Nikki said

    And last but not least…getting the word out by Pinning this totally sweet book!

  47. On October 2, 2013 Crystal said

    Good morning!

    What intrigues me? I’m just now beginning a gluten free journey, and I’m excited that with this cookbook I would be able to still have yummy treats. Deprivation is never a good thing, and being able to have my “cakey” goods would be beneficial to my new lifestyle!

  48. On October 2, 2013 Crystal said

    I now follow you on Facebook!

    As a fellow “allergy girl” I’m excited to see what’s to come!

  49. On October 2, 2013 Sheri said

    I am interested in the cookbook because I am just starting the journey into allergy free cooking. We were asked to do an elimination diet for my son the same day as my daughter’s birthday which meant no cake and no ice cream for him. Now my son’s birthday is coming up and I want to be able to make treats that he can have.

  50. On October 2, 2013 Andrea MacDonald said

    Being Gluten Free and Vegan I am always intrigued by cookbooks that cater to my diet. However I also have a husband who has severe nut allergies that add even more difficulty into my already complicated meal planning. This cookbook looks full of mouth watering treats that the whole family can enjoy!

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