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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 4, 2013 Meri Ann Klocke said

    I love recipe books! I am a Celiac so already eat gluten-free. Recently I am also trying to go dairy-free.

  2. On October 4, 2013 Angie said

    I’d love to win a cookbook! I’m learning to go sugar free, but have been gluten free for about 2 years. Shared on FB!

  3. On October 4, 2013 Wayne said

    Liked the cooking page on Facebook.
    Cooking, baking and mixing up good stuff that my wife can eat is challenging for me as a husband who loves his wife and does not need to eat special ways… I haven’t yet developed the skill to create my own recipes…I follow others creativity. So the great food I make for her gets created to the authors of books like these. I share the names of those whom I use the most.

  4. On October 4, 2013 Wayne said

    I also liked Ricki on Facebook

  5. On October 4, 2013 Felicia Saucier said

    I “like” and follow Ricki on FB, My 10 yo dd is gluten intolerant and sugar is suspect for her as well, so winning this fabulous cookbook would be for her, she wants to do more cooking & baking on her own. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  6. On October 4, 2013 Felicia Saucier said

    I “like & follow” CookIt Allergy Free on FB – so much deliciousness there!

  7. On October 4, 2013 Felicia Saucier said

    I pinned this post onto my gf board

  8. On October 4, 2013 Felicia Saucier said

    shared on my fb page, too!

  9. On October 4, 2013 Julie said

    This looks fantastic… I have shared it on facebook in the hope it will inspire friends and family <3

  10. On October 4, 2013 sheryn said

    I am celiac, and now follow you on facebook

  11. On October 4, 2013 Marlene Ben said

    Loving learning how to cook gluten free food for my family.

  12. On October 4, 2013 glenda said

    I have liked your page on FB, and what intrigues me about your book is seeing if it is any good, being celiac all my life I find a lot of recipe books very ‘try hard’ falling short of the mark considerably, so I look forward to being pleasantly surprised and seeing that your book lives up to what is promised.

  13. On October 4, 2013 Jennifer Knowles said

    I like the fact that these recipes contain no refined sugar!

  14. On October 4, 2013 jacqui said

    I like you and Ricki on Facebook.

  15. On October 4, 2013 jacqui said

    I am intrigued by this cookbook, as I am trying to cut out refined sugar out of our diet as a family.

  16. On October 4, 2013 jacqui said

    shared on Facebook.

  17. On October 4, 2013 Manya Blaisdell said

    Ummm, you had me at desserts! lol. I am in love with anything that mentions gluten free, vegan, and dessert in the same sentence.

  18. On October 4, 2013 Manya Blaisdell said

    shared on facebook.

  19. On October 4, 2013 gaby said

    I love Ricki Heller! Follow her on facebook.

  20. On October 4, 2013 gaby said

    These recipes lookamazing! I love that it’s natural, gluten free, and sugar free! I do a lot of healthy baking but sometimes trying to “healthify” too much ends in baking flops. It would be great to have a tried and true healthy recipe guideline!

  21. On October 4, 2013 Sandy said

    I’m always looking for new healthy recipes for my family! This cookbook looks like it’s going to have some great options!!!

  22. On October 4, 2013 Sandy said

    Following Cook it Allergy Free on FB.

  23. On October 4, 2013 Sandy said

    Shared via Pinterest.

  24. On October 5, 2013 Linda said

    Hi Ricki…
    I have just stumbled upon your page on FB
    advertising your competition to win your book!
    I am 50 years old, carrying excessive weight mainly
    due to medication for depression! I have been diagnosed
    also as having IBS.
    I do eat meat, but frankly I could do without it
    if I had other easily prepared options as I work
    irregular shift work that also doesn’t help with
    my diet regime!
    I’m just so over feeling sluggish physically &
    depressed psychologically! I’m hoping your
    recipes will help entice me into a better mode
    of eating with a better physical result!
    I’d be more than happy to be a success profile
    for any books that may follow or your blog if I
    noticeably improved my overall being.

  25. On October 5, 2013 Erin R. said
  26. On October 5, 2013 Erin R. said

    I like Cook it Allergy Free and Riki on Facebook!

  27. On October 5, 2013 Erin R. said

    Those dalmatian brownies look so yummy! I’m always looking for great recipes that are not only GF but vegan as well!! yummy yummy yummy!

  28. On October 5, 2013 Sherri said

    I’m intriqued by her book because I’m always looking for healthier recipes without the gluten, dairy or sugar in them. I have MS and several food allergies, and I think Ricki’s cookbook would be perfect for me!

  29. On October 5, 2013 Alisha said

    I have found that my stomach feels so much better when I eat GF foods and am so inspired by the vast array of GF, vegan and refined sugar free recipes that Ricki has devised. Genius! And inspiring me to get back to baking and eating delicious desserts!

  30. On October 5, 2013 Sherri said

    I’ve been following Cook It Allergy Free and Ricki’s Facebook pages for quite a while now.

  31. On October 5, 2013 Sherri said

    I shared the giveaway on Pinterest.

  32. On October 5, 2013 Chantelle said

    Eating dairy free, gluten free and sugar free has changed me. Would love new recipes

  33. On October 5, 2013 Chantelle said

    I follow Ricki on Facebook

  34. On October 5, 2013 Rebecca P. said

    All of the recipes! I love Ricki’s recipes and would love the book!

  35. On October 5, 2013 Rebecca P. said

    I shared on Twitter!

  36. On October 5, 2013 Rebecca P. said

    I follow you both on Facebook!

  37. On October 6, 2013 Billie said

    So very happy to see such a wonderfully sweet vegan cookbook. I would be super excited to win such a beautiful edition to my vegan lifestyle. I am allergic to dairy and eggs. I started having terrible allergies. Giving up meat was the best thing for my digestion that has every happened. I shared on facebook “Helena Handbasket” and Pinterest. Wish me Luck!

  38. On October 6, 2013 Ciara said

    I’m learning how to cook vegan and gluten free and I really want to make myself a birthday cake that tastes great and still lets me feel good. Dairy and gluten both do unkind things to my tummy!

  39. On October 6, 2013 Angela said

    I have multiple allergies so I am always looking for foods that I can eat. I am new to gluten free s\cooking, so this book looks perfect for me!

  40. On October 7, 2013 Lisa ide said

    Been gluten free since Dec 2012. Need some dessert options! Shared and liked both FB pages!

  41. On October 7, 2013 Rosemary said

    I’ve been working at being vegan for several years, and find it hard going when the sweet tooth demands my attention. I’m looking forward to Ricki’s new book . liked her on Facebook

  42. On October 7, 2013 Rosemary W Coplan said

    I’d love to win this fabulous CookBook – the recipes are great and my friends and I want to eat like this!

  43. On October 7, 2013 Rosemary W Coplan said

    I posted it on Pinterist.

  44. On October 7, 2013 Rosemary W Coplan said

    I follow you on Facebook

  45. On October 7, 2013 Rosemary W Coplan said

    and am subscribed to your blog…

  46. On October 7, 2013 Jennifer K said

    This cookbook intrigues me because I keep getting asked if the baked goods I bring in to work are gluten free and I feel bad that they are not and I have no idea how to make them.

  47. On October 7, 2013 Jennifer K said

    I shared this contest on Pinterest:

  48. On October 7, 2013 Jennifer K said

    I follow Cook It Allergy Free on facebook

  49. On October 7, 2013 Sheila M said

    Wow what a fantastic Idea for a cookbook, love the idea of low sugar and gluten free, would love to try these recipes out on the family and friends. I just liked Cook It Allergy Free and have been following Ricki Heller since I found the page a few months ago. Shared the post on Pinterst. Thanks for the chance to win!

  50. On October 8, 2013 Corrine said

    I Follow Cook It Allergy Free on Facebook.

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