14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2009
I love this baking book and it's one that will hold a special place on my cookbook shelf. It's really opened my eyes to a new world of baking with better for you ingredients (ex. whole grains, unrefined sugars), and everything tastes so good that you won't miss anything. Some of my favourite recipes from this book are the cocoa nibbles, orange raisin tea biscuits, sunshine breakfast loaf, and peanut butter cookies.
The recipes are divided up into Breakfast Baking, Cookies Bars and Squares, Cakes Cupcakes Toppings and Frostings, Cheesecakes Pies and Baked Puddings, and Raw and No Bake Treats. The recipes are coded to indicate which are corn free, gluten free (or gluten free option), nut free (or nut free option), and soy free (or soy free option). Ricki also included a section on the ingredients she uses, including some awesome tips on how to convert conventional recipes to wheat free, dairy free and refined sugar free. And one thing I also love about the book is the amazing index - honestly so many cookbooks don't take the time to prepare a careful index or sometimes list things incorrectly or just not at all. But Ricki's is superb - you can look up both ingredients (like coconut oil) and categories (like cookies and bars).
If you love baking, get this book. If you have an interest in health and taking care of yourself (and the people around you) and you love baking, get this book. I really don't think you'll be disappointed.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2009
This cookbook is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorites. I have gradually been trying to reduce the refined sugars in my diet while sticking to whole grains, and Sweet Freedom is making it that much easier. Even my sugar-addicted husband loves the results! I have been in pancake mode, so I dove into the Fluffy Fruited Pancakes and the Carob and Date Pancakes right away. Both recipes produced pillowy pancakes that I will be making again and again, delicious! I also tried the Orange-Oat Muffins - you will have to try these to believe it yourself, but this is a truly ingenious recipe that makes wonderful breakfast muffins. I loved that they weren't too sweet, yet still breakfast-worthy and packed with zest.
In terms of the nuts and bolts, this is a wheat-free, vegan (no dairy, no eggs), and refined sugar-free cookbook. It isn't gluten-free (spelt, barley, and kamut flours are used), but there are gluten-free options for many of the recipes. The author does a great job in explaining the flours and sweeteners used, and she offers helpful tips throughout the cookbook. The recipes are very easy to follow, and they include both metric measurements and "U.S. measurements" right in the recipe to keep it simple for everyone. Also, for those with multiple food concerns, the recipes are labeled to note if they are also gluten-free, nut-free, and / or soy-free. You also won't believe the index! It is obvious that this author pays close attention to detail.
I really can't recommend this cookbook enough! Next up, the Lemon Blueberry Scones and the Carrot Raisin Oatmeal Cookies!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2009
Sweet Freedom is full of DELICIOUS, healthy, desserts that are safe for those with food allergies. Whether you're seeking a healthier version of a childhood favorite, you're looking for a new and innovative dessert, or you're looking to prepare dessert for someone in your life who has food allergies, this book will provide all you need. Among my favorite recipes (and I haven't made all of them yet) are the Crispy Fruit Chews (like Rice Krispies treats, but far more tasty), Gluten-Free Coconut Macaroons, Butterscotch Blondies, Chocolate Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies, Easiest Almond Cookies, Twice-Spiced Ginger Cookies, and Sweet Harvest Muffins. I can't wait to bake more from this book!
In addition to the incredible recipes, Ricki Heller writes with beautiful, captivating prose to tell engaging stories that will keep you reading this cookbook as if it were a novel.
Buy the book, bake up some wonderful desserts, and enjoy!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2009
Sweet Freedom is an incredible resource for healthy baking recipes. It is amazing how much nutrition is cleverly packed into each of these treats. I am finding they are great in the taste test department as well. Currently I have baked these selections to rave reviews from my friends: Mrs. K's Date Cake, Sunshine Breakfast Loaf, Butterscotch Blondies, and Oatbran Banana Muffins and I am debating with myself which recipe to try next. Pear Upside Down Cake sounds reasonable what with neighbors' pear trees breaking limbs with the unusually bountiful load of pears. But Holiday Apple Cake is calling to me also. Decisions must be made . . . .
Some of the things I love about this book:
1) The recipe size is just right and doubling is easy if you need more
2) Simple ingredients are detailed with weights and measures pre-converted
4) Ingredients are listed in mixing order with very clear instructions
3) Layered flavors and textures tease the taste buds so that a smaller serving satisfies - yea!
5) Useful hints and warnings are included along the way
6) Every single recipe could find a place in my life
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2009
There are a few vegan baking books out there that offer recipes for luscious, fluffy baked goods, but often they used refined flours and sugars. This one has become an instant favorite in my kitchen--not only are the baked goods delicious, they provide real food value! Each recipe included nourishing ingredients, including fresh and dried fruits, whole grain flours, natural sweeteners, and more. One immediate favorite is the Banana Chocolate-Chip Mini-Loaves. My family loved the fudgy brownies, too. The secret ingredient here is pureed avocado--not so much for disguising it, but because it provides a healthy fat and contributes to the fudge texture. I'm looking forward to baking my way through this book this coming fall and winter. This book is a real keeper--I love it!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2011
Unfortunately, I thought this was gluten free. Lots of the recipes call for spelt so it is not gluten free, just wheat free. The pictures look good but I will only be able to make a few recipes since we are gluten free.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2009
My four children (ages 9-18) love sweets of all kinds but shy away as soon as they think something might be more "healthy". Not with Ricki's desserts - especially the fudgy brownies. While they still crave the occasional white sugary junk, even the kids can tell quality and deliciousness, and that's what this cookbook offers. For those of us who refuse to give up desserts, we can at least be confident that these are the best options for our families. Ricki's recipes are easy to follow, even for a non-baker like me, and my kids like to help when they know the results are worth the effort. I highly recommend this cookbook to all parents, vegan or otherwise!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2009
There are three aspects to this cookbook that I really appreciate: the introductory paragraph of each recipe is so personal that you feel like the author is right there in your kitchen, the directions are so simply that even me, a guy, can follow them and of course, the desserts taste amazing. I wish all cookbooks where as simply to follow as this one.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2010
I cannot recommend this cookbook to you enough. If you have any interest at all in being healthy and eating dessert than this book is for you. Ricki goes out of her way to make healthy, enjoyable, treats available to all.
I love how the recipes are labeled in both US and metric measurements so you never have to worry about conversions and how the recipes are labeled so those with different food intolerances can easily find the recipes suited to their diet. This cookbook has something for everyone.
Honestly, you don't even have to be vegan or healthy to enjoy this cookbook but if you are it is truly refreshing to find so many recipes that fit the lifestyle. It is easy to find healthy cookbooks and easy to find vegan cookbooks but this combination is one of a kind.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2010
This is an amazing cookbook! Ricki Heller is the most creative cook I "know", and her creativity definitely rubs on you when you try her recipes. Sweet Freedom opened my mind to new ingredient combinations, and I often find myself thinking "What would Ricki do?", "What would Ricki use instead of egg yolks?". Yep, I'm a big fan.
The recipes are easy to follow, and the results are wonderful! A few of my favorite Sweet Freedom goodies are:
- Soy Free, Sugar Free Coconut Whipped Cream(Absolutely divine! Better than any dairy-based whipped cream I ever had)
- Berries and Cream Tart (The Pastry Cream filling is stellar, and the tart is even more delicious with a scoop of the Coconut Whipped Cream on top!)
- Chocolate Satin Tarts (I could eat the smooth chocolate filling with a spoon straight out of the bowl! They are so wonderfully rich, and so insanely easy to make!)
- Banana Chocolate Chip Mini-Loaves (Delicious, and so darn cute and tiny! I am not even a big fan of bananas in baked goods, but this recipe is fabulous!)
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudgies (They were a breeze to make and they are so so good!)
- Cashew Chocolate Chip Cookies (So easy, a caveman can do it! I love that you don't need flour to make these, they are a delicious treat when you need a break from wheat... ha! That rhymes!
Definitely buy this book! You will become an instant fan too! :)