I’m very excited about today’s post because not only do I get to rave about the delightfulness that is Love Fed: Purely Decadent, Simply Raw, Plant-Based Desserts, but also because the book publishers at BenBella Vegan have kindly offered to host a giveaway, so that one of you lucky readers can have a copy of your own!
For a few reasons, I was sucked into the book right away. The author, Christina Ross, describes her passion for food (desserts in particular) as something that is rooted in the ability to share it with others, a desire for ethical health and wellness, and also an insatiable sweet tooth. I am there on all counts! Christina writes, “Love Fed desserts are made with integrity, passion, and awareness. They’re designed to nourish the body and satisfy the sweet tooth, and most of all to spread joy.”
Another key part of Christina’s approach to raw “baking” is that it allows for so much improvisation! No need to do exact measurements with raw desserts–a handful more of coconut flakes won’t make or break a recipe the same way traditional, heated baking can be thrown by being one 1/2 teaspoon off. I love that about raw desserts, so this book was definitely a good fit for me! (That said, if you do like to stick to recipes, Christina does have exact measurements that you are welcome to follow!)
The book is divided up into eight main sections: Love Fed Basics (which includes foundational recipes like cashew cream, caramel sauce, & date syrup); Cakes, Pies, Cobblers, & Tarts; Minis and More (lots of cookies and cupcakes in here!); Puddings and Parfaits; Ice Cream, Yogurt, and Frozen Treats; Candy and Other Sweet Bites; Shakes and Sips; Fruit–Beyond Basic (which includes things like rosemary pecan caramel apples and lavender & coconut cream-filled strawberries!). In addition, the book provides an introduction, a section on kitchen and pantry essentials, as well as a handy resources guide that provides the names of companies that are good for raw food basics.
The book is filled with beautiful photography and I was eager to try out many of the recipes. I had great success with Christina’s unique twist on Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups–there was no buying and melting of store-bought chocolate, instead, everything was done with cocoa powder, coconut butter, maple syrup, and peanut butter. They were rich, delicious, and a hit at a dinner party I hosted! I also loved her Summer Sunday Cobbler, the Cinnamon Raisin Sunflower Twists (just like a cinnamon roll!), and the Maca-Chia Protein Pudding. I can’t wait to make many more of the recipes, including: Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cake, Red Velvet Cupcakes, Fig Bliss Energy Balls, Maple Butterscotch Pudding, Mango Basil Sorbet, Honey Matcha Lavender Latte, and so many more! Don’t those all sound incredible?! The book is full of stuff like that.
For me, the only downside of this book is that it relies on fairly expensive food items. Even if you make them yourself, the cost can add up. That’s sort of the hardest thing about raw food eating in my opinion. But it’s also my opinion that those more expensive ingredients (like nuts, coconut butter, cacao) are much better alternatives than other dessert recipe staples.
The last recipe I want to share with you is one I made and loved, and one that BenBella Vegan has kindly offered to provide for the blog. These mini doughnuts are tangy, rich, and delicious!
Raspberry and Coconut Glazed Doughnuts
Yield: 20 mini doughnuts
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus 30 minutes for doughnuts to set
Doughnuts are the last treat you’d expect to find on a raw food roster, but these do the genre proud. Once you get the base down, you can run with it, creating variations from chocolate doughnuts with sprinkles to maple bars. This recipe calls for a doughnut pan; if you don’t have one, simply shape the dough into O’s with your hands.
12 pitted deglet dates
1 c. almond flour
½ c. coconut flour
¼ c. coconut flakes
2 tsp. coconut sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract
¼ c. agave nectar
2/3 c. raspberries
½ tsp. vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract
1/3 c. coconut butter, softened
¼ c. coconut milk
3 tbsp. agave nectar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Coconut flakes, for garnish
Lightly grease a doughnut pan with coconut oil. Line a tray with parchment paper.
To make the doughnut base: Place the dates, almond flour, coconut flour, coconut flakes, coconut sugar, and vanilla bean powder in a food processor. Process until well combined. While the machine is running, pour the agave nectar in through the top, processing until the dough sticks together, approximately 15 seconds.
Divide the dough into 20 small pieces and firmly press the pieces into the doughnut pan. If you don’t have a doughnut pan, shape the doughnuts and place them on the parchment-lined tray. Set in the refrigerator while you make the glaze.
To make the pink glaze: Place the raspberries, vanilla bean powder, coconut butter, coconut milk, agave nectar, and lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a medium bowl.
To assemble: Remove the doughnuts from the pan by tracing the outside of the doughnuts with an offset spatula, gently lifting around the edges until they pop out. Working one at a time, place each doughnut in the glaze bowl so one side gets coated with glaze, then lift it from the bowl with a fork. Tap the fork against the rim of the bowl to allow excess glaze to drip off and place the doughnut, glaze side up, on the parchment-lined tray. Repeat until all the doughnuts are coated.
Sprinkle coconut flakes onto the wet doughnuts and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the glaze hardens. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
They were easy to make, super cute, and totally delicious!
The wonderful folks at BenBella Vegan have offered to send a copy of the cookbook to one lucky reader! To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment telling me your favorite dessert. For an additional entry, leave a comment for when you:
That means you can submit a total of three entries/comments. I will pick a random winner on Monday, September 7th!
Good luck! xoxox