Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free Cookbook Giveaway

by Maggie on October 18, 2013

Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter to get your copy of 10 Easy Recipes For The Gluten-Free Beginner.


Naturally Sweet and Gluten Free_3D


 Ricki Heller  is the genius behind the candida-friendly blog and the amazing book (her second baking book) Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free. I’ve made many of Ricki’s recipes over the past three years, and I’ve had the pleasure of playing with her new book for about a month now. I am so excited to share it with you.

I first ”met” Ricki online about three years ago. I was immediately smitten with her – she has a huge heart, she’s incredibly down to earth, and she is so gifted when it comes to baking healthy sweets (even Ellen DeGeneres loves Ricki’s recipes).

What’s great about Ricki’s recipes is you know they’ve been tested and tested until perfection. And I can easily sub ingredients if needed. For instance, I used my flour mix instead of making hers (simply because I had some on hand). Ricki’s recipes sometimes call for agave, which I don’t usually buy, so I used local maple syrup instead.

Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free is an incredible resource – I can’t even begin to tell you how thorough the introduction is; it’s over 30 pages long. I learned so much from reading it – and I’ve been at this gluten-free thing for almost 10 years! Ricki knows vegan baking better than most people, but she’s also quickly become a gluten-free expert.

One of the reasons I was so excited for Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free was so I could make Ricki’s Butter Tarts – they’re my all-time favorite dessert, and the same goes for most of my family.

Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free Review 2 from She Let Them Eat Cake

Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving was last weekend) was the perfect time to make these babies. Ricki takes a classic Canadian recipe and makes it much healthier. Everyone at our Thanksgiving table LOVED them – especially my newly gluten-free brother-in-law!

Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free Review from She Let Them Eat Cake

We’ve also made Ricki’s Fluffy Fruited Pancakes, and we will be making them again and again. As you can see, they are super fluffy (and super nutritious)! We love them. Pete likes using them as a vehicle for peanut butter, but the kids love theirs with good old-fashioned maple syrup.

Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free Review 3 from She Let Them Eat Cake

Since I am the cookie monster in the house, I had to dive into Ricki’s cookie recipes. Her Chocolate-Flecked Pumpkin Seed Cookies were delish; crispy on the outside, soft and chewy in the middle. Cookie heaven. My only complaint is there wasn’t enough cookies – I guess I will have to double the recipe next time.

Chocolate-Flecked Pumpkin Seed Cookies
Recipe reprinted from Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free by Ricki Heller of

  • ⅓ cup (55 g) coconut sugar
  • 20 to 30 drops pure plain or vanilla stevia liquid
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120 ml) natural smooth pumpkin seed butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (25 g) finely ground flax seeds (from about 2 Tbsp whole seeds)
  • ½ cup (75 g) brown rice flour (I used sorghum flour)
  • ⅛ tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup (50 g) unsweetened carob chips or dairy-free chocolate chips, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350 ̊F (180 ̊C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut sugar, stevia, water, and vanilla until the sugar dissolves.
3. Add the pumpkin seed butter, flax, flour, and salt and mix well to form a very thick and sticky dough. Stir in the chips.
4. Using a heaping teaspoon (5 ml), scoop the dough and roll it into small balls, placing them about one inch (2.5 cm) apart on the cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with your palm (or use a silicone spatula).
5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the sheet about halfway through, until the cookies are light golden brown (the dough will lighten as the cookies bake).
6. Allow the cookies to cool completely before removing from the cookie sheet.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. May be frozen.


IMG_1357This picture was taken at one of our lunch dates.  We try to schedule two or three a year since we live quite close to each other .  Aren’t I lucky?

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

rika October 18, 2013 at 8:56 am

That’s so cool that you’ve met Ricki! The cookies look yum!


Kristina October 18, 2013 at 9:57 am

Looks amazing! My sister-in-law was just diagnosed with celiac disease, so we’re definitely revamping our Thanksgiving menu so that she can eat without worry. Desserts are a puzzle though, so I’ll have to pick this book up for some ideas and techniques.


Michelle Cuttler October 18, 2013 at 10:07 am

I sooo need this book! I have 2 children that need to be gluten free and my hubby who is gluten and dairy free. It is so hard to cook for them. I am really trying to find some easy, family friendly yummy treats to serve them that don’t have that gritty gluten free taste. My husband has always loved all the Christmas cookies that are made in my family but now I need to find new ones that he can enjoy. This cookbook looks like it might be the answer I’m looking for!!


Jennifer October 18, 2013 at 10:08 am

Our whole household is gluten-free. And everyone thinks that we can’t eat anything. Plus I just found out I’m allergic to dairy & eggs. So I would love to have this book and get my bake on just to show my friends and family the amazing treats that we can have! 🙂


Ricki October 18, 2013 at 10:09 am

Aw, thanks so much for this, Maggie!! And wow–I’m chuffed that YOU found something new in the introduction! Glad everyone liked the butter tarts, too (they are a fave of mine). 😀 And yes, we need to set up another lunch–SOON!! xoxo


VERONICA October 18, 2013 at 10:09 am

Gosh, would love this book! Looks amazing! I’ve been eating vegan for a year now and recently have been feeding my 6 year old gluten free meals since the Dr recommended omiting it since she has Autsim. Definitely could put this book to great use, thanks for the giveaway! Love your blog!!


Brenda October 18, 2013 at 10:10 am

Recipes look great. Love gluten- free recipes.


Mandy Rutledge October 18, 2013 at 10:10 am

My son age 6, had just been tested for sensitives. Highly sensitive to wheat, gluten and cane sugar. This book would really help me let him be a kid.


Carissa Lundmark October 18, 2013 at 10:13 am

I would LOVE to have this book in my kitchen! I have been Gluten Free for 2 years now and continue to struggle with making anything! Currently expecting 4th child and having a hard time finding anything to eat or make!!!! This book would help me alot!!


Cathy V October 18, 2013 at 10:14 am

I have been gluten free for the past 5 years and as sugar free as possible for the past year. I have learned so much from both of you in my search for information and great recipes. I would love this book so I can make healthy and delicious “sweets” for my family without worrying about passing the taste test!

Thanks for the great giveaway 🙂


Erin Schwab October 18, 2013 at 10:16 am

I eat gluten free ( avoiding grain as much as possible-especially simple carbs like potato starch, tapioca starch, white rice flour, etc), soy free, sugar free and egg free. Baking without eggs seems to be the most challenging. I could use a good resource for recipes with ideas that are gf,soy free, sugar free and egg free!!! It would be nice to find desserts that the rest of my family would also enjoy, instead of “my food” and “their food”.


nancy October 18, 2013 at 10:16 am

I have been gluten free for 5 years. I love to bake and still find that some recipes are hit or miss. It is still a very difficult process since I am the only member of my family to be gluten free. So it is important that my baking still taste flakey and delicious. I will definitely buy this book, but would love to win one.


Mandi October 18, 2013 at 10:19 am

I have been gluten free for over a year now and we just discovered my daughter was gluten intolerant…this means I have to actually cook healthy and fun gf things for her..would love this book to help out with that task !


karen October 18, 2013 at 10:23 am

I would love to win this book for my library. I am new to gluten free baking and have a few flops and a few successes.


Stefania October 18, 2013 at 10:24 am

Love this, I would love it as a great birthday gift to me and also because of my issues in dealing with stomach ailments and learning the curves that go my way with this. Also as a marathoner, nutrition is such a huge part of my life and this book would put a huge dent into that.



Debra Lee October 18, 2013 at 10:26 am

I need this because I’m addicted to sugar and do not want to be!


Victoria C October 18, 2013 at 10:28 am

I have been following Ricki’s blog for over a year & waiting anxiously for this book to hit the shelves. I follow a vegan diet & am trying to learn & go gluten free as well. It’s very important to have the best resources available on this adventure….thus Ricki’s book for my shelf!


Danielle DaVault October 18, 2013 at 10:34 am

I am a big fan of Ricki and her recipes. I manage many food allergies myself and it is very nice to have someone creating recipes that I can actually eat and share with my family. Thanks!


Elena Minnis October 18, 2013 at 10:41 am

This book looks wonderful, I love cookbooks and trying new recipes!! In January When my daughter was 2 months old I did a food sensitivity test to see if my diet was the culprit to her reflex and I found out I can’t have gluten, eggs and a whole list of other things! I’ve always known about gluten free and have tried baking that way off and on for years but I always have resorted back to what I knew to be easier. My goal is to stick to this new way of life and teach my daughter the same. I want her to enjoy baking with me as she gets older, so I can really see us enjoying this book together 🙂
Cheers and thank you for the opportunity


Faye October 18, 2013 at 10:51 am

Would love a copy! My daughter is celiac and has type 1 diabetes. Always a struggle finding good recipes. This sounds wonderful. Love your website. Thanks!


Renee October 18, 2013 at 11:04 am

Looks like a great cookbook! My husband and I have just gone gluten & wheat-free due to severe health issues he is having so we are trying to learn the lifestyle and new recipes. My sister went GF a year ago and feels great! We do annual Christmas baking and just last week decided we are going to go totally GF with our baking this year so this would be a great addition to my cookbooks and just in time for our annual baking day coming up in November!


Melissa October 18, 2013 at 11:11 am

I have been gluten-free for three years but have recently been trying to remove refined sugars… and now my husband has to eat low-carb and refined-sugar free. We love our “sweets” and would love this book. We love Ricki’s recipes!


April October 18, 2013 at 11:12 am

Recipes look yummy! I give away baked goods as gifts for the holidays. This year I am going to make the switch to gluten free, vegan recipes and try not to disappoint anyone, lol. I could use this. 🙂


Lynn October 18, 2013 at 11:13 am

Hi Maggie! I love your blog and FB posts, my husband is gluten free due to his diagnosis of chronic lyme disease…. i’m finding that as I eat somewhat gluten free myself, I FEEL BETTER! Would LOVE to win a copy of this book to have on hand for the upcoming holidays! Thanks for all you do!!


Deb E October 18, 2013 at 11:32 am

I’d love to meet Ricki; what a great keepsake photo of you both. I’d like a copy for my Celiac group holiday party. We exchange presents and this would be a good one–I’d be a hit to give this as a gift.


Angela Sommers October 18, 2013 at 11:36 am

Why do I need this book? Because I adore desserts, and because I need to be gluten free and because I like to live a healthy and yet sweet life style. If I don’t win it I will certainly still buy it 🙂 I want it that much!


Gina H October 18, 2013 at 11:45 am

Definitely need this book on my shelf!! My whole family is allergic to gluten, and I really want to get away from using sugar as much as possible! As soon as I came across this book I’ve wanted it! Been trying to win it so I don’t have to buy it! 😉


Debbie October 18, 2013 at 11:53 am

My 10 yr old son has a sweet tooth, but he gets migraines and has a gluten, casein and sugar intolerance. We are hoping by avoiding these 3 ingredients, he will not have anymore migraines.

This book looks perfect!


Robin Whiting October 18, 2013 at 12:19 pm

I have just recently started a gluten free diet to help heal my body and I’m looking for great good tasting recipes to keep me on the right path.


Stephanie October 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm

I love all of Ricki’s recipes that I’ve tried, so I am sure I would really enjoy her cookbook!


Christa October 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm

I’m newly (strict) anti-candida diet and long time vegan. I could really use the help getting some delicious foods that my family will want to share in!


Rhonda October 18, 2013 at 12:25 pm

The butter tarts! I love to bake and I am always on the hunt for tasty gluten free recipes since being diagnosed with Celiac disease four years ago. My mother’s butter tarts were one of my favourite treats around Christmas, but I can no longer eat them. The picture of these butter tarts grabbed my attention right away!


Ashley October 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm

I love Ricki’s blog and have been eyeing this new book! Thanks so much for the chance to win.


Jacqueline October 18, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I am presently recovering from a heart attack. I want to eat healthier and cut the sugar in my diet. However, I still love an occasional treat. Ricki’s book would allow me to indulge once in a while…without feeling guilty.


Devra October 18, 2013 at 1:23 pm

I’m a subscriber of Ricki’s blog and get the e-letters so getting the book is definitely in my future. It would be awesome to win it though. 🙂


Sasha October 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I would LOVE to win this book! I’ve been on a gluten-free diet for about 2 years now and have gotten my health (and happiness) back…all from going gluten free!


JoAnne October 18, 2013 at 1:41 pm

This book looks great! I am gluten free, love to bake, and would love to learn new things!


SandyW October 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm

This is going on my must buy book. The recipes sounds amazing.
I’ve really been struggling with finding sweet that are yummy.


Amanda October 18, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I would love this book on my shelf because I bake with no refined sugars and with gluten free flours. While I adore baking, it’s been a challenge with my no gluten/dairy/yeast diagnosis to re-learn how to bake for my health. This book would be great! Thanks for the giveaway 🙂


Marianne October 18, 2013 at 3:50 pm

I need to eat gluten free, dairy-free and refined sugar free. I know Ricki is an expert so I would love to have her book.


Kelly G. October 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I’m vegan & do a ton of baking round the holidays!


L October 18, 2013 at 4:27 pm

I love sweets and am always looking to make them GF


Sandra Kelly October 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm

This book looks fanstasic!! Just found out I have a gluten intolerance, I have know idea what to or how to bake now. This book would really help me out!! Thank you for offering the giveaway!!


Zoie October 18, 2013 at 5:20 pm

I’m a baker struggling with baking goodies for the family that’s GF.


Mallory October 18, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Thanks for this giveaway – I am dying for this book! All of Ricki’s recipes I have tried on her blog so far, I LOVE! I’m gluten, dairy, soy, egg, corn, yeast intolerant, can’t eat refined sugar or anything high in starch, and the list goes on. and on. – so I can honestly say, finding a blog like Ricki’s is a dream come true (with yummy, easy, healthy goodies that I can actually enjoy without severe stomach ailments for days after). I would only love so much to have her cookbook in my kitchen!! Thanks so much!


Tricia October 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Hi! I would love to have this cookbook as I have to eaten gf. My family has a motto: Eat dessert first! But it is important to be healthy too. What a great addition this would be for my gf life style.


Beverly Rempel October 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm

This book sounds like one I am looking for. I am have a gluten, dairy, yeast and night shade veggies diagnois. Learning to cook great meals that the rest of my family will enjoy is always a challenge. Let me know the next time you come to the twin cities I would love to meet you in person.


Monika October 18, 2013 at 6:28 pm

I am so excited! I have just discovered vegan and gluten-free cooking and baking! What a difference it has made for me already! More energy, no bloating, better living all around! I am just starting to get into all of the recipes and your book would be so helpful for me!! Thank you!


Christine Anderson October 18, 2013 at 7:22 pm

I need this book, because my empty bookshelf is so lonely. It needs a companion! I love sweets, but would like to get away from processed, boxed, packaged gluten-free sweets, and eat sweets in a healthy way.


Monika October 18, 2013 at 7:34 pm

My daughter, now 11, has sensitivities to gluten, and dairy. She also has a sweet tooth, and I really try and temper her absolute love of baking, by making certain that she doesn’t use tons of sugar. Some gluten-free recipes use way too much sugar, like a cup or so. She’s been really great at listening to me about this, and not too long ago has commented that something with only 1/3 cup sugar was perfect….not too sweet. I loved that. I’d love to support her continuing passion for baking, with giving her a resource for baking in a healthy way.


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