LIVE Chat – Naturally Sweet Gluten-Free Vegan Baking With Ricki Heller

LIVE Chat – Naturally Sweet Gluten-Free Vegan Baking With Ricki Heller
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.

I’m really excited to be a stop on my friend Ricki Heller’s virtual book tour for her new cookbook, Naturally Sweet And Gluten Free.

We’ll be getting together this evening in a live google hangout, so be sure to join us at 7pm ET right here on this page.

I’ve had a chance to review her gorgeous book, which has already sold out once on Amazon but is now restocked, and I’ve had the immense pleasure of sampling some of her work – from cookies to brownies to crumble…

See, Ricki is all about the desserts (this whole cookbook is desserts), but she doesn’t bake with any refined sugars, gluten, eggs or dairy. It sounds restrictive, but if you look at the recipes they don’t seem to be at all constrained.

She also tries to make her recipes allergy-friendly, so most don’t use soy or corn, and many are nut free (although nuts are easily subbed for seeds in those recipes).

When she says ‘naturally sweet’ what she means is that she doesn’t use any refined sugars in her book. I’m planning to ask her more about that this evening, but she sweetens many of her desserts with fruit, coconut sugar and stevia, all of which are much lower glycemic than sugar.

The cool thing is, after looking through this book (and trying some of Ricki’s treats) I’m actually feeling really inspired to start baking with stevia!

I’ve shied away from it in the past because I don’t like the aftertaste, but Ricki has some secrets that I’ll be picking her brain about this evening…

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Something I really appreciate in her recipes is that she has a really creative use of vegetables. We all know about banana bread and zucchini loaf and carrot cake, but Ricki takes things to another level.

There are a lot of delicious looking things using sweet potato and squash (like sweet potato brownies – yum!!!), and then the Chocolate Mystery Cupcakes in the gorgeous cover photo have spinach AND zucchini in them – plus the buttercream frosting uses sweet potato.

I was really intrigued by her date-free square recipe – there’s a super special secret ingredient, which I think is brilliant. I haven’t had a chance to try them out yet, but I’m very excited for that day!

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There’s a fantastic introductory section that gets into all the details on how to bake with low-glycemic and natural sweeteners, as well as tips on how to bake without gluten.

I haven’t experimented too much with gluten-free baking, so her tips on how to get muffins to rise properly and how to get things to bind properly without sticky glutenous flours is really helpful.

I’m going to be getting into more detail on all of these things when I chat with Ricki this evening.

Don’t forget to tune at 7pm Eastern – right here on this page – for our live hangout! If you have any questions you want me to try to squeeze in, let me know below 🙂

Be sure to check out her new cookbook on Amazon, in your local bookstore or on Chapters for Canadians. And stay tuned because on Friday I’ll be posting a video of Ricki’s Chocolate-Flecked Pumpkinseed Cookies that we filmed together.


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