Treat Yourself to Healthier, Real Food Desserts

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Does eating healthy, real foods mean giving up all desserts and other sweet treats?

I definitely don’t think that the eating well and enjoying dessert have to be in opposition to one another. In fact, it’s really about the ingredients that you use, far more than about the particular dish that you’re creating. So in theory, we should be able to swap in some better, alternative ingredients and simply enjoy our goodies.

One challenge, however, can be finding dessert recipes using those wholesome ingredients, that don’t taste bland, dry or just plain old blah. Ever had any “healthy” desserts like that?

treat yourself coverThe ebook I’m giving away today is a fun compilation of tempting, delicious treats full of real food goodness. They make use of old-fashioned fats, soaked whole grains or nutritious nut flours, unrefined sweeteners, and absolutely none of the junky stuff like hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup. But these recipes actually taste GOOD.

Kate, author of Treat Yourself: Real Food Desserts, had this collection of 32 cakes, cookies, cupcakes, frostings, pies, frozen treats and more carefully tested by a team of recipe testers (you can see the entire list of recipes included in the book here).

Although I wasn’t a tester myself, I did decide to treat our own family to her Chocolate Cake I, with Cream Cheese Frosting for my husband’s birthday. It was just as I think chocolate cake should be. Moist, lightly sweetened (but not overly sweet), rich chocolatey flavour, with a perfectly sweet and tangy frosting.

Naturally-sweetened desserts like these may not have that same confectionary taste as their white-sugar bakery counterfeits, and they won’t last indefinitely on the shelf or in the fridge, either. It might take a small bit of getting used to for those accustomed to store-bought treats, but once you do, I guarantee you won’t want to go back. I love that I can fearlessly indulge in the occasional goodie, without guilt, and the whole idea of this aptly named ebook is that we can “treat ourselves” without having to compromise.

It’s killing me that I’m writing this post as I finish up my last few week’s of a completely sweetener-free diet, because I’ve got so many recipes in this book that I’m eager to try out… carrot cake, chocolate eclairs, vanilla bean cheesecake. Mmmmm.

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424 Comments

  1. I love just about anything with real, dark chocolate. Since I have started eating dark chocolate, I hardly ever touch the fake, waxy stuff (kisses). This book seems great. I guess you can have your cake and eat it too!

  2. My absolute favorite dessert is a brownie sundae but the whole food desserts that I’m most interested in are probably frostings.

  3. Oohh it all looks wonderful. I think we’d like to make the spice cake first (and then systematically try everything else). Yum!

  4. Oh there are so many I want to try but first would be the spice cake. My dh has requested a spice cake for his upcoming birthday and I would LOVE for it to be a more healthful version. For me, it will be the cheesecake or the scones or the eclairs or the butter cookies or…! Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  5. My favorite dessert? Oh goodness… it seems so long since I’ve had anything for dessert but yogurt and fruit I’m not even sure where to start.

    I would certainly want to try the Strawberry Pie recipe, and the Scones recipe – I really miss scones. Especially the blueberry kind.

  6. I have just begun exploring whole foods in the last few weeks (and loving the change already!), but I admit that I just made a friends birthday cake with very unreal foods :). So would love to try any cakes in the book first.

  7. I want to try the Chocolate Cake recipe, and brownies are a weakness…would love to learn how to make it more nutritious.

  8. Anything chocolate of course but since know i’m growing wise ;D the intake must be more health recipes. Thanks for this great giveaway.

  9. My very favorite dessert on the planet is fruit pizza. I think it would be an easy enough recipe to make wholesome, but I wouldn’t have a clue where to start. I’d LOVE to win this book! I’m trying to cook healthier for my family, but my husband isn’t exactly thrilled at the thought, so some yummy desserts might help win him over… I hope? πŸ™‚

  10. My favorite dessert is moist chocolate cake with fudge icing!! Yum! Or carrot cake with cream cheese icing… or… πŸ˜‰ Ha! Maybe I’ll win and satisfy all urges in a healthier way! πŸ˜‰

  11. I love desserts that are like bars and usually contain oatmeal. Would love to try out this cookbook! I’m looking for something new for our sweet-tooth!

  12. I’m a sucker for anything with chocolate! So I’m thinking the brownies are really tweaking my interest. πŸ˜‰

  13. We are new to the real food way of life so I haven’t tried my hand at many desserts yet. Right now we are hooked on pumpkin bars.

  14. I would like anything chocolate or any kind of fruit cobbler…it’s hard to get those with out sugar. Thanks!

  15. Cheesecake. Preferably with chocolate. But I’ve been using a lot of honey and sucanat and frankly just cutting the amount of sugar in half sometimes, things like that.

  16. It’s hard to choose which recipe I want to try the most! Brownies are my all time favorite dessert, but with all the birthday cakes I need to do in a year, it would be nice to have a healthy recipe to use.

  17. my favorite dessert is probably ice cream – and I’m interested in wheat-free/real food recipes so this would be perfect! πŸ™‚

  18. I love rich, creamy desserts…ice cream, cheesecake, chocolate mousse with whipped cream… πŸ™‚ I’m so thankful to be able to make them healthy! This book looks wonderful

  19. My favorite dessert is chocolate chip cookies. I”m thinking that these could be healthified with whole and/or soaked grains maybe?

  20. I enjoy subscribing to your blog.
    Real food desserts are a challenge for me, especially because my husband LOVES candy and store bought junk foods. I cook most of our meals and stock the pantry with healthy snacks, but he regularly brings home this crap (which of course, the kids then want). I keep trying though. *sigh*

  21. I would love to win this! I am a big fan of desserts but am always looking for alternatives to boxed brownies! My favorites are whole wheat and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, Banana Chip cookies (with dried bananas) and pumpkin muffins. I also have a recipe for fruit salad with a honey mint dressing that is always a hit at social gatherings.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  22. My dessert of choice is usually Cheesecake. Smother it in fruit or leave it alone, I don’t care! It’s always yummy!

  23. This time of year I’m obsessed with pumpkin anything. I can’t wait to makes some pumpkin bread. Or muffins. Or pie. And the other day I saw pumpkin ice cream! I am definitely going to have to try it! My other favorite is chocolate…..mmmmm. Chocolate anything pretty much.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  24. And I’m most interested in their recipes for brownies, butter cookies, and chocolate eclairs. I didn’t have to limit myself to one, did I? ;D

  25. My favorite dessert is anything chocolate. YOu can never go wrong with a good chocolate brownie.
    I am most interested in making desserts that taste good with the most healthful ingredients possible.

  26. Give me chocolate cake (from sratch) anytime day of the week and I’m a happy girl. To date my favorite recipe is Eggless Chocolate Cake. Simple, gooey and I always have the incredients on hand.

  27. I would LOVE to try any of the grain-free recipes… I’ve been grain-free since July and am always loving some good ole sweets. πŸ™‚

  28. While the entire contents of the cookbook sound wonderful, my family loves anything chocolate, and I am trying to learn to make more grain-free dishes.

  29. I’m interested in any grain-free desserts. I’m gearing up to do the GAPS diet and am getting used to going grain free and I think this will help.

  30. Oh the cinnamon buns! For me there is nothing better than a warm cinnamon bun with a cup of coffee on a cold morning!

  31. I love everything Chocolate. Reading about your cake had my mouth watering. πŸ˜‰ I also love the fact that this book would offer healthier desserts for me and my 3 guys! Thanks to you and the author for a chance at an awesome giveaway!

  32. This seems like an awesome e-book! My favorite desserts are anything with dark chocolate! And they’re even better if they’re hearty tasting with nuts, whole grain flour, etc.

  33. I also get keeper of the home emails …..I love all the great tips, recipes, and words of wisdom you ladies have to offer. πŸ™‚
    Thanks Again~ Ashley @ Thereisnoplacelikehomemade(dot)blogspot(dot)com

  34. I’m looking forward to learning how to render lard this fall so I can try my hand at making old-fashioned pie crusts. Chess pie is first on my list!

  35. My favorite desserts are Tangy Frozen Yogurt and Creme Brulee. Honestly, I’d be interested in any of the real food desserts since I’d decided that I could eat healthy AND eat desserts.

  36. I would love to try the “Vanilla Bean Cheesecake” listed in the table of contents! Sounds so YUMMY!

    I already subscribe via email.

    I shared the giveaway on Facebook!

    Thanks! ~Jaime

  37. I saw a recipe on The Nourishing Gourmet for pumpkin spice cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting…I am dying to try those!

    And I am already a subscriber by email. : )

  38. The type of real food desserts that interest me most are the ones that are grain-free. There are 8 in my family and 4 of us have Celiac disease. I don’t want to fee them any GF dessert, I want to feed them a real food GF dessert!
    Thanks,
    Lori G

  39. I would love to discover some more real food cake recipes. I love making a beautiful birthday cake and decorating it with beautiful designs just for the special BD boy or girl! I also love love love homemade ice cream and sorbet and would greatly appreciate some novel ideas in that realm πŸ™‚

  40. I would love to try that chocolate cake since my husband loves chocolate so much. That would be my favorite real food dessert.

  41. I would love to have a book with healthy dessert recipes. I bake all the time and I only use whole wheat flour when baking for my family. I am always trying to tweak recipes to make them healthier. My family never knows what my goodies are going to taste like. I have had some not too great desserts but also alot of desserts that did turn out. Our desserts just have a different texture πŸ™‚
    My family loves brownies and anything chocolate.

  42. Cheesecake! I’m not sure it would be a good idea for me to make, though. I’m sure I’d eat the whole thing by myself!

  43. I love homemade ice cream, unfortunately on a regular basis. I love the fact that I control the ingredients, each single one.
    Paula

  44. I love taking non-real food dessert recipes and changing them into real food! Little changes, like sugar to honey, or white flour to whole wheat.

  45. Being pregnant I can only think of banana/chocolate pudding but haven’t found a ‘real food’ to fix the craving so have been having banana slices in greek style yogurt with honey.

  46. I love chocolate and mint so the chocolate mint filled cookies would probably be my favorite (my hubby and his dislike of chocolate *tear* however would prefer something like vanilla or carrot cake)

  47. Ooooh!! I’d love this. I am looking for ways to make anything we eat more healthy – esp. treats! I’d love to have a great cake recipe – I LOVE cake. πŸ™‚

  48. I want to try the pie crust recipe. I’ve made my apple pie filling much healthier, now I just need a pie crust to match πŸ™‚

  49. Our family’s favorite sweet treat is BROWNIES! Any and all kinds make us happy but the chocolate-ier the better.

  50. I am most interested in the ‘Other’ category of desserts. Like scones and cinnamon rolls. Thanks for the giveaway.

  51. My favorite real food dessert is apple crisp πŸ™‚ Because you dont have to use much sweetener to make it taste great!

  52. I would love to see some recipes for cakes, cupcakes, pies. I would love to create treats for my girls while still being filled with good ingredients:)

  53. Hi Stephanie! So my favorite dessert… oh man. I will tell you this – I make some phenomenal cinnamon rolls. Better than cinnabon. I only make them once a year for Christmas breakfast but believe it or not, those cinnamon rolls represented to me what I was giving up by switching to a primal diet without grains. It took a while to make the plunge, though I told myself there was no reason why I couldn’t still have them once a year, right? So they would be the favorite, though I love a lot of other holiday treats. I might try to sourdough them this year and see how it goes!

  54. My favorite dessert is brownies! And I see that’s in the book! Dessert is my weakness and I would just love a good cookbook like this to switch too!

    smoo06 at yahoo dot com

  55. I have been experimenting with sourdough chocolate cake, cookies, cupcakes, and I’d love to find a healthy yet delicious brownie recipe!!

  56. I love cheesecakes. As a type 1 diabetic, I’m always looking for desserts that satisfy my sweet tooth without completely overloading my body with sugar. I’ve really enjoyed some raw vegan dessert recipes that use avocados and cashews to make cheesecakes and would love to see what recipes are in this book!

  57. I love desserts with fruit in them, but a classic chocolate cake is definitely what I’ve been craving recently!

  58. Chocolate Cake is my favorite right now (could change though in a week, as I am pregnant). But in general I love fruit dishes.

  59. We are crazy for cheesecake. I have the biggest sweet tooth! I am interested in learning how to make all kinds of real food dessert recipes like cookies, pies, and cakes!

  60. I subscribe to your emails!
    I can just imagine sitting on the back porch on a cool evening with fresh dessert, still hot from the oven, a good cup of coffee and a great group of friends. I am looking forward to making something yummy to share with my friends.

  61. My husband LOVES chocolate cake. I just can’t seem to find a recipe that balances the healthy with the yummy and would love another option πŸ™‚

  62. I commented over at Stephanie’s site too… I enjoy her blog as well. I just love chocolate brownies. They’re my absolute favorite chocolate treat. After making them earlier today, I felt appalled at the amount of sugar in them. I want to make healthier treats for my family, but I often don’t know how to cut out the sugar.

  63. I am a sucker for all things ice cream! I would LOVE to find some good recipes for making ice cream out of kefir or other soured milk, but I have not had much success with personal experimentation. It may not be possible, but I sure would love to be able to make ice cream totally guiltless and GOOD FOR YOU. πŸ™‚ ps. I subscribe via email. And you better believe I’m sharing this on Facebook too.

  64. Oh! I thought of another one. I once labored over some licorice cupcakes with chocolate cream frosting. Not the candy licorice, but the herb tea licorice. SO DELICIOUS!

  65. I love cheesecake! I too try to swap ingredients to make treats healthier. My family doesn’t even notice any more that all things vanilla are a lovely shade of tan from the rapadura! Would love a copy of the book. I have been experimenting with “flourless” goodies. These are a bit more difficult.

  66. Not sure if we are supposed to write separate comments, but when in doubt…
    Yep, I shared on Facebook. πŸ™‚

  67. I couldn’t pick just one of those recipes – but I have to admit I LOVE brownies and ice cream. πŸ™‚

  68. i love love love cookies and brownies. but i must say i have an overall sweet tooth. im interested in learning how to adapt more of my favorites to be real foods.

  69. Though many of desserts sounded GREAT, I’d love to make the carrot cake. I’ve been craving it during my pregnancy & haven’t had one slice. πŸ™

  70. We love all things chocolate and caramel…oh and cheesecake! I would love to have this resource…I am very limited as to what healthier sweets I can make so far…always looking for new recipes!

  71. I love vanilla cupcakes, lemon cake, cinnamon rolls!! That’s narrowing it down too πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the give-away!

    ~Cinnamon

  72. My favourite desserts are ones with fruit – like apple crumble, for instance!!! Juice with ice cream was a favourite when I was growing up!!!! (orange juice is the best) Try it! Pretty sure you won’t regret it πŸ˜€

    I would LOVE to receive a copy of this book! I have recently started eating whole foods only, and I am desperate for inspiration, ideas and recipes!

  73. I love creamy desserts! I also like the recipe for peanut cookies found in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. I’m very interested in trying dessert recipes that use soaked grains.

  74. Our family just love Carrot Cake. My daughter and I have tried making it at home, and we are still searching for that “Ultimate” recipe.
    It has to taste amazing as well as being full of good-for-you ingredients. I really would love to win “Treat Yourself, Real Food Desserts.” Thank you for this Giveaway!

  75. I love chocolate, but have been on GAPS so I don’t really get to eat it. I’d love to make those grain free brownies for a special treat!

  76. Cake, brownies, ice cream… i love them all! And I always feel a bit guilty when I know they’re full of things that aren’t good for me. Would love to be able to improve that!

  77. My husband and I both love creamy, custardy-type desserts. I would love to know how to make a healthy creme brulee!

  78. I am an ice cream gal, but the majority of the family loves cake, so any good guilt-free cake recipes would be wonderful and am always on the lookout for them (ice cream ones too) and have been eying this book for a couple months! I would be SOOOOOOOO excited if I could get my hands on one! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for hosting such a wonderful giveaway!

    Miss Antoinette

  79. Just shared this with my mom who I know would like this too! πŸ™‚

    With our family being on the GAPS diet, there are a few recipes in this book that I cannot wait to test with the men in the house and see if they like them!

  80. I am most interested in healthy chocolate desserts! I have been experimenting a lot on my own so this book looks fabulous. Thanks for the opportunity.

  81. I would love to win the cookbook so I could make scones for my family. My daughter became very sick four years ago. We went to one doctor after another each time they would give her a pain reliever and a muscle relaxant. God is so good. He puts christian people in our lives when we need them the most. While we were transitioning our farm to organic we met a christian couple that treat people naturally. After examining her they said that her body can not handle refined flour or sugar to switch to organic spelt and honey. We went home and changed our diet. Praise God she is healthy as long as she stays away from refined flour and sugar.

  82. Hi. I SO want to make the cinnamon rolls! I’ve been trying to transition my diet since I have been in pain for 2 years after a bad car accident (drunk hit me). Since beginning the transition a month or two ago, my pain levels have decreased from 8 to 4 (on a scale of 1-10)! Praise God! He knows what makes our bodies heal! I haven’t been able to find and “healthy” desserts for my sweet tooth, though. This will be perfect!

  83. we love anything with chocolate in it – chocolate cake, brownies, chocolate chip cookies. With food allergies (corn and most dairy), real foods subbed into traditional recipes don’t always work. I’d love to check out the book!

  84. I LOVE dessert and HATE the effects of sugar and white flour! I’m subscribed and love it so far! Thanks for the inspiration and the Thanksgiving conversation.

    Lori

  85. My favorite dessert currently is gelato! I would love to know how to make a real foods version of oatmeal cookies too!

  86. I have completed a 21 cleanse and realize that white flour and sugar are not working for me. In fact they work against me, causing weight gain, fatigue and a myriad of other symptoms. I will need to change my cooking and eating habits after 52 years–tough job. Having the opportunity to make desserts that will not send my body back to where I was would be so great. I have been working on eating real food–and bought real food on a real budget hard copy a couple of months ago. I would love to have this book also. Thanks for your help, getting me back on track.

  87. I LOVE to bake. My favorite dessert will always remain angel food cake with strawberries. My husband prefers tiramisu (in cake form), so that’s always a yearly birthday staple.

  88. I love trying new recipes! My favorite recipe is oatmeal scotchy cookies! Especially when they’re fresh from the oven πŸ™‚

  89. I love fruit pies! I’d love to learn to make an even healthier pie crust. I already use whole wheat flour and butter but I’m sure there are even better ideas.

  90. The spice cake would be the first one that I would try. I love desserts like that! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the chance.

  91. I would love to try the lemon cake and love how many grain free recipes there are! Half of our family is gluten free and it can be difficult to find good gluten free dessert recipes.

  92. My favorite dessert is anything ice cream or chocolate. I use to be a baker, but my health journey has put a stop to that…i would love to find ways to do it better!

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