Review and Giveaway: Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free

Update: This giveaway has ended. The winner is Susan McGarry! Congrats, Susan!

I first met Ricki Heller a number of years ago, when I was first getting to know other gluten-free bloggers. While we’ve never officially “met” her, we have become good friends. She’s a genuine, down-to-earth person, and we share a love of sweets, baking, and our four-legged family members. I already own her ebooks and she was a life-saver back when I was learning how to navigate a dairy-free diet. So I was super-excited when I first heard that Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free was due to arrive!

This book is gorgeous – filled with amazing photos of every kind of sweet treat, including breakfast items such as scones and pancakes, cookies, cookies, and more cookies, blondies, cakes, frostings, “cheesecakes” and so much more. Ricki prefaces her recipes with a little explanation of ingredients that she uses (and why), as some of the items aren’t mainstream. But for those looking to lower their sugar intake, these recipes are a great way to still enjoy sweet treats!

I opted to make her Coconut Macaroons. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of coconut in all forms, and these are no exception. They’re naturally sweetened with coconut nectar and agave nectar, so they have a subtle caramel note to them. My favorite part is that they emerge from the oven chewy and sweet – the way a macaroon should be.

Coconut Macaroons, reprinted with permission from Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free (page 144)

3/4 cup (135 g) natural raw skin-on almonds, preferably organic

2 Tbsp (15 g) finely ground flax seeds (from about 1 Tbsp or 15 ml whole seeds)

1/8 tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt

2 cups (135 g ) unsweetened shredded coconut, medium shred

1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut nectar

1/4 cup (60 ml) light agave nectar

20 to 25 drops pure plain or vanilla stevia liquid, or to taste

1/4 cup (60 ml) tahini (sesame seed paste)

1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) pure coconut extract (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray.

In the bowl of a food processor, whir the almonds, flax, and salt together until they resemble a coarse meal, about the texture of cornmeal, without any identifiable pieces of almond visible. Add the coconut and pulse once or twice to combine.

Next pour the coconut nectar, agave nectar, stevia, tahini, vanilla, and coconut extract, if using, over the dry ingredients. Process again until everything is incorporated and the mixture forms a sticky ball (you may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the processor bowl once or twice). Stop as soon as the mixture holds together, to avoid grinding the coconut too fine.

Using a small ice-cream scoop or tablespoon (15 ml), drop small mounds of the mixture onto the cookie sheets about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Wet your palms (or use a silicone spatula) and flatten the cookies slightly.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets about halfway through baking, until the cookies are deep golden brown on top. Cool completely before removing to a rack (the cookies will firm up as they cool). May be frozen.

Yum, right?

Now, would you like to win a copy of this book?

To enter into your chance to win, please leave me a comment telling me what your favorite sweet treat is!

Want MORE chances to win?

Then do the following:

Share this giveaway on Facebook, tagging Ricki Heller and Tasty Eats At Home and leave me a comment HERE telling me you did so.

– Tweet this giveaway, tagging Ricki Heller and Tasty Eats At Home and leave me a comment HERE telling me you did so.

That’s it!! This giveaway will end Friday, October 25, 2013, at 11:59PM CT. The giveaway is only open to U.S. and Canadian residents ages 18 years and up. Best of luck to you!



  1. Kristina says

    I love macarons, especially the pistachio ones, but I haven’t found a good vegan recipe that develops feet properly. Sometimes I indulge anyway.

  2. Heather Peterson says

    Right now my favorite treat is most anything involving pumpkin, but my all time favorite is probably chocolate chip cookies :)

  3. Karen says

    Chocolate. Right now though, I’m gearing up for a.) a quiche and b.) pumpkin pie and c.) I am jonesing for a chai tea with coconut milk which I may just go make!

  4. Thomas says

    Always like coconut macaroons if not overly sweet. Want the flavor of the coconut to come through.

  5. Amanda Yoder says

    I think if I had to choose just one, it would be a yummy chocolate chip (GF) cookie! Would love to win this book!

  6. Susan McGarry says

    Posted on Facebook.
    My favorite treat would probably be a brownie but everything else is a close second. :-)

  7. pam says

    I love chocolate chip cookies, and blondies. I have a terrific GF Vegan blondie recipe made with garbanzo’s but have not yet found the perfect GF chocolate chip cookie recipe yet!

  8. Lorie Maier Hackett says

    thank you for the give away. My 8year old granddaughter was recently diagnosed with allergies to gluten, soy, Dairy (casden (i)n ? never heard of that? ?? and other food items.I prepared dinner for her the other night for the 1st time &she was up sick throwing up all night. I felt awful &I thought I had been so careful. This is all new to me. ..Help Tasty eats at home. .. how much is the book to buy?Thank you, any help would be greatly appreciated for my daughter n law &myself ; )
    Lorie xxx

  9. Amber G. says

    My favorite sweet treat is maple sweetened raw nut butter of any kind on anything! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  10. Candy Hoffman says

    My favorite sweet treat, you ask? It’s not possible for me to choose!! There’s biscotti, muffins, cupcakes, donuts, coffee cake, scones….I could go on for a while…
    I shared this post on both fb a twitter…thanks for the giveaway!