Besides being refreshingly flexible, every recipe in this book has the added bonus of being free of dairy, eggs, gluten, wheat, soy, peanuts, corn, refined grains, refined sugars, yeast, starch, and other nutrient-poor ingredients. Many recipes are free of grains, oils, nuts, and added sugars as well…
Most importantly, these desserts are mouthwateringly scrumptious. – from Practically Raw Desserts: Flexible Recipes for All-Natural Sweets and Treats, by Amber Shea Crawley
Sounds like a dream cookbook, doesn’t it? Rich, decadent, scrumptious, quick and easy to make – not to mention beautiful – desserts that are kind to our bodies and actually provide vital nutrients while indulging our love of sweets. Practically Raw Desserts delivers on these promises and easily fulfills my sugar-coated dreams.
It probably sounds pretty good to you, too, but maybe you’re intimidated by raw cuisine. Or maybe you don’t have a dehydrator or high-speed blender. No worries. Amber has not only provided instructions on how to create these desserts without special equipment (use your oven – or not; crank the food processor, not the Vitamix), but she gives you tons of ingredient alternatives as well. Swap the cashews for walnuts; don’t have coconut palm sugar? Brown sugar will work just fine. She even shares ways to make these healthful treats lower in fat and calories, should you so desire.
Practically Raw Desserts begins with a section on ingredients and tips, as well as describing how to personalize each recipe to fit your own likes and your kitchen. From there, Amber provides recipes for various nut and seed milks as well as flours, butters, and luscious date syrup – a key ingredient in many of her treats. Chapters on cookies, bars, cakes, pies, puddings, candy, plus frostings/glazes/drizzles/ganaches follow, while in the final chapter, a resource guide provides readers with information on where to source ingredients.
Dulce de Leche Spooncream
- Yield: 6 1x
In my first book Practically Raw, I explained that “spooncream” is my word for a thin, pudding-like dessert you eat with a spoon. This stuff is very rich, so I keep the serving size fairly small—for a fun presentation, serve it in decorative espresso cups with tiny spoons. – Amber
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for 2 to 4 hours and drained
- 3/4 cup coconut milk or other nondairy milk of choice
- 1/2 cup pitted dates, soaked in warm water for 20 to 30 minutes and drained
- 2 Tbsp. coconut butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp. sea salt
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until completely smooth. If using a food processor or regular blender, you may need to add water or additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to help it blend smoothly. Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours or overnight before serving. The spooncream will thicken as it chills.
- Store the spooncream in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- From Practically Raw Desserts by Amber Shea Crawley. ©2013 Amber Shea Crawley. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.
- Serving Size: 6
- Calories: 264
- Sugar: 9
- Sodium: 96
- Fat: 21
- Saturated Fat: 11
- Unsaturated Fat: 9
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 18
- Protein: 4
- Cholesterol: 0
To say I had a blast working my way through this cookbook would be an understatement. I’ve battled with The Refined Sugar Monster most of my life, and though I’ve banished refined white sugar, it’s been difficult to completely empty my cupboards of slightly less-refined sugars. Amber’s recipes have not only provided me with a trove of delicious whole foods desserts to create, she’s expanded my ingredient horizons – all while satisfying my raging sweet tooth. But one of my favorite things about Amber’s recipes is that they are dead simple, quick, and easy to create. And they’re lovely; each one would be absolutely perfect for a party or a gathering of family and friends – impressive for non-vegans and vegans alike.
By the way, Amber’s first cookbook, Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make, is another wonderful raw food collection. It was one of the first raw cookbooks I bought and I reference it time and again. You can find out more about Ms. Crawley at her blog, Chef Amber Shea.
Thank you, Jon Robertson, Dianne Wenz and Vegan Heritage Press for including me in this blog tour and for providing me with a review copy of Practically Raw Desserts. Many desserts remain for me to create and devour. And thank you, Amber, for your delicious creativity!
Giveaway runs through September 30
Open to U.S. & Canada residents only
Great review! Somehow I haven’t acquired this book over the years. I really need to pick up both!
Amazing how easy most of these recipes are – great additions to any cookbook library.
Sounds delicious! Will eventually try it! thanks 🙂
It’s SO good.
Everything you’ve made looks delicious and I love the name ‘spooncream’.
Perfect description, isn’t it?
That spoon cream looks far too good, so i am ignoring it or it would become my downfall!
Haha! I know exactly what you mean! I had to ration it out…
I love banana cream pie, makes for an amazing raw dessert.
Something about “raw” and “desserts” just works!
Wow! Those desserts look so delicious, especially the spooncream!
My favorite raw dessert is a raw apple pie I learned how to make in a cooking class a few years ago. Unbelievably yummy. I love it with a dollop of fermented cashew cheese on top.
Thank you for sharing!
Raw apple pie?! Hello! Where have I been???
amazing and looks so easy to make, I am not sure where I would find the cashew butter? is there a sub for it, if it can’t be found? I think everyone in my family would love this including the 4 year old
Cashew butter is easy to make – all you need is patience and a food processor! Take 3 cups raw, dry cashews and process them for about 12 minutes. You’ll need to scrape down the sides of the bowl every few minutes. Delicious!
thank you, will have to try that!!
for the giveaway question, my fav raw dessert, don’t have one, really looking for one. topical fruit is still top of my list.
Hard to beat fresh, juicy fruits :-).
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Ok, I’ve been hearing about this book for a while now and this post totally convinced me that I need to buy it! This sounds delicious!
You need it :-)!
My favorite raw dessert was a coconut cashew cream cheesecake with walnut date crust my friend made for a raw potluck once – but I’m excited to try more raw desserts!
I have enjoyed her books a lot 🙂
My favorite raw dessert was a coconut cashew cream cheesecake with a walnut date crust that a friend made for a raw potluck. I’m excited to try more raw desserts though!
Mmmmm, cashew cheesecake…
Raw cheesecake wins for my favorite raw dessert every time.
Looks like cheesecake is the winner of favorite raw dessert so far!
Wow, I’ll have to get a copy of that book. I’m still working toward making my vegan desserts more healthy and do use refined sugar too often. This looks like a great book to help me let go of that “traditional” dessert creation box, or as I call it the white flour + sugar two step. 🙂 Thanks! Since going vegan, I’m noticing that if I eat too much white sugar, I feel like I have a hang over or have been hit by a bus the next day.
I hear ya! I’m still struggling but it’s getting easier. This book opens up all kinds of sweet, yummy possibilities.
What a cool review! I love her recipes too! Yum Yum Yum!
Sorry you can’t enter 🙁
Too bad, yeah! x
I would like to think that most people have some special equipment. Did I win? Great review, I am a sucker for raw desserts. Lovely photos Ann, rich hues and blues 🙂
Oh my this “spooncream” sounds insanely good! I bet it would make a fabulous frosting or pancake topper too 🙂
I completely meant to buy this book when it first came out but never got round to it and it slipped off my radar. Thanks for the reminder!
Don’t enter me as I’m in the UK.
Sorry you can’t enter, hon! You’re right – this dessert could be eaten in so many ways! Great ideas!
I could eat this spooncream anyday 😉
Whoo HOooo, just entered and can’t wait to win, heeHEE.
Dulce de Leche is one of my most missed flavors since going Dairy Free. Nice to see this version can bring it all back to me 😉
It’s gonna be a battle between you and GiGi!
My fav raw food dessert, hard to say..some type of raw choc cake/fudge!
Chocolate is the necessary ingredient :-)!
This is intriguing! I haven’t gotten a cookbook in some time but I am going to look for this. (Unless, that is, I WIN it.) My fave raw dessert is vegan dark chocolate mousse, of course!
Gotta agree with you there, Patty. Nothing like chocolate mousse…
Thanks for the giveaway. Great review and I’ll eventually try this recipe 🙂 Thanks again
Thanks, Jessica! Good luck!
Wow Ann, I think I should’ve hired YOU to do the photography for PRD! 🙂 Thanks so much for this lovely review and your STUNNING photos. Good luck to all who are entering to win!
Awww! Thank you so much, Amber! Really honored to be sharing your beautiful recipes with my readers. And just let me know when you start work on your next book, my camera is ready ;-)!
This looks AMAZING! Love the name too. <3
I know, right? Perfect description of this creamy dessert.
I have the first one and love it would love to give this one a try
I like it better than the first one, probably because it’s all sweets ;-)! Thanks for entering!
i am vegan and try to put in more raw stuff…but as a newbie not easy…would be happy about a little help from your book 😉 i will try at once your spooncream …
Amber makes creating raw food very easy – really. This would be a great starter book for you.
yay – thats why i am hoping really bad to win it ;-P
My fave raw dessert is raw superfood chocolate!
This book looks amazing! I would absolutely love to win this book. Those cookies look like they can melt in your mouth!!
You’re right – the cookies totally melt in your mouth. I am in love with them…sigh. Thanks for entering!
One more vote for chocolate!!
YUM! I’ve been a huge fan of Amber for quite some time and I LOVE that she is open about being “practically” raw. It’s so much pressure to be in her position but she has done so with such grace. And not to mention, her recipes are insane. I would LOVE the book! So much inspiration and genius captured in a book 🙂
Couldn’t agree more. Raw can be so intimidating with fancy ingredients and equipment, but Amber makes it so doable. It doesn’t hurt that everything she creates tastes delicious!
My favorite raw foods dessert is Angela’s (@Ohsheglows) Frosty No-bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies Here’s the link to the recipe! http://ohsheglows.com/2011/05/25/how-to-squash-a-chocolate-craving-in-80-calories/
Thanks for sharing what sounds like an incredible treat!
My favorite dessert is Chef Amber Shea’s Enlightened Carrot Cake from Practically Raw Desserts! Amazingly yummy! Her cooking instructions are also unsurpassed.
I haven’t tried that one yet – oh boy, it sounds awesome!
YAY – I entered!
My favorite raw dessert is fruit, since that’s all I know how to prepare 🙂
Now that’s the easiest raw dessert ever!
I really want to try a chocolate caramel cup, but I love fruit smoothies and freezing them to make ice cream
Chocolate caramel cup certainly got my attention :-)!
My favorite raw dessert is chocolate coconut bliss balls…basically just cacao, coconut, dates 🙂
Okay yeah, that sounds like bliss to me!
My favorite whole foods, raw dessert is banana “ice cream” mixed with berries.
Adele – I agree with you! Coincidentally, tomorrow I’m sharing a banana-peanut butter “ice cream” with mixed berry sauce. Great minds :-)!
Nice review! My favorite raw dessert is any of the raw cheesecakes. Thanks for the chance to win!
Diane, you are not alone! Raw cheesecakes are definitely a favorite!
My favorite whole foods raw dessert is very simple. Fruit 😉
that spooncream looks amazing! i think my current fave dessert is carrot cake
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I just love your recipes. No one would ever know that they are vegan. They are great.
I love any kind of raw pie with a date-nut based crust, especially if it’s a velvety fruity filled kind of pie. 🙂
I love that kind of crust, too. So rich and flavorful.
I haven’t really made an raw desserts other than some peanut butter balls, but am super excited to try, thus the interest in the book! Thanks for the opportunity!
You’re welcome, Mandi! Thanks for entering :-).
I love making raw cheesecake, but it’s so rich I only make one for parties, or I’d just eat the whole thing myself!
Cheesecake is the clear winner ;-)!
My favorite whole foods raw dessert would probably have to be some sort of cacao truffles that I rolled in hemp seeds, coconut flakes, etc. 🙂
Now that sounds tasty…
Sounds so good and here I have some extra cashews and dates soaking in the fridge. 🙂 This book has been on my wish list practically since it’s come out and I have no idea why it is not currently among my books. I may have to give that a rethink.
If you don’t win – – get the book! You’ll love it.
Do you think I could freeze this and have it later? I mean to eat 6 servings in 2 days would be insane… though I must say it wouldn’t be beneath me…
🙂 I hear ya! I’m not sure about freezing this – – I want to say it might get a bit runny once thawed, but who knows? It might come out just fine.
This spoon cream looks divine – Can’t wait to serve it at my next dinner party! <3
Oh my it is SO delicious!