Sweet Things & Desserts

Eating a wholesome, natural diet doesn’t preclude the occasional sweet or dessert.   Try these wholesome, healthy dessert recipes that make use of natural, nourishing ingredients like natural sweeteners, whole and sprouted grains.

Bûche de Noël

Complex with chocolate and cream, this Bûche de Noël recipe is naturally gluten-free and grain-free, featuring only pure and rich ingredients like whole pastured eggs, unrefined cane sugar and cocoa powder.  The zest of an orange adds a touch of faint and subtle brightness to the intense chocolate flavor.

Sugar Plums

Sugar Plums

Sugar plums, wholesome and humble, are easy to prepare at home – combining nuts with once exotic spices and dried fruits.  Perhaps this Christmas Eve, you can find a little room on your supper table for these nourishing treats from a time gone by.

Pumpkin Custard

Pumpkin Custard

Gently sweet and deeply nourishing, this pumpkin custard calls to memory the flavors of classic pumpkin pie, but without all the fuss of a crust.  Those who must adhere to a dairy-free diet either by necessity or choice would do well to substitute coconut milk for heavy cream in this dessert.

Buckwheat Sourdoughnuts

Buckwheat Sourdoughnuts

Not too sweet, sourdough doughnuts are cake-like and dense thanks to the inclusion of buckwheat flour.  Filling with a wholesome rustic texture and flavor, these doughnuts are leavened first through the same method used to prepare sourdough bread.

Coconut Flour Cake

Coconut Flour Cake

Dense, moist, and rich with coconut flavor, coconut flour cake is a remarkable treat.  While both its texture and flavor is reminiscent of classic yellow cake, it’s considerably more nourishing thanks to the nutrient profile of both coconut flour and fresh pastured eggs.  We serve coconut flour cake for birthdays and special occasions.

Fresh Fig Tart with Almond Crust

Fresh Fig Tart with Almond Crust

Thick strained yogurt, sweetened by a touch of raw honey, and fresh Mission figs fill an almond flour tart shell for a fresh and flavorful, but also wholesome and nourishing late summer dessert.

Homemade Creamsicles

Homemade Creamsicles

Creamy, icy and rich with the flavors of orange and vanilla, these homemade orange creamsicles satisfy and nourish.

Melted Apricots with Fresh Raspberries

Melted Apricots with Fresh Raspberries

So simple and so fresh, melted apricots with fresh raspberries is both tart and sweet and served just hot enough to barely warm the belly.  I love to serve this dish with plenty of fresh cream.  Make sure to choose the very best apricots available at market – they should be firm but yield gently under the pressure of your fingertips.  Their skin should be a rich orange and barely blushing with an almost nubile brightness.  And, as with the very best desserts, it is free from added sweeteners, natural or otherwise.

Mangoes and Sticky Rice

Mangoes and Sticky Rice

Faintly sweet and slightly salty, mangoes and sticky rice is a classic Thai dessert – often served as a special treat at the end of the meal.  This beautiful combination of sweet-salty coconut milk and ripe mangoes nourishes the body and satisfies the tastebuds.  The sweet-salt flavor is essential to the true and classic flavors of this dish.

sesame honey candy

Sesame Honey Candy

A traditional Greek confection, sesame seed and honey candy is just about as wholesome as candy can get with its inclusion of mineral-rich sesame seeds, unrefined sea salt and wildflower honey.

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Blood Oranges

Olive oil ice cream, enriched by pasture-raised egg yolk, fresh cream and whole milk, is dense in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  The combination of unrefined extra virgin olive oil and blood oranges, with their fruity and floral perfumes, adds a beautiful flavor to a special and unique dessert

Blackberry Sorbet

A decidedly tart finish to supper, our family prefers to prepare this wholesome, antioxidant-rich dessert without additional sweetener, appreciating, instead, the full flavor of local blackberries frozen at their height of ripeness.

Molasses Custard

Molasses custard is well-suited to winter’s supper tables – it’s soft, sweet and satisfying. Dense in wholesome fats from pastured egg yolks and fresh cream, molasses custard is not a particularly light dessert, though it is dense in vitamin A, riboflavin, selenium, phosphorus and calcium.

cinnamon molasses cookies for santa

Cinnamon Molasses Cookies

Pleasantly sweet and slightly salty, these cinnamon molasses cookies are perfect served alongside warm milk, hot cider or even mulled wine.

persimmon and mandarin ice cream

Persimmon and Mandarin Ice Cream

The ice cream is only mildly sweet and, thanks to the texture and softness of the persimmon pulp, is also fluffy and light in flavor. It is also a raw food as none of its ingredients are cooked or heated.  Persimmons are high in vitamin C, beta carotene, manganese and lycopene while cream from grass-fed cows is rich in conjugated linoleic acid and other nutrients.

cherry and vanilla bean sorbet

Cherry and Vanilla Bean Sorbet

This cherry sorbet, is sweet, rich and potent with the deep flavor of cherries harvested and preserved at their peak ripeness.   It is also, like many good foods, elegantly simple.   When you’re ingredients are of good quality, you need very little to maximize their flavor and to present a pleasing and nourishing dish to your families, friends and guests

pumpkin and molasses custard

Pumpkin and Molasses Custard

Traditionally sweetened by molasses and baked in a pumpkin shell, this pumpkin custard offers a more traditional and authentic alternative to pumpkin pie.

strawberry milk shakes

Strawberry Milk Shakes

A make-it-better alternative to sugary sweet milk shakes, this recipe is good enough for breakfast: just combine strawberries, vanilla bean, raw milk and a touch of honey.

chilled melon soup

Chilled Melon Soup

Melon is packed with nutrients like beta carotene while fresh berries are rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber.   Both melon and berries are packed with antioxidants as well.   Indeed, melon boasts an ORAC value of 315 while the rankings for blackberries and raspberries are 5,347 and 4,882, respectively.   The nutrients of berries in combination with melon make for a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory food.


Chocolate Mint Mousse

Chocolate mint mousse- bittersweet and addictive – makes for a tasty summer treat.   The kind of treat that’ll make you forget your manners and start licking every last touch of the chocolate minty goodness from your fingertips

Zaletti from In Late Winter We Ate Pears

A crunchy, naturally sweetened cornmeal cookie traditionally served in Italy featured in the book In Late Winter We Ate Pears.

Cinnamon Honey Ice Cream

Fresh raw cream combines with honey and cinnamon for a simple, flavorful dessert.

Blueberry Clafouti

A nourishing clafouti (or skillet cake) filled with blueberries provides a pleasantly mellow dessert cake that can also double as a breakfast treat.

Coconut Citrus Madeleines

Gluten-free and grain-free,  Coconut Madeleines are one of our favorite treats: slightly sweet and flavored with lemon, orange and vanilla.   In keeping with my recent post on why you should go grain-free, I’m sharing a tried-and-true, never-fail and cherished recipe: citrus coconut madeleines.

Blackberry Ice Cream with Wildflower Honey

In the spring and summer months, when cows are grazing on fresh, green grass raw ice cream is a staple in our home.   Unlike conventional, cloyingly sweet ice creams, this ice cream is milder in is sweetness which allows you to more fully appreciate the flavor of fresh, raw cream and milk.

Honey Custard

Simply sweetened with honey, this custard combines humble ingredients for a charming dessert

Quince Skillet Cake

Quince, those odd lumpy fruits, are fried in butter before being topped by a yogurt-based batter for a wonderful autumn skillet cake.

Sprouted Spelt and Maple Shortbread

This shortbread is slightly sweet–and simple to make featuring only a handful of ingredients.   Incorporating sprouted, whole grain flour helps to increase the nutritive value and the digestibility of the sweet.   As with all sweets, it’s best eaten in moderation and for special occasions only.

Maple Pecan Pie

Soaked pecans, butter, pastured eggs and real maple syrup combine together of a sweet holiday pie.

Soaked Flour Gingerbread

Quickly becoming a staple on our wintertime table, this gingerbread is a nice treat especially served warm with a generous amount of butter.   It’s heavy on the spices, but that makes it all the better. The flour is soaked overnight to reduce antinutrients

Election Cake

Election cake, a historical recipe popular in New England, combines dried fruit, fresh eggs, flour, buttermilk and molasses for a very traditional dessert recipe.

Coconut Kanten with Wild Plums

Coconut kanten mixes coconut milk, agar agar and wild plus for a flavorful and colorful Asian-inspired dessert.

Apples & Pears Sauteed in Butter

A simple, nourishing dessert – autumn tree fruit is simply sauteed in butter and served with fresh cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon and walnuts – no sweetener needed.

Honeyed Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries

A combination of honey and cream combine with fresh berries make for a delicious summer dessert.

Coconut-fried Bananas

Coconut flour, coconut oil and bananas come together for a lovely dessert.