Ever since I delivered baby number seven, I’ve been craving j-u-n-k, JUNK! I’m talking “bake me a batch of cookies so I can eat them ALL.” I’m talking “give me a handful of corn dogs with non-organic, nitrate-laden dogs inside and corn syrup-saturated ketchup on the outside.” I’m talking “break out that chocolate we bought LAST Christmas.”
We don’t have corndogs, and chocolate does not agree with me (although I totally agree with chocolate), so that left me with eating a batch of cookies all by myself. I was up for that.
But my baby was not. As a nursing mother, I try to maintain the same diligence in monitoring what goes into my body after the baby is born as I did before. That means gobs of sugar are o-u-t, out. But it doesn’t mean the fun foods have to be o-u-t, out.
Smart Sweets to the rescue!
Smart Sweets: 30 Desserts to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth is a real foods dessert cookbook written by Katie Kimball of Kitchen Stewardship.
Information: Katie summarizes real food dessert baking exceptionally well. She is very open about how healthy (or unhealthy) desserts are, how “smart” each of the different sweeteners are, and what your basic ingredient options are on the road to eating smarter sweets.
Adaptability: Are you gluten-intolerant, dairy-sensitive, or allergic to eggs? You can still use this book. Is the only sweetener you have in the house the plain ol’ white stuff? Your dessert won’t be quite as “smart,” but you can use it. Each recipe contains tips, alternatives, and frequently asked questions so you can adapt the recipe or baking process to suit your needs or tastes, gradually moving toward more natural sweeteners as your taste buds adapt. Adaptability is awesome!
Symbols: Katie includes symbols to easily and quickly indicate allergen alerts as well as how “real,” expensive, and time-consuming each recipe is. When you need cookies now…like totally now…the time symbol is crucial.
Ingredients: You can find these ingredients. They’re real, normal ingredients! I am elated! In fact, most of them are right here in my pantry, and probably in yours as well. And if they’re not, she offers many alternatives as well as advice on where to find them.
Attitude: Nowhere in the entire book does Katie give you the impression that you need to attain a certain level of “smartness” to feel good about how you feed your family. She offers a gentle guide to making indulgent food better for you, but gives you options for wherever you are in your journey. I love that about her.
But what about the recipes?
The recipes assuaged my cravings beautifully, and the family was happy, too. Here are some quotes from the mouths of my children after eating desserts from Smart Sweets:
“These are fantastic!”
“May I have more…please?”
“I love these. Make them again!”
“This is a great flavor combination.”
“Don’t bother baking them. Let’s just eat the dough.”
One anonymous person who is not a honey fan did not care for the honey flavor in the honey-molasses cookies that the rest of us loved…and then that anonymous person ate the rest of the batch after the family went to bed. That anonymous person’s words were thereby negated by that anonymous person’s action.
We did have a texture-related incident with a pudding recipe involving arrowroot and forgetting to stir, in which case the words “worms” and “boogers” showed up, but that was the fault of the distracted stirrer (the crazy craver mentioned earlier), and not the recipe. The flavor itself was great, and it was eaten up…boogers and all. Had I stirred, all would have been well.
Enough talk! Do you want to try a recipe from Smart Sweets? Of course you do!
Enough baking! Do you want to win a copy of the ebook Smart Sweets? Of course you do!
Win a Copy of Smart Sweets
To enter, do any or all of the following, and leave a separate comment for each entry:
Check out the Smart Sweets table of contents. Come back here and leave a comment about a recipe or anything else that catches your eye. (Did you notice the bonus recipe?)
Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter or both, and leave a comment for each share. (Feel free to like The Simple Homemaker or follow TheSimpleHome while you’re sharing, although they won’t earn you an entry.)
Bake the apple crisp and bring it to my house. On second thought, that probably borders on bribery. Best skip that entry.
If you would rather not wait, you can buy your own copy, download it instantly, and use it today to bake Christmas goodies. The Simple Homemaker readers can use code SIMPLE25 to get a 25% discount on Smart Sweets until December 26. (It pays to be a TSHM reader!) If you then win the free book, Katie will refund your purchase. (Isn’t she great?!)
Happy (and smart) eating! I’m off to make the classic butter cake and eat more pumpkin cookies, all in the name of doing a thorough review! It’s a tough job.
TSHM disclosure statement: Katie gave me a free review copy of Smart Sweets. (Thanks, Katie!) That in no way influenced my review or opinion of the book. (If it had, would I have mentioned the boogers?) In fact, I’m going to buy one of her other books, Healthy Snacks To Go, based both on how much I like this book and also on the Healthy Snacks To Go table of contents and reviews. The links in this post are my affiliate links. If you purchase a book from Katie through one of my links, I will receive a small commission. I will not buy corn dogs with it.
Giveaway legaleze: This giveaway is for one ebook (not a hard copy book), which will be available for download. The giveaway ends Friday, December 16, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. PST. It is open to anyone over age 13 the world over. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook or Twitter. The winner will be chosen at random and will be notified by email and on this blog. The winner will have 72 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen…sorry!