Over the past four years I’ve been learning about raw vegan dishes, and eating them whenever I get a chance. Raw vegan foods are generally easier for your body to digest, free of processed ingredients, and fairly guilt-free to consume.  I love the idea of raw vegan desserts, but I’m entirely intimidated about preparing them myself.  My raw vegan dessert skills presently max out with smoothies and date balls.  So when I learned about Sweetly Raw Desserts, the new raw vegan dessert cookbook by Heather Pace, I was both excited and nervous about trying it.

WP_20150211_10_25_56_RawReprinted with permission from Quarry Books (2015)

But as soon as I started flicking through Sweetly Raw Desserts, I discovered there was nothing to be nervous about.  Most of the recipes call for ingredients we already keep in our pantry – dates, raw cocoa powder, agave nectar, coconut flakes and fresh fruit – and require the use of a decent blender (which we already have).  Some recipes call for exotic ingredients that can be ordered online or subbed for something in your pantry, but many call for simple ingredients and use basic kitchen gadgets.  The instructions are very clear and easy to follow and the pictures by photographer Melissa Welsh are gorgeous.  I also love, love, love the step-by-step guides for making base ingredients, like dark chocolate.

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The author, Heather Pace, is a classically trained chef that has a delicious website packed with recipes and tips, www.sweetlyraw.com.  She also sells her yummy raw vegan chocolates on www.sweetlyrawchocolate.com.  If you want to make your own chocolates, you’ll find several recipes in the Sweetly Raw Dessert book, or in Heather’s Raw Chocolate Dream e-book.

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In addition to the new Sweetly Raw Desserts cookbook published through Quarry Books, Heather also has a collection of e-books available to download from her website with loads more raw vegan treat recipes to try.  I think it’s safe to say that Heather Pace is an expert in the the raw vegan dessert department.

WP_20150211_10_24_10_RawReprinted with permission from Quarry Books (2015)

Since I am down in the Florida Keys, with access to fresh key limes, I decided to make the key lime bar recipe from the Sweetly Raw Desserts book.  The recipe calls for raw dates.  Since my dates were quite dry from living in my fridge for the last month, I soaked them in water for an hour to soften them before proceeding with the recipe.   I also didn’t have any dried mango on hand (an optional ingredient) so I just added a few extra dates to the recipe.  But aside from those two adjustments, I followed the recipe as written and the bars turned out just like the picture.


The key lime bars took about 45 minutes total for me to prepare.  After a few hours in the freezer, they were firm enough to cut and consume.  And man, they were insanely delicious! I served them to dinner guests that probably wouldn’t have tried them had they known the bars contained avocado.  But once they finished oohing and ahhing and licking the pan clean, I revealed the secret ingredient.  They were intrigued that avocado could taste so darn good in a dessert.

WP_20150211_10_26_24_RawReprinted with permission from Quarry Books (2015)

There is a section of the Sweetly Raw Desserts book dedicated to raw vegan ice cream recipes that require the use of an ice cream maker, which I don’t own.  But a friend who does own a machine offered to let me borrow hers if we could make some of the recipes from the book together.  I consider that a double win. First recipe we plan to make together? I have my eye on that chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream cake.  YUM!


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Disclosure: I received a sample of a product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided and all views and opinions stated on this post are 100% my own.