Chocolate Date Cookies
Add to food processor:
7 pitted dates
They should be moist. If they
are dry soak them in water
until they soften.
1/2 cup almond butter
4 drops Vanilla Cre`me or
English Toffee liquid stevia
a pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tbsp cocoa
or cacao powder
Roll into balls about teaspoon size, then press between your hands to flatten. Place onto a dehydrator tray, no liner needed. Dehydrate at 135 for about 8 hours. Makes about 20 cookies.


Kelly Brozna graduated from the Tyler School of Art with a BFA in Photography in 2000. In 2007, she and her family moved from the East coast to Colorado.
She began to experiment with and create gluten-free recipes because her husband and two daughters were allergic to various foods. After she removed dairy and refined sugars from their diets, their allergic symptoms disappeared. She has now created a wide variety of gluten-free dishes for her family and has published them in a new book, The Spunky Coconut, which she and her artist husband, Andrew, have produced. Here are some holiday-inspired dessert recipes, which Kelly is sharing from her book.

They say that smell is the sense most closely associated with memory, which completely explains why the holidays are my favorite time of year. Turkey with rosemary, cranberry stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, pecan pie... Each one conjures up a picture in my head, a picture that comes back every year with the smell of that food.

The nostalgia of the season begins when I wake up in the morning, buried under mountains of blankets, the cold morning air nipping my nose. The kitchen wakes up too. Coffee with a hint of cinnamon, herbal tea, or hot apple cider send little puffs of steam into the chilled air. What will we have today? Eggs, bacon, banana bread, pumpkin muffins?

Outside you can smell wood burning, leaves drying on the ground, and sometimes snow. Soups and stews, pasta, and meat cooked with dry herbs all have one thing in common: heat. It's impossible to imagine the holidays without hot meals, and baked goods. However, baking cake, cookies and pies isn't easy-especially from scratch. Family secrets and recipes are passed down from generation to generation. These recipes take time, practice, and patience.

Compound the work of holiday cooking with food allergies and intolerance's, and suddenly the holidays can seem pretty daunting. Celiac disease, dairy-intolerance, diabetes, MS, RA, autism-the list goes on and on. More and more of us are struggling to dramatically change our diets to improve our health, or the health of a loved one. All of the above health issues, and many more, benefit greatly from the gluten-free, casein-free, sugar-free diet.

What are gluten and casein? They are proteins which are very similar on a molecular level. Gluten is the protein in wheat, barley, rye, spelt and contaminated oats. Casein is the protein in cow milk. There are also trace amounts of casein in sheep and goat milk.

Fortunately, you can make foods free of these ingredients that everyone will love. Our family has been living without gluten, casein, and sugar for over 5 years now, and no one (typical diet or restricted) has ever been disappointed by our holiday feasts. Through year round trial and error I developed cakes, cookies and pies, that everyone could eat, and no one would guess were unusual. Healthy food that tastes amazing and is allergy-free means this holiday season, even if it's your first on a new diet, can be as memorable as ever. Cheers!

The Spunky Coconut Cookbook
is available from

Contact Kelly at:

Visit her blog at:

Strawberry Cheesecake
Crust :
Add to food processor:
3/4 cup walnuts and
3/4 cup almonds
The nuts should be soaked for
at least 3 hours, rinsed well in
a bowl of fresh water, and strained.
Do this twice.
3/4 cup dates, pits removed,
soaked for at least 3 hours,
and strained. Do not soak for
a drier crust.
3 tbsp cinnamon
Add a couple tablespoons of the
date water if you need to.
Using wet fingers, press into
a springform pan, lined with
unbleached parchment paper
on the bottom only.

Add to food processor:
1 cup cashews
The nuts should be soaked for
at least 3 hours, rinsed well in
a bowl of fresh water, and strained.
Do this twice.
Purée with:
1 cup coconut oil, liquefied
Add a little bit at a time, and let
it pureÅLe for a minute in between.
Next add:
11/2 cup coconut milk
Not 'lite'.
1/2 cup honey or agave
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp strawberry extract
Taste and add more if you like.
Pour into crust.
Refrigerate at least 8 hours
to reach cheesecake

Add fresh sliced strawberries after it's chilled for about 2 hours. Press them into the filling, or just spread them on top when it's set (in 8 hours). Makes one very large cheesecake, about 10 servings. For a smaller version, cut all the ingredients in half and use a glass pie dish rather than a springform pan.



Spiced Almond Brittle
Spice mixture:
1 tsp dried ground ginger
1 pinch ground
black pepper
1 rounded tsp ground
1/3 tsp ground cloves
You won't use all of the
spice mixture in one
batch, but you can save
it for next time.
In a saucepan bring to boil:
1 cup agave
1/3 cup coconut oil
11/2 cups slivered almonds
1/2 tsp of the spice mixture
Simmer (so there are little
bubbles) for 20 minutes,
stirring constantly.
Remove from heat.
Add another 1/2 tsp of the spice
Spread on a cookie sheet
lined with unbleached
parchment paper.
Place in the freezer
for 2 hours.
Break into brittle.
Store in the refrigerator.

This brittle is based on a recipe from a book my husband read, The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy. He also made me candied orange peel for my birthday once, using another recipe from The Medieval Kitchen. It was awesome. I changed the brittle ingredients notably because it originally called for honey and no oil. I thought that the honey made it way too sweet, and took awayfrom the spices. I also added coconut oil because after Andrew made the recipe from the book it was very soft, like honey with nuts in it. I wanted it to be more brittle-like, although my recipe isn't as hard as a true brittle.If you kept it in the freezer it would be very hard of course,which is why I take it out after 2 hours and store it in the fridge.

Flourless Brownies
Set oven to 325° F.
Add to Bowl:
1/2 cup sunbutter
(for a peanut-like taste)
1/2 cup almond butter
or 1 cup of almond butter
and no sunbutter, if you
don't want a peanut butter
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp of vanilla
cre`me liquid stevia
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup cocoa powder
no more than 1/4 cup or
they will be dry
Beat with electric mixer.
If the batter appears too dry add 2
to 4 tbsp of water.
Pour into square greased
cake pan. Spread slightly.
It will even itself out
Sprinkle with 1/4 cup dairy-free
chocolate chips. I use Enjoy
Life(R). I like them because they're
Bake on the middle rack for 25 minutes.

For those of you who like the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, but seek to avoid peanuts because they carry fungus, this is the brownie for you. Or if you're not a peanut butter fan, make them without Sunbutter, for one of the best brownies ever! Add a little mint and you have mint chocolate brownies! So many delicious ways to make them!

Almond Cake with Ganache
Set oven to 350° F.
Add to Bowl 1:
21/2 cups of almond
meal flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
Add to Bowl 2:
1 cup coconut oil, liquefied
1/2 cup honey or agave
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp spoonable stevia
Add to Bowl 3:
6 egg whites (drop the
yolks into bowl 2)
Beat whites to form soft peaks,
about 3 minutes with the
electric mixer.
Combine bowls 1 and 2 with
the electric mixer.
Gently fold in the whites
(which are now soft peaks).
Pour into large greased
cake pan.
Bake for 25 minutes.

Ganache is usually a 1:1 ratio of dark chocolate and cream, which is made by bringing the cream just to a boil then pouring it over the chocolate. The heat of the cream melts the chocolate and the two are whisked together. This is exactly how I make it, only I use coconut milk, and dairy-free chocolate chips, like Enjoy Life. You can also flavor the ganache with extracts if you like. I add some vanilla to mine. Personally, I think all desserts need a little vanilla!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Warm on low till just melted.
Or better yet use a double boiler.
1/2 cup dairy-free
chocolate chips
1 teaspoon of coconut oil
10 drops of Vanilla Cre`me
liquid stevia
Or try Chocolate Raspberry
liquid stevia for a raspberry
Dredge strawberries in chocolate and lay on unbleached parchment to dry. Coat half in toasted shredded coconut. Refrigerate.
Pecan Pie
Crust :
Soak 1 cup of cashews for
about 8 hours.
Rinse well in a bowl of fresh
water and strain.
Repeat about 3 times.
Add the cashews to the food
processor with:
1 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp xylitol
1 tsp vanilla
Scrape the sides, then add:
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Purée to form a ball. Using
wet hands, press into pie dish.

Add to bowl:
7 dates, pits removed
7 prunes
11/4 cups of water
Cover and soak for about 8 hours.
Add the dates and prunes, and their
soaking water to the blender with:
1 tbsp xylitol
1 tbsp ghee
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp Quinoa Flakes
Add 11/2 cups roughly chopped pecans (lightly toasted if
you like) to the filling.
Pour the filling into the pie crust.
Bake at 400° F for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 and bake for another 10 minutes. Chill in the fridge for at least a few hours before serving. Top with my Whipped Topping (see p. 32) or a scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream.

Carrot Spice Cookies
Juice about 10 carrots, or
enough to get 6 cups of pulp.
Add to the food processor:
about half of the
carrot pulp
2 tsp lemon zest
or 2 tsp of lemon juice
1 cup of pitted dates
(about 9 dates)
Process for about a minute.
the other half of carrot pulp
pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 tsp ground cloves
I put whole cloves in
the coffee grinder.
1 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
21/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup agave
1/2 cup coconut oil
Process to combine.
Pat into cookie shapes.
Dehydrate for about 10 hours,
at 130° F.

When I get my juicer out to make zucchini bread and carrot cake, I take the opportunity to juice carrots for my raw carrot spice cookies. I don't know who loves them more, me or Ashley?
They can be as dry or chewy as you want, just start checking them after about 6 hours in the dehydrator, depending on their thickness. Keep in mind that the dryer they are, the smaller they will get, so if you like a crunchy cookie, start oversized. I prefer them dry on the outside and still soft in the middle, which takes about 10 hours for a thin cookie.

Chocolate Raspberry Cake
Add to bowl:
3/4 cup coconut oil, liquefied (see p. 14)
1/2 cup organic cocoa powder
Beat with electric mixer, then add:
3/4 cup agave
6 room temperature eggs
Cold eggs will harden the oil.
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp Chocolate Raspberry liquid stevia
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
Beat again.
Pour into greased, floured bundt pan or
springform pan.
Bake at 325° F for about 34 minutes.
Top with raspberry jam, Whipped Topping
or Coconut Icing.

Coconut Icing:
Add to food processor:
1/2 cup cashews,
soaked for about 3 hours,
rinsed and strained
1/2 cup agave
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup shredded coconut

It is amazing to me and my family how little flour is in this cake or cupcakes. That's the joy and wonder of coconut flour. Honestly, no one can ever believe that this recipe is gluten, dairy and sugar free. It's as good or better than any cake I ever had before! Just be careful not to overcook it, and I think you'll agree! I love the If You Care(R) brand of unbleached paper muffin cups. Nothing ever sticks, plus they're better for the environment, and for my family. Then, what I do is reuse them by keeping them in a bag in the freezer between use; even better for the environment and my wallet!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cake
Set oven to 325.
Add to one bowl:
1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
2 cups shredded coconut
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup dairy-free
chocolate chips
In a separate bowl:
Beat 6 egg whites to form
soft peaks.
While beating add:
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey or agave
2 tsp coconut oil, liquefied
a pinch of sea salt
Add whites to dry ingredients
and gently fold together.
Pour into greased
8 x 8" dish.
Bake for about 25 minutes.

What do you do with 6 egg whites left over the day after making custard pie? Use them in my coconut chocolate chip cake of course! Whipped egg whites are the secret to making this cake light, fluffy and moist. I've said it before, but we eat dessert for breakfast in my house. I like to make this quick healthy cake first thing in the morning, and serve us a warm, fresh slice. I have some tea or coffee from the French press, and we sit down at the kitchen table to eat, with the morning sun streaming in through the window. For a dense version don't beat the egg whites to peaks. Good either way!

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