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Pesto Pasta

Ah, lovely pesto! Summer is here and so is the fresh basil. “But don’t you need oil and cheese to make pesto?” No way! These ingredients are traditional, but they can be simply omitted, resulting in a sauce that is much lighter and fresher in taste. Pesto is an Italian oil-and-herb sauce, with garlic, pine…

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Pizza Pasta

Pizza pasta has all the traditional flavors of pizza but without the white flour, oil and salt that usually comes along with it. This dish prepares quickly and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. Any type of whole-grain pasta may be used (I like fusilli). Ingredients whole grain pasta, any shape, enough for 2 hearty…

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Banana-Blueberry Bars

My friend and fellow cooking instructor, Katie Mae, came up with these delicious Banana-Blueberry Bars. They are moist and hearty, and contain no salt, oil or refined sugar. They make an ideal breakfast, traveling, or dessert snack. This is a guest recipe by Katie Mae, whom I teach with at TrueNorth Health Center in Santa…

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Carrot Cake Donuts

Anything “carrot cake” is O.K. by me, and if it looks like a donut, even better! Carrot cakes are typically loaded with oil, butter, sugar and eggs, all of which I avoid in my recipes; so coming up with a cake that is just as tasty (and moist but not too heavy), was a fun…

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Apple-Pineapple Crisp

If you’re into quick and easy desserts with no oil, flour or sugar, this is the ticket! Baked pineapple has a wonderful texture and flavor, and the soft fruit contrasts well with the crispy topping. Vary the fruit according to your taste and the season. Pears and berries would be great! Filling: 2 cups diced…

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Persimmon Ice “Cream”

This dairy-free delicacy is for everyone who loves ice cream but doesn’t love all of the oil, sugar, salt, and artificial flavors and colors that are typically included in store-bought vegan (and non-vegan) ice creams. But make it quick, as persimmon season will soon come to a close. Enjoy! Ingredients 4 medium-large, very ripe hachiya…

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Persimmon Bars

These bars are lighter than traditional fruit and nut bars, and make a great traveling or backpacking snack—or a dessert cake when a bit of frosting is added. Refined sugar is replaced by dates, which have a brown sugar flavor that complements the persimmon and spices. Clockwise from top: Creamy Cashew Frosting, Lemon-Tofu Frosting, no…

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Chunky Cranberry Sauce

I love foods that taste like dessert but are served with dinner, and cranberry sauce tops my list! Try this zipped up version with apples and pears, walnuts and raisins. Dates are used instead of refined sugar, and a few pomegranate seeds add a bit of whimsy. Ingredients 3-4 medjool dates, pitted and diced ½…

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Oatmeal-raisin Cookies

These delicious oatmeal-raisin cookies avoid eggs, dairy, oil and refined sugar in favor of flax seeds, pecans, banana and dates. Yum! 1 cup water 6 medjool dates, pitted ½ cup raw, unsalted pecans 2 cups rolled oats, ground into flour 3/4 cup rolled oats 2 tablespoons whole flax seeds, then grind them 1 teaspoon baking…

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Pear Tidbit

This easy-to-make pear dessert is sweet and light, uses no refined sugar and is topped with lemon zest. For an apple version of this dessert that is just slightly different, see “Raw Apple Crumble” recipe. Chunky pears: 3 pears, cored and diced 1 tablespoon lemon juice Pear sauce: 2 pears, cored and diced 2 tablespoons…

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