MAPLE SHORTBREAD, GINGERSNAPS & RUM BALLS- Vegan, Grain-Free & Refined Sugar-Free

Remember when I introduced you to Leanne Vogel’s newest E-Cookbook Christmas Dessert Freedom? Well I’m still obsessed with it. And when I say obsessed, I mean OBSESSED. I made 3 recipes from the book last night alone! And I wish I could say I had leftovers, but the treats were THAT good that my partner and I gobbled them up quicker than I anticipated. Yes, I’m being serious but I should also mention that I quartered the recipes, so it’s not like we each ate a dozen cookies 🙂

I started off with the Maple Shortbread Cookies because shortbread cookies have always been a holiday staple in my house. I couldn’t wait to see if they measured up to my mom’s traditional cookies. They were incredibly easy to make and tasted yummy. I baked them for the lower end of the time range provided because I was too exited to try them. When I make them again I’ll cook them for the longer recommended time though because I found the centre of the cookie was not as flakey as the rest.

Maple Shortbread

Shortbread Cookies

Next on the list was Gingersnaps. Oh sweet gingersnaps! These were my favourite out of the three treats I baked last night. Their texture was fantastic, their flavour was bold yet not overpowering and the smell of them baking made my knees week. An added bonus was that I thought the cookies looked very pretty. I love the subtle cracks that occurred while they baked. To me this made them look like “regular” gluten, dairy and egg filled cookies. The Gingersnaps are the browned cookies at the bottom of the picture:

Ginger Snaps

And last but not least, who could resist a Rum Ball? Okay, confession time: I’d never actually had a rum ball before last night because they never sounded appealing to me. When I saw the ingredients to these rum balls though I just had to give them a try. These healthy little treats are made with hemp seeds, medjool dates, shredded coconut, cocoa powder, coconut nectar, coconut oil and of course a little bit of rum. Leanne is actually having a giveaway RIGHT NOW on her blog (Healthful Pursuit) to win the ingredients to make these Rum Balls. So grab a copy of Christmas Dessert Freedom HERE and then head on over to Healthful Pursuit HERE to enter for a chance to win. These Rum Balls were delicious, you definitely need to make them immediately. Their texture reminded me of my Ultimate Superfood Energy Bites but their flavour was much more decadent and it immediately felt like the holidays when I bit into one. The Rum Balls are the beautiful morsels on the right-hand side:

Rum Balls

Next on my list to try from Christmas Dessert Freedom are the Cocoa Caramel Bars, Sugar Cookies and Pecan Pie Bars. I may or may not be drooling just thinking about it! If you want to get a copy of Christmas Dessert Freedom so can drool along with me, click HERE!

xoxo Erin

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Dessert Freedom E-Book Review

         Dessert Freedom Review 1



Is it just me or do the holidays and healthy eating not usually go together? Sure, I always tell myself I’ll develop some super healthy dessert recipes but time always flies by before that happens. I usually take the opportunity to crack open a baking book and bake the most mouthwatering dessert I can find. And yes, it’s rarely healthy. But that’s about to change because now I have a dessert cookbook that will let me make super healthy desserts that taste just like they’re bad for you! Just take a look at these mouth watering treats:

Peppermint Patty Pies

Peppermint Patty Pies



Rum Balls


Cocoa Caramel Bars

Sample Recipe - Large

Excuse me while I drool over that last picture. I am in love with caramel, truly, madly and deeply in love. I’ve actually had dreams where I’m eating a caramel treat. I’m basically obsessed with it. So when I find a recipe with caramel that is gluten, dairy and corn syrup-free, I’m bouncing off the walls. The above recipe definitely sends me bouncing because it’s made with cocoa powder, coconut nectar, shredded coconut, hemp seeds, tahini, coconut oil and dairy-free chocolate.

It’s not just the recipe for Cocoa Caramel Bars that excites me though. Every single recipe in the newly released Christmas Dessert Freedom Cookbook by Holistic Nutritionist Leanne Vogel of Healthful Pursuit is free of eggs, dairy, gluten, grains and refined sugars. You may remember me ranting about the brilliance of Leanne before but she has outdone herself this time. Christmas Dessert Freedom is a 35-paged PDF digital/e-book that is in full cover and has the biggest and most beautiful photos you’ve ever seen! The recipes are all incredibly healthy and come with step-by-step instructions.

This cookbook is the perfect gift to yourself and to those around you. Make the holidays stress-free, healthy and delicious this year. You’re just one click away and I promise you won’t regret it!

Half-Banner.005Note: I am an affiliate of Christmas Dessert Freedom and receive a percentage of the sales that are generated from this blog. I would NOT have agreed to be an affiliate though if I did not 100% believe that this cookbook is high quality and worth every penny 🙂

xoxo Erin


I can’t believe I haven’t hosted a giveaway on this blog yet. I love giveaways- I love the excitement, the anticipation and I love learning about new products. The product for my first giveaway is fantastic. It’s the Vegan Delish App for iPhones and iPads. Have you heard of it? If you haven’t I’m sure you’ve at least heard of the remarkable woman who created the app, Carrie Forrest. She is the mastermind behind the blog Carrie on Vegan, a Public Health Nutrition Graduate Student and a thyroid cancer survivor with a passion for plant-based diets. Did I mention she’s a recipe developer mastermind? Because she is. All of her recipes are outstandingly delicious AND highly nutritious. It’s because of all of this that I’m thrilled to be able share her Vegan Delish App with 3 lucky readers.

So, what is Vegan Delish?

Vegan Delish

It’s just what it says it is: “A Dynamic Recipe App to Nourish your Healthy Life”.

Basically, this is an easy to use app that solves the problem of aimless wandering around the grocery store after a long day of work saying to yourself “what should I make for dinner tonight?”. Or, if you’re like me it solves the problem of aimless wandering around the grocery store after a long day of work saying “I know I’m forgetting an ingredient from that recipe but what is it?!?!”. With this app all you’ve got to do is bring your phone out of your pocket or purse and all of your problems are solved 🙂 But this app is more than just that, take a look at all it’s amazing features:

Healthy Recipes

New Recipes

Hi Def Photo

Easy Sharing

Shopping Lists

Yes, you read all of that correctly, this app is not just filled with healthy recipes, the recipes are frequently updated, are displayed in hi-definition, are easy to share with others AND each recipe comes with a shopping list. Dream. Come. True. Not convinced yet? Carrie was generous enough to share a recipe from Vegan Delish with all of you!

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Vegan Cream Sauce

Printed with permission of Vegan Delish


  • 1 3-pound squash kabocha squash
  • 6 leeks
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 1 pound button mushrooms
  • 2 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup Vegan Cream Sauce (see below)


  1.  Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Wash and dry the exterior of the squash and place on a heavy cutting board. Using a large, sharp knife, carefully cut the squash in half. Use a spoon to clean out the seeds and then cut the squash into 1” slices.
  3. Spray two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray and lay the squash slices on the trays, leaving room between each slice.
  4. Roast the squash for 20 minutes on each side, flipping once during the roasting process, for a total of 40 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  5. Chop the leeks, celery and mushrooms. Mince the garlic.
  6. Heat up a large pot over medium heat. Dry-saute the leeks for several minutes, stirring often to avoid burning. Add celery and mushrooms and cook for several more minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.
  7. Add the minced garlic, oregano, and curry powder to the pot, stirring to combine. Cook for another 2 minutes, and then add the squash slices. Pour the vegetable broth and water over the vegetables and increase heat to high. Let soup come to a boil and then turn the heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Use a handheld immersion blender to puree the soup into a chunky texture. If you prefer a smooth texture, batch process the soup in a high-speed blender.
  9. Stir the Vegan Cream Sauce into the soup and serve hot.

Vegan Cream Sauce

Printed with permission of Vegan Delish


  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk


  1.  Combine cashews and non-dairy milk in a high-speed blender and process until smooth. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Kabocha Squash Soup

So, what are you waiting for? Enter the giveaway for a chance to be one of the THREE lucky winners! You can enter this giveaway 3 different ways:

1.) Leave a comment on this post about what your biggest barrier to healthy eating is.

2.) Like Sift, Stir and Savour on Facebook and leave a comment saying you did

3.) Follow Sift, Stir and Savour via Email and leave a comment saying you did

*** NOTE: this giveaway is only open to those living in the USA ***

Giveaway closes Wednesday November 6th at midnight. Winners will be selected at random. Check back on Thursday November 7th to see if you are a winner!

xoxo Erin

THAI CRUNCH SALAD & Happy Herbivore Light & Lean Pre-Release Blog Tour

I love everything Happy Herbivore. I love the recipes, the meal plans, the blog and all of the three released cookbooks. I also love the attitude of the brilliant woman behind Happy Herbivore. Her name is Lindsay Nixon and she is open, honest and encourages effort, not perfection. She’s also creative beyond belief and her FOURTH cookbook is being released on December 3rd. How she continues to create such diverse, delicious and healthy recipes is beyond me! It is an honour to support Lindsay and her newest cookbook by participating in her pre-release blog tour:

Light and Lean_Pre-tour blogger badge

As a part of the pre-release blog tour I was given the chance to ask Lindsay some questions! Here are the questions I asked and her answers:

1.) Are the recipes in Light & Lean either gluten-free or easily converted to gluten-free?

As with all of my previous cookbooks, almost all of the recipes are GF. The few that aren’t can be adapted with simple substitutions. I even have a fool-proof gluten-free flour blend in L&L.

2.) What is your favorourite recipe from Light and Lean?

Asking a chef to pick their favorite recipe is like asking a parent to pick their favorite kid 🙂

3.) What is your go-to workout when you’re short on time?

Lindsay’s Body Blast (it’s in the book!)


Lindsay was also kind enough to share one of the recipes from Lean & Light with all of you! I’m completely addicted to this salad. It’s crunchy and flavourful and filling!


Thai Crunch

Single serving

Gluten-free, Quick, Budget, Single Serving

Before I was plant-based, I loved the Thai Crunch salad at California Pizza Kitchen. I finally decided to re-create a lighter vegan version of it for this cookbook. It’s easy, fresh, fast, and satisfying. (I also loved their Original BBQ Chicken Chopped salad, hence my BBQ Salad [in full cookbook] recipe!) By the way, CPK is one of the vegan-friendliest restaurant chains in the US. They have a PDF online indicating which menu items are suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

4 c napa cabbage, red cabbage, or lettuce (or a combination)

1 carrot, julienned

2 green onions, sliced

¼ – ½ c edamame

½ cucumber, sliced or diced

Thai Peanut Dressing

crushed peanuts (optional garnish)

cilantro (optional)

lime wedges (garnish)

Toss cabbage/lettuce, carrot, green onions, edamame, and cucumber together in a salad bowl, then top with Thai Peanut Dressing, crushed peanuts, and cilantro (if using), and garnish with a lime wedge. (I also love squeezing fresh lime juice over the salad.)

Chef’s Note: For a soy-free version, substitute chickpeas for the edamame.

Per Serving

Calories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300

Fat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.7g

Carbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39.4g

Fiber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.7g

Sugars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16.3g

Fat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.3g

WW Points. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Thai Peanut Dressing

Makes ¼ cup

Gluten-free, Quick, Budget, Pantry

Creamy, delicious—here’s a lower fat and lower calorie DIY peanut sauce.

1 tbsp smooth peanut butter

1 tbsp warm water

1 tbsp sweet red chili sauce

juice of 1 lime wedge

2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce or gluten-free tamari

1 ¼ tsp rice vinegar

garlic powder

ground ginger

1–2 drops Asian hot sauce (e.g., Sriracha)

1 tbsp nondairy milk

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, add peanut butter with water, chili sauce, lime juice, soy sauce or tamari, rice vinegar, a few dashes of garlic powder and ground ginger, plus hot sauce. Microwave for 10–20 seconds (so peanut butter is melty), whisk into a sauce, and then whisk in nondairy milk. Taste, adding more hot sauce as desired.

Per Serving

Thai Peanut Dressing (1 tbsp)

Calories . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Fat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1.4g

Carbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3g

Sugars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0g

Fiber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0g

Protein. . . . . . . . . . .0.9g

WW Points. . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Chef’s Note: For a richer sauce, substitute coconut milk for the nondairy.

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean is currently available for pre-order. You can order your copy by following THIS link. I may or may not have pre-ordered it the very first day I could. What can I say, I LOVE everything Happy Herbivore 🙂

xoxo Erin


Have you ever visited the blog Healthful Pursuits? Well if you haven’t, you definitely should! It’s one of those blogs that I find myself on almost everyday- whether it’s because a new recipe has been posted or because I’m looking for an old favourite. I have yet to come across a recipe on this blog that doesn’t look absolutely delicious, creative and healthy. The face behind Healthful Pursuits is Leanne Vogel, and though I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her, I feel connected to her because of her beautiful writing.

When Leanne announced that she created an E-Book full of dessert recipes, I immediately started to drool with anticipation. And that only continued after I ordered my copy! I didn’t buy the book with the intention of writing a review about it, but after making 3 of her recipes in one night, in less than 2 hours, I knew I had to shout my love for this book to the world…or who ever would listen 🙂

Dessert Freedom Review 1

That’s a picture of the treats I made from Dessert Freedom in less than 2 hours. Yes, 3 desserts in less than 2 hours!!! These desserts are not only healthy, but they’re easy to make and don’t involve a whole bunch of high-tech kitchen devices.

My absolute favourite treat that I’ve made so far has been Leanne’s  Raspberry Apple Crumble. And not just because I love anything with a crumble, but because it’s the perfect combination of being light and refreshing yet rich and satisfying:

Raspberry Apple Crumble

All of the recipes in Dessert Freedom are vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free, corn-free, soy-free and peanut-free. They do use oil, however, most recipes have very small amounts. I had no tummy troubles from these treats, and my stomach can be pretty sensitive to oils.

Another one of the recipes that I absolutely adored was the Cardamom Crunch Cookies. They had a lovely balance of sweetness and deep cardamom flavour and yes, a mouthwatering “crunch” to them:

Cardamom Crunch Cookies

And don’t even get me started on the Apple Pie Parfait! All the flavour of apple pie without all the hassle:

Apple Pie Parfait

Dessert Freedom is also filled with techniques for dealing a variety of challenges, including cravings and living with allergies and sensitivities. Oh, and did I mention the photography? Leanne is very gifted in this area, the photos above are NO comparison for the eye candy that fills the pages of Dessert Freedom.

Another bonus to getting this E-Book…it’s in PDF form so you get it right away! Talk about instant gratification 🙂

So, what are you waiting for? Go get a copy of Dessert Freedom, you won’t regret it! Click HERE to head on over to Healthful Pursuits and order yourself a copy!

xoxo Erin