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Chef's Healthy Desserts


by Fred Edrissi alive Natural Health Guides 64 pages, softcover, $.

by Fred Edrissi
alive Natural Health Guides
64 pages, softcover, $9.95

It is always a pleasure to review new releases in the alive Natural Health Guide series, but my favorites are clearly those works offered by Chef Fred Edrissi. This fresh collection of recipes--Chef’s Healthy Desserts--is certain to generate new Edrissi fans.

For those who make careful food choices at every meal, desserts may not be commonplace, as we tend to avoid those less healthy ingredients found in most dessert items. When natural cooks choose to prepare sweet fare, it usually requires some forethought, choosing the best quality ingredients to avoid the more usual chemically treated over-processed variety.

Edrissi is skilled in using healthier sugar substitutes such as Sucanat and Rapadura, honey and maple syrup. He is quick to remind us, however, that an addiction to sugar--in any form--can be devastating both to personal health and to the health of our society. To avoid the side effects of white flour, Edrissi concentrates on using whole wheat, corn, kamut, oats and spelt in his healthy desserts.

As always, Edrissi’s recipes have enormous creative appeal, making them irresistible to both cooks and diners. With this book in hand we can ride on Edrissi’s coat tails, using commonplace organic ingredients to create delicious and nutritious deserts. Family fare might include such taste treats as Apple Fritters or the richly flavourful Cajun Bread Pudding. Raspberry Mascarpone Rolls are a superb presentation of contrasting textures and colours that would be perfect at afternoon tea on a day that affords time to relax in the kitchen with new ideas. There’s something here for everyone, but home-made Three Layer Ice Cream is sure to be appreciated by all.

For elegant occasions Edrissi shows all his best cards. His Floating Islands in Caramel are sweet creamy clouds surrounded by a vanilla sauce and topped with natural caramel topping made from dried cane sugar--definitely not for every day! Also impressive and deceptively simple is the stately Red Wine Poached Pear. The result is an innovative presentation that may be directed at adult tastes, but with the accompanying fruity cheese sauce is sure to be enjoyed by children too.

Chef’s Healthy Desserts is filled with irresistible new ideas, but the author’s whimsical Figs Stuffed with Chestnut Cream takes the prize for "Most Original." This book is one that definitely deserves to be sampled.



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