5 delicious, gluten- & sugar-free desserts to help you lose weight AND reward yourself with great treats + Portland’s best gluten-free bakeries.

30 August 2013
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30 August 2013, Comments: 0

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Below are five of my favorite recipes for delicious gluten-free, sugar-free/low-carb desserts.  But if you don’t cook, here’s where you can get healthy, delicious desserts in Portland, the capital of gluten-free, vegan and some low-carb dessert bakeries.

One of the hardest things about eating healthier is thinking that you have to give up all the sweets you love.  Well, we now have many bakeries in Portland that specialize in gluten-free, vegan, and/or even some sugar-free/low carb desserts – so you can reward yourself with really healthy treats:

  • * Back to Eden Bakery: vegan and gluten-free, but only one maple-syrup sweetened item and a couple of agave-sweetened items (agave is evil); I’ve known them for five years, and while they are wonderful and make incredible desserts, they have very few sugar-free items. 2217 NE Alberta St; Portland, OR 97211. (503) 477-5022
  • * Tula Gluten Free Bakery: delicious gluten-free and lots of vegan but not sugar-free or low-carb. 4943 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd; Portland, OR 97211. (503) 764-9727
  • * New Cascadia Traditional: gluten-free and some vegan cupcakes and vegan cookies but only one item that is low-carb (ancient grain muffin). 1700 SE 6th Ave Portland, OR 97210. (503) 546-4901
  • * Petunia’s Pies and Pastries: gluten-free and vegan, but everything has agave or brown-rice syrup. 610 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205. (503) 841-5961
  • * Craven Raven: dedicated Gluten Free as well as dairy-, soy-, corn-, and white sugar- free with most of their treats vegan. Unfortunately, they sweeten most products with organic raw agave but have a few items sweetened with organic coconut and organic date sugars.
  • * Kyra’s Bake Shop: (formerly Crave) gluten-free and delicious, but definitely not low-carb or sugar-free. 460 5th Street, Lake Oswego, OR 97034. )503) 212-2979


…if you’d like to try your hand at making your own healthier, delicious treats at home.

1. Chocolate Chip Almond-Butter Cookies (Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy- Free)

I love chocolate chip cookies but hate that they are full of sugar, gluten, and often commercial dairy and/or shortening, so here is a chocolate chip cookie that is delicious, skips all the dangerous ingredients, and substitutes some of my favorite things.

Chocolate Chunk Almond Butter Cookies (Gluten Free/ Grain Free/ Refined Sugar Free/ Dairy Free):

  • 1 cup almond butter (or any nut/seed butter)
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar (or desired granular sugar)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup dark dairy free 85% dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together. Drop by tablespoonful onto cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool for five minutes before removing from baking sheet. Then remove to cooling rack. These cookies freeze well.

Check out dozens more gluten-free, sugar-free dessert recipes at Sandi’s Allergy Free Recipes.


2. Raw Fudge Brownies With Chocolate Icing

3. Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread/Muffins

Carob-Zucchini Muffins (or bread):

  • 2 cups brown rice or quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup carob powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon stevia powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup grated zucchini (packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs or 2 tablespoons ground chia seed
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk or water

Sift or whisk the dry ingredients together. Mix the zucchini, vanilla, eggs and almond milk or water. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Line your muffin cups with unbleached papers and fill ••• full with batter. Bake at 375° for about 20 minutes or until firm. You can experiment with spices in this recipe: 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon or some culinary lavender. Maybe some herbal chai tea instead of water? Be creative!

Check out many more sugar-free, gluten-free dessert recipes in an amazing recipe book called A Sweet Life without Sugar by Joan Miller, an author of two cook books and hundreds of cooking classes for people transitioning off sugar, gluten and other food allergies.

4. Chocolate Icebox Pie with a Walnut Crust

There’s something great about a simple, almost no-bake pie. It takes all the fear out of spending hours making a dessert and ending up with a soggy, flat crust. You can confidently make this simple pie the day before, put it in the refrigerator, and it’s ready to serve — cool and delicious on a hot day.  While the recipe calls for lots of grass-fed dairy, you can substitute ground cashews, coconut milk, and agar to completely replace the dairy.


  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk
  • one packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant decaf coffee granules
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 handful unsweetened carob chips, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 (8 or 9 inch) walnut pie crust, baked and cooled


  1. Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and sprinkle it with the gelatin. Let sit for a few minutes to soften the gelatin, then heat the mixture over medium-low heat and stir in the agave. Whisk in the cocoa powder, vanilla, and coffee granules. Let the mixture heat until it nearly boils, then remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes, or until cooled and slightly thickened. It should be the consistency of runny pudding. Don’t chill it too long or it will be too thick to incorporate whipped cream. (Note:If by chance your chocolate mixture gets too thick, use an immersion blender or a regular blender to smooth it out.)
  3. While the chocolate mixture is chilling, whip the heavy cream using a stand mixer or handheld mixer on medium high speed until stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until the chocolate mixture has cooled and thickened.
  4. Stir one-fourth of the whipped cream right into the chocolate. Fold the remaining cream into the chocolate in 2 or 3 additions, adding more when the previous addition has started to incorporate. Once you add the last of the cream, sprinkle the carob chips over the mousse and fold them in. Resist the temptation to stir. Just keep folding until the mousse is homogeneous.
  5. Turn into the cooled pie crust, cover, and chill for several hours or overnight.

Find lots more gluten-free, sugar free dessert recipes at SimplySugarandGlutenFree.com

5. Chocolate Truffles with Cacao Nibs

These are absolutely amazing, gluten-free, low-carb, vegan, and incredibly delicious,

Cacao-Goji Truffles with Maca

These truffles seem to please everyone. They taste fabulous, offer lots of nutrition, and are pretty easy to make (although you’ll have to go to a coop or good health food store to find some of the ingredients, or go online for the special sweeteners).

  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup goji berries
  • 3 tablespoons yacon syrup
  • 2 teaspoons alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 1 cup nut or seed butter (I use almond)
  • Pinch pure stevia powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon maca powder
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, ground almonds or hemp seed for rolling the truffles
  1. If you want your truffles less chewy, soak the goji berries and cacao nibs in 2 tablespoons of water for 30-60 minutes.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together the yacon syrup, vanilla, and nut butter.
  3. Stir in the stevia and salt.
  4. Stir in the maca.
  5. Stir in the cacao and goji berries.
  6. Fill a small bowl with shredded coconut, almond flour, or hemp seeds.
  7. Scoop out a teaspoon of dough and roll it in your hands to form a ball.
  8. Roll each of the balls in any of the coatings.
  9. Roll in your hands again to press the coating into the ball.
  10. Put each truffle into a candy cup or onto a serving plate or container. Makes 16.

For one of the largest collections of gluten-free, low-carb, really delcious collections of dessert recipes, check out A Sweet Life without Sugar  or the Sweet Life without Sugar cool recipe app:

Reward yourself with healthy, delicious desserts every day – you deserve good food that you love.

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Information in this article is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects of the strategies covered.* Always speak with your doctor or healthcare professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment AND to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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