Guilt Free Desserts and Treats? 3 Cookbooks We Rate

Our guest writer Jessie (aka mscooksalot) has loved cooking and exploring recipes for as long as she can remember. Passionate about real food, she wants to know what’s in it and where it comes from. And has a collection of cookbooks to be envied. 

I recently attended the launch party for Susan Jane White’s new cookbook, 'The Virtuous Tart'. If you’re a fan of superfoods and you often find yourself looking up ways to incorporate them into your diet, then you may already be familiar with Susan Jane White. She is a food writer, blogger, and author of 'The Extra Virgin Kitchen'.

She also writes for The Sunday Independent and has recently been snapped up by Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube channel on YouTube. She is delightfully quirky and and positively nerdy when it comes to healthy food and her enthusiasm is contagious!

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Her own experience with food allergies prompted her to learn about nutrition and she is now skilled at creating exciting, nutritious recipes, free from refined sugar, dairy and wheat. While I was at the book launch, I got to taste some of the amazing sweet treats from the book, such as her pomegranate halva (a sort of healthy fudge made from tahini and honey, among other ingredients). And I also tasted some lovely minty chocolate energy balls and some chewy, fruity flapjacks.


If you have a sweet tooth and you’d like to learn how to make guilt free desserts and treats, then this book is for you. It’s full of new ways to use ingredients like chia seeds, cacao powder and every kind of nut butter imaginable. It’s on sale now in all good book stores. And you can find out more about Susan Jane at her website

And if you’re looking for some other cookbooks to inspire more healthy eating, I’ve got a few to recommend.



The first is 'A Change of Appetite, Where Healthy Meets Delicious' by Diana Henry who writes for the Sunday Telegraph in the UK (she’s originally from Northern Ireland). This book came out around a year ago, and when I saw the beautiful cover I had to buy it.

It’s broken into four seasons, and there is plenty of inspiration in each one. While not a vegetarian book by any means (there’s plenty of meat and fish recipes) - it is pretty virtuous. You won’t find much refined sugar in these recipes. And there's a heavy Middle Eastern, Asian and Scandinavian theme to many of them. The photography is beautifully shot too. The perfect book to keep on your coffee table and grab for inspiration.


The other book I can heartily recommend is Donal Skehan’s Homecooked. This book is more in the vein of say, a Jamie Oliver book, in that it has some super healthy recipes and some more indulgent treats too.

And like Jamie, Donal is a lover of all kinds of food and all of his recipes celebrate fresh, seasonal ingredients and use lots herbs and spices. My personal favourites in this book include the super easy baked Arrabbiata risotto and the totally decadent salted caramel mud pie! I mean, what’s not to love about that isn't it all about moderation? Between his string of books, his website, his many TV shows and his  super popular YouTube channel, Donal is just going from strength to strength and it’s wonderful to see him having so much success! And I hear he has a new healthy eating book coming out soon too.

So I hope these three books give you all a little food for thought (ahem). Let us know in the comments if you have any other great healthy (or otherwise) cook books to recommend.


Why not check out Jessie’s blog, Ms Cooksalot, for more!

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