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Love Fed: Purely Decadent, Simply Raw, Plant-Based Desserts

Love Fed: Purely Decadent, Simply Raw, Plant-Based Desserts

by Christina Ross


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Nourish your body as you indulge in Love Fed desserts—heaven in every bite.

An artist in the kitchen, Christina Ross relies on intuition and creativity to conjure up her beautiful Parisian-inspired confections. Christina found her calling when she transitioned to a raw, vegan diet and discovered one thing was missing—decadent sweets! She set out to remedy the situation and, to her surprise and delight, found that the heavenly, nutritious treats she created didn’t just satisfy her sweet tooth—they were better than traditional sweets in every way!

In Love Fed: Purely Decadent, Simply Raw, Plant-Based Desserts, Christina, founder of the vegan dessert line PatisseRaw and the popular blog, serves up raw, vegan treats full of nourishing ingredients and intense flavor, without a touch of gluten, dairy, or refined sweeteners. Love Fed takes the plant-based, no-cook method of preparing desserts to new heights with more than 80 delicious, easy recipes.

Christina gives you everything from Pistachio Saffron Rose Water Ice Cream and Chocolate Almond Hazelnut Caramel Apple Torte to Trail-Blazing Truffles, Blueberry Coconut Dreamsicles, and Splendid Day Red Velvet Cupcakes, satisfying to even the most discerning sweet tooth. Along the way, she introduces new ingredients, shares her solutions for potential hiccups, tells stories from her life, and includes mouthwatering full-color photos.

Featuring a recipe by Jason Mraz, Love Fed caters to both novices and experienced foodies alike. Chocolate lovers, caramel aficionados, ice cream devotees, cake enthusiasts, cheesecake fans—Love Fed has it all for you.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781940363325
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date: 03/17/2015
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Christina Ross is an Ambassador of Healthy Living, a dynamic conscious recipe and product creator, educator of vitality through the art of eating and living vibrantly, a freelance writer and blogger. She is the founder of PatisseRaw, a transitional raw and vegan dessert line sold online and locally in Southern California. PatisseRaw has attracted a health-conscious celebrity following and has also been featured on NBC’s Today show.

Christina’s recipes and healthful lifestyle tips have been published in Natural Child World Magazine through her column “Love-Fed.” Christina also contributes recipes and articles to popular sites and works such as, Clean Food Living, Vegan Food Share, Organic Soul,, Just Eat Real Food,, and Kris Carr’s

Christina keeps her many fans full of nutrient rich content through her blog and through television appearances, which have taken her to Chicago’s Good Day Chicago, as well as San Diego Living.

Read an Excerpt



These simple techniques will help you navigate the Love Fed recipes and further your own exploration into cooking.

Basic Techniques


Using a grater, shave cacao butter into the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl. Place the double boiler or bowl over a pan of gently boiling water, stirring the cacao butter until melted.


Costa Rica is rife with cacao (chocolate) trees, and eating cacao fresh from the tree during a vacation there was one of the highlights of my trip. Alex and I spotted one down the road from the tree-house community where we were staying. Alex pulled over so I could talk to the farmers who had approximately twenty trees in their yard. One of them pulled two large bright yellow pods off the tree. He then proceeded to slice one open with his machete and hand it to me. We all admired its beauty and scent before taking a bite. The outer pod was hard and thick, a sturdy shell to protect the gelatinous beans inside. The fruit was white with a wet flesh feel that was slippery to the touch and silky feeling on the tongue. When I bit into it, I was shocked at how bitter and acidic it tasted. Sucking on the bean was like sucking on SweeTarts (without the sweet part)! I forgot that the bean has to ferment before it develops its chocolate flavor.


It's possible to melt coconut oil without turning on a stove burner, by leaving it either in a sunny spot on your kitchen counter or on top of your stove. However, if neither of those techniques works in your kitchen, melt the coconut oil in a pot on the stove using very low heat and giving it an occasional stir, or by putting it in a bowl in the microwave for a few seconds. Placing it in a dehydrator works, too.


Place a can of full-fat coconut milk in the refrigerator (or several cans — that way you'll have extra on hand when you need it). Chill for 24 hours. Open the can and scoop out the thick cream from the top, making sure to leave the water behind. Save the leftover coconut water for another use. One can usually yields about 1 c. coconut cream.


Place Irish moss in a jar and cover with water by 4". Allow to soak until it expands and takes on a lighter, almost translucent shade, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours. The moss is ready when it turns creamy white in color and nearly doubles in size and weight. Rinse and drain before using.


Rinse the nuts well under cold water. Place in a medium bowl and add cold water to cover by 2–3". Cover the bowl and place in a cool spot for 2–4 hours (if you have the time, go for the longer soak). Drain before using. Use nuts while damp. If you don't want to use all the nuts at one time, the remaining nuts can be dried in a dehydrator and stored for later use.

Basic Recipes


Yield: 3 c.

Prep time: 10 minutes, plus 2–4 hours soaking time

2 c. whole cashews, soaked and drained (above)

Rinse the cashews under cold water. Place in a blender with enough fresh cold water to cover by 1". Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth. If you're not using a professional high-speed blender such as a Vitamix, which creates an ultra-smooth cream, strain the cashew cream through a fine-mesh sieve or nut milk bag.

Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month.


Yield: Approximately 3 cups

Prep time: 5 minutes, plus 2–4 hours soaking time

1 c. almonds, soaked and drained (above)
1 c. cashews, soaked and drained (above)
2/3 to 1 c. filtered water

Rinse the almonds and cashews under cold water. Place in a food processor or Vitamix or other high-speed blender with ? c. water. Blend until very smooth, adding more water if the mixture is not reaching a creamy consistency. You'll most likely need to blend for a full minute or longer.

If you are not using a high-speed blender, strain the cream through a nut milk bag or fine-mesh sieve. For a sweetened cream, blend the cream with dates, vanilla extract, vanilla bean, or maple syrup to taste.

Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month.


Yield: Approximately 1 cup

Prep time: 15 minutes

You can easily make your own nut butters from a variety of raw nuts — and for a fraction of the cost of store-bought. While they pair naturally with chocolate and desserts, try a dollop of do-it-yourself nut butters on ice cream or as a spread on cookies.

2 c. your favorite nut (such as almonds, jungle peanuts, hazelnuts, or cashews)

Place the nuts in a food processor and process until a butter forms. As you process the nut butter, bear in mind that it may take as long as 15 minutes. First you'll see coarse chunks of the nuts; soon after it will take on a flourlike consistency. Once it's become like a fine flour, scrape down the sides on occasion. Stop processing when the nut butter is smooth and creamy.

Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or the freezer for up to a month.


Once you've tried the basic nut butter recipe, your own creativity becomes a main ingredient. Try combining different nuts and adding natural flavorings to produce a range of delicious spreads. To try:

• Experiment with various combinations of nuts, including almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, macadamia, or Brazil nuts.

• Add seeds, such as pumpkin or sunflower, and dried fruit like raisins.

• Add sweetness with honey, maple syrup, vanilla, cacao, cinnamon, or cardamom. Start small, adding, say, 1 tsp. honey or ¼ tsp. cinnamon.

• To create a creamier consistency, add 1 tsp. coconut oil (which will also give it a subtle tropical flavor) or flaxseed oil (for an omega-3 boost).


Yield: 4 cups

Prep time: 10 minutes, plus 2–4 hours soaking time

Have fun and play around with using different nuts and seeds to make this milk. You can also try other sweeteners and flavorings, including cacao powder, cacao nibs, berries, and spices. It's surprisingly simple to make your own unique and flavorful milks.

1 c. soaked nuts (see page 29)
6 pitted dates or 2 tbsp. liquid sweetener
1 tsp. vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. sea salt
4 c. filtered water

Place the nuts, dates, vanilla bean powder, sea salt, and water in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or nut milk bag into a glass jar. Set the pulp aside, and store the milk in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


What to Do with Leftover Nut Pulp:

• Dry out pulp and use it as flour in your dessert recipes. You can use an oven or a dehydrator to do so. If using the oven, set it on the lowest setting and allow the pulp to dry completely. If you have a dehydrator, spread the pulp on a cookie sheet and dry it at 108°F until dry. Drying times will vary depending on your oven or machine, but check it after 5 hours, then again every hour after that.

• Pulp also makes great compost for the garden.

• Freeze the pulp and use it to make crackers, cookies, or muffins.


Yield: 1 bar

Prep time: 30 minutes

This recipe will make a chocolate bar that you can grate or shave to garnish desserts. The chocolate can also be poured into molds (while still liquid) to create fun candies and molded garnishes for your desserts.

Note: If you'd prefer not to make your own chocolate, a cheaper and easier to find solution would be to use a pure dark chocolate bar that does not have added sugars or additives.

1 c. melted cacao butter (see page 27)
1 c. cacao powder
1/3 c. agave nectar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Line a loaf pan or glass bowl with parchment paper or plastic wrap, allowing the paper or wrap to hang over the sides.

Place the melted cacao in a medium bowl and stir in the cacao powder, agave nectar, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into the lined pan and place in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.

Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month.


Yield: 2 cups

Prep time: 5 minutes

1 c. cacao powder

1 c. coconut nectar
1 tbsp. melted coconut oil (see page 28)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine the cacao powder, coconut nectar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract in a small bowl and mix well with a fork. Transfer to a squirt bottle for easy decorating, or use a fork to drizzle over desserts.

Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The mixture will harden with refrigeration, so when ready to use, set the squirt bottle or bowl of chocolate in a bowl of warm water or run under hot water to soften.


Yield: 2 cups

Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 2–4 hours soaking time

This chocolate can be used as a dip for berries, poured into chocolate molds to make candy, or used over cakes.

1 c. cashews, soaked and drained (see page 29)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 tbsp. agave nectar
2 tbsp. almond milk
1 c. melted cacao butter (see page 27)
1 tbsp. melted coconut oil (see page 28)

Place the cashews, vanilla extract, agave nectar, and almond milk in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the melted cacao butter and coconut oil. Blend lightly until well mixed and allow to sit for 5 minutes to thicken.

Use right away or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The mixture will harden with refrigeration, so when ready to use, set the squirt bottle or bowl of chocolate in a bowl of warm water or run under hot water to soften.


Yield: Approximately 1 cup

Prep time: 10 minutes

Traditionally, caramel sauce is made with lots of cream, sugar, and butter — your arteries may harden just thinking about it! This sauce, on the other hand, is similarly rich and deep with flavor, but unlike regular caramel sauce it's good for your heart. It makes a nice complement to a morning hot cocoa, is lovely drizzled over ice cream, and can be used to create a delightfully gooey layer between brownies. It's also delicious as a dip for fruit.

1½ tbsp. melted cacao butter (see page 27)
¼ c. lucuma powder
¾ c. coconut nectar
1 tsp. butterscotch extract

Place the cacao butter in a small bowl and add the lucuma powder, coconut nectar, and butterscotch extract. Whisk with a fork until all clumps are gone and the mixture turns a caramel color. If necessary, to keep the sauce fluid, transfer (or leave) in a heatproof bowl and place over a pot of simmering water. If using a double boiler, simply return it to the pot. Use immediately.


Yield: Approximately 1 cup

Prep time: 5 minutes, plus 30 minutes or more soaking time

This is a great sweetener to add to your collection. It can be used in place of agave nectar, coconut nectar, or honey in recipes and, by itself, makes an excellent substitute for jams and jellies.

15 pitted dates, soaked for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight
1 c. filtered water
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Place the dates, water, and vanilla extract in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to an airtight jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.


Yield: Variable, depending on your needs

Prep time: 5 minutes, plus 30 minutes or more soaking time

To take my fruity recipes to the next level of scrumptiousness, I often macerate the fruit, which simply means plumping it up or drawing out the moisture from the fruit using a syrup. Citrus is often added to brighten the flavor. This is a great way to prepare fruit that is not in peak season. Macerating also lends a glazed look to fruit, making it the perfect topping for cakes, ice creams, parfaits, puddings, and more. Served all by itself, it makes a quick and delicious snack.

You can use any fruit you like and any combination of syrups, herbs, and spices to macerate. Here are some elements to choose among:

Syrups: coconut nectar, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar Ground or whole spices: cinnamon, black pepper, star anise, ginger Citrus juice and zest Fresh chopped herbs Fresh or dried chiles Extracts such as vanilla or almond

For every cup of fruit, add 2 tbsp. syrup and 1 tsp. citrus juice. Additionally, include herbs of your choosing, leaving them whole on the stem if you want to easily pick them out and discard. Or chop them fine and leave them in the mix. When using ginger it is best to peel and mince the ginger first. Soak fruit anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight in the refrigerator depending on how much time you have. (The soaked fruit becomes more flavorful as it absorbs the lemon and sweetener.) Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Yield: One 9" round crust

Prep time: 10 minutes

Creating a perfectly firm, crunchy-chewy crust requires only a few basic ingredients, and you can vary those ingredients according to your own tastes. First, you choose a base ingredient, usually a nut or seed. You can use a single type of nut or seed as a base or any combination of your favorites — either way, it's hard to go wrong. If you like a dense crust, I recommend using nutrient-rich buckwheat groats in place of nuts (soak them for 2–3 hours for optimal nutritional benefits and digestion). For a lighter crust, try using cashews. Almonds make a crunchy crust. My all-time favorite is a combination of almonds, pecans, and Brazil nuts.

Once you have the nuts/seeds selected, choose a binder. Dried fruits such as dates, raisins, apricots, or cranberries make excellent binders, as do liquid sweeteners like coconut nectar, maple syrup, agave, or yacon syrup. The goal is to find the right ratio of binder to base — that's what holds the crust together — so, depending on the moistness of your binder, you may have to play with the proportions to get the right balance. In the event your crust is not binding, add a little more dried fruit or sweetener, but just enough to help the ingredients stick together — too much and you'll end up with a mushy crust.

You can further customize your crust with flavor add-ins. Citrus zest, extracts like vanilla and almond, cacao powder, cacao nibs, and spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg all make wonderful additions. You may also want to add a pinch of salt to help bring out the flavors. As with anything you create, let your imagination come out to play; just tweak the recipe as your taste buds dictate.

When pressing the crust into a pan, I find it easiest to keep my hands and especially my fingers moistened lightly with water to help prevent sticking. You can press the crust into the pan starting at the center and working outward, or vice versa; whichever way you go, the main objective is to press the crust as evenly as possible to create a clean finish and a level dessert.

1½ c. mixed nuts or seeds (e.g., ½ c. almonds, ½ c. Brazil nuts, ½ c. pecans)
¼ c. liquid sweetener or ½ c. dried fruit
1 tsp. vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract

Place the mixed nuts, liquid sweetener, and vanilla bean powder in a food processor and process until a fine crumble forms and sticks together. Remove the crust mixture from the processor and press into a pie or springform pan.


If your aim is to add some color to a frosting or cheesecake, use this food coloring guide to help create a bright finish. Keep in mind that a little of each ingredient (especially turmeric, saffron, beet juice, and matcha) goes a long way, so start with just a touch and go from there. Note that the fruits and vegetables mentioned should be pureed and strained or juiced to extract the color.

Green: Matcha powder, spinach, avocado Red/pink: Raspberries, strawberries Orange: Carrots Fuchsia: Beets Yellow: Golden beets, turmeric, saffron Brown: Cacao powder Purple/blue: Blueberries, blackberries

To create color using powders: Start by adding ¼ tsp. to frosting or batter, adding more as you go to adjust the color to your liking (but don't go overboard — powders such as turmeric, matcha, and cacao will impart their flavors if you use too much).

To create color using fruit: Puree the fruit, then start by adding ¼ c. to frosting or batter, adding more as you go to adjust the color to your liking. Take care not to make your batter or frosting too runny. You will get some of the flavor of the fruit, but it's worth it considering the beautiful color you'll get.

To create color using vegetables: When using something highly colored like beets or carrots, puree, then start by adding a teaspoon to frosting or batter. Adjust the amount as you go, taking care not to water down your batter or frosting.

Prep Work

Preparing your ingredients ahead of time — doing, in essence, the work of a sous chef — will save you a lot of time and frustration. When you plan to make a recipe, scan the ingredients well ahead of cooking time (even as far in advance as 1 or 2 days if you can) and see what needs to be soaked or melted or otherwise pre-prepped. Here are a few to look out for.

Do ahead to have on hand:

• Make chocolate in large amounts and store in the freezer

• Grind nuts into flour and store it in airtight jars

• Make an ice-cream base, and pour into ice cube trays for storing

Do ahead the day before:

• Soak nuts overnight (see page 29)

• Soak Irish moss for several hours (see page 28)

Do right before making a recipe:

• Melt coconut oil and store in a warm spot

• Melt cacao butter and store in a warm spot

Also note that many of the recipes require placing the dessert in the freezer or refrigerator for a few hours to allow it to set before serving. This is time when you needn't be doing anything, so don't worry, the recipes will not be time-consuming!


Excerpted from "Love Fed"
by .
Copyright © 2015 Christina Ross.
Excerpted by permission of BenBella Books, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

The Accidental Baker 5

The Love Fed Pantry 11

Kitchen Essentials 20

The Recipes

1 Love Fed Basics 27

Basic Cashew Cream 29

Basic Cashew Almond Cream 29

Basic Nut Butter 30

Basic Sweetened Nut Milk 31

Basic Chocolate Bar 32

Basic Chocolate Sauce 33

Basic White Chocolate Sauce 33

Basic Caramel Sauce 34

Basic Date Syrup 34

Basic Macerated Fruit Topping 35

Basic Crust for Cheesecakes and Pies 36

Basic Natural Food Colorings 38

2 Cakes, Pies, Cobblers, and Tarts 41

Marbeious Mocha Fudge Cake 42

Triple-Layer German Chocolate Cake 44

Chocolate Almond Hazelnut Caramel Apple Torte 47

Peachberry Layer Cake with Vanilla-Honey Frosting 48

Strawberry Sublime "Cheese" Cake 50

Matcha Mint Chocolate "Cheese" Cake 53

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cake 54

Most Favored Raspberry Macadamia Cake 59

Fanciful Fruitcake 60

Orange Matcha Cream Cake 63

Lemon Berry Icebox Cake 64

Lemon Ginger Kiwi Tart 66

Banana-Toffee Pie 68

Sweetly Southern Pecan Pie Squares 72

Summer Sunday Cobbler 74

Apple Streusel 76

3 Mints and More 79

Mini Mint Chocolate Brownies 80

Splendid Day Red Velvet Cupcakes 82

Carrot Collective Cupcakes 84

Strawberry Babycakes 86

Big Bang Brownie Cupcakes 88

Mini Cinny Rolls 90

White Chocolate Macadamia Pops 92

Lemon Poppy Almond Cream Tattlets 95

Mango Sunrise Surprise "Cheese" Cake Bites 96

Fig Bliss Energy Balls 98

Choco-Latte Cookies 100

Raspberry and Coconut Glazed Doughnuts 102

Cinnamon Raisin Sunflower Twists 105

Boston Cream Cups 106

Spiced Caramel Apple Muffins 108

4 Puddings and Parfaits 111

Maple Butterscotch Pudding 115

Pots de Crème au Chocolat 114

Red Velvet Chia Parfait 117

Clementine Coulis 118

Maca-Chia Protein Pudding 120

Jason Mraz's Chocomole 121

Maple Banana Tiramisu Trifle 122

5 Ice Cream, Yogurt, and Frozen Treats 125

Pistachio Saffron Rose Water Ice Cream 126

Be My Buttercup Ice Cream 128

Chocolate Coriander ice Cream 130

Nut-Ella Gelato 132

Blueberry Coconut Dreamsicles 135

Banana Maple Pecan Split 156

Peaches and Cream Ice-Cream Ternne 138

Best Basic Vanilla Ice Cream 141

Summer Berry ice Cream 142

Chocolate-Covered Ice-Cream Pops 145

Avocado Ice Cream Mint Chip Sandwich 146

Frozen Coconut Key Lime "Cheese" Cake Bars 148

Coconut Yogurt 151

Sunshine Lemon and Lavender Sorbet 153

Mango Basil Sorbet 154

Carrot Mango Almond Sorbet 157

6 Candy and Other Sweet Bites 159

Trail-Blazing Truffles 160

Chocolate-Covered Turtles 162

Dark Chocolate Almond Bark with Sea Salt 164

Fresh Mint Chocolate Hearts 166

Green Tea Chocolate Brittle 167

Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups 168

Nut Butter Freezer Fudge 170

Marzipan 171

Chocolate Cherry Almond Roca 172

"Snickers" Bars 174

Chocolate-Covered Pretzels 176

Maple Coconut Cashew Butter 178

7 Shakes and Sips 181

Dulce de Leche Shake 183

Cutie Creamsicle Shake 134

Spice of Life Shake 187

Scrubby J's Peanut Shake 188

Yin-Yang Protein Shakes 190

Piña Cool-Ada Shake 191

Anise Figgy Shake 192

Vanilla Pineapple-Mango Breakfast "Soup" 195

Mango Lassi 196

Lemon Balm Limeade 197

Basil Berry Kombucha 198

Watermelon Pura Fresca 202

Pristine Green Cucumber Mint Sipping Water 205

Honey Matcha Lavender Latte 206

9 Fruit-Beyond Basse 209

Berry Patriotic 210

Raspberry Fruit Fool 212

Lavender and Coconut Cream-Filled Strawberries 215

Figs in Love 216

Watermelon and Pineapple Sashimi 218

Citrus Carpaccio Supreme 220

Festive Satsuma Cacao Wedges 222

Rosemary Pecan Caramel Apples 225

Resources 227

Index 229

About the Author 237

Customer Reviews