Find out which cookbooks helped us save money and eat healthy over the years. I’ll share the good, the bad, and the yummy on each one. Today I talk about Chocolate Covered Katie, by Katie Higgins.
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Which cookbooks will help you save money and eat healthy?
I’m the kind of person who reads cookbook like novels – cover to cover. Then I put sticky tabs on all the recipes I want to try, and over the coming months (and years – let’s be honest), I try them.
Since I tend towards minimalism, I have a fairly small cookbook collection. A few stragglers hang around for if-I-ever-get around-to-it (looking at you, Almonds Every Which Way), or nostalgia (like the adorable country church cookbook). But I regularly use nearly every volume.
Over the next few weeks, I am sharing the cookbooks that stayed. I’ve cooked from many cookbooks – borrowed from libraries, snapped photos from a friend’s copy, given some away, even traded with my mom. The books I keep sport splattered pages, broken binding, and some of them naturally fall open to my favorite recipes.
They helped me figure out real food, save money in the process, and fall in love with cooking. I hope they do the same for you.
“Over 80 delicious recipes that are secretly GOOD for you.”
By Katie Higgins
I discovered Katie’s blog 8 years ago while trying to save money on healthier desserts. I wanted to eat real food, but eggs and butter are expensive. Her recipes gave me some vegan alternatives to our favorite treats.
A few years later, my son was diagnosed with a milk allergy. Vegan desserts became the norm in our house as we handled allergies (gluten jumped in soon after) with our small budget.
I’ve borrowed this cookbook from the library so many times I really should replace their copy. I’m a messy cook, and I’m not sure how many page splatters are allowed per patron.
If you have allergies or are simply trying to make healthier desserts on a budget, this cookbook is for you!
What I Love About This Cookbook
In case the fact that it’s a healthy dessert cookbook isn’t enough, I like this cookbook for many reasons.
It has bright photos (one for each recipe – this is important to me), simple instructions, and a short ingredient list. If you are not used to healthier or vegan baking, you might need to learn a few weird ingredients, but other than that it’s straightforward.
Katie is the queen of substitutions. Although many of the recipes call for stevia and xylitol, Katie’s recipes make room for other more natural sweeteners, like sucanat, maple syrup, etc. She talks about substituting flours and other ingredients as well.
Honestly, I often end up substituting the granulated sweetener with maple syrup or honey using these instructions. I will also sometimes substitute other non-vegan ingredients, and the recipes work just fine.
Like most kids, mine love dessert. I’m grateful there’s a dessert cookbook they can flip through, pick out any recipe, and eat it for dessert or breakfast.
This cookbook inspired my Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Dip.
We also love:
- Blueberry morning baked oatmeal
- Deep dish cookie pie (favorite!)
- Homemade dairy-free milk
- Coconut whipped cream
- Chocolate fudge balls
- Chocolate chip cookie dough bars
And I have about 10 more recipes in the queue marked with sticky-notes.
What I Don’t Love About This Cookbook
In case it’s not already obvious, vegan desserts are not the same as normal desserts. Maybe some people are fooled into thinking these desserts are normal, but we can always tell – and we already love them. We still make them a lot, and when I crave brownies, I use Katie’s black bean recipe.
However, if my dad was craving brownies, I wouldn’t make these for him. Some recipes, like the cookies – made without butter or eggs – sometimes have a weird texture. We usually just call them breakfast cookies since it feels more acceptable to have weird breakfast cookies than weird healthy-tasting cookies for dessert.
Some of the recipes call for expensive ingredients. I think this is totally acceptable for any cookbook. I’m just saying that while many of the recipes help guard your budget, some don’t.
Chocolate Covered Katie is one of my favorite cookbooks because it gave us delicious desserts while we had allergies and a small budget. It helped train our tastebuds to love desserts that were good for us, instead of desserts that felt like cheating. It gave me practical recipes as I figured out what real food looked like for us.
Check the book out here or find it at your local library!
What You Can Do Now:
Have you read Chocolate Covered Katie? What do you think about it?
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