The Virtuous Tart - Susan Jane White

The Virtuous Tart: Sinful but Saintly Recipes for Sweets, Treats, and Snacks by Susan Jane White delivers crave-worthy desserts without gluten, dairy or refined sugar. A decade ago the author sought out ways to reduce the amount of mindless eating she consumed in an effort to improve her health. What she discovered was that by eliminating gluten, dairy and refined sugar she had more energy and her stomach ailments and other symptoms disappeared. She also found cutting back on these three culprits, opened a whole new world of great food choices that ended up being so much better for her.

Susan begins with pages on her journey and then outlines ingredients for substitutions. For instance, she replaces refined sugar with barley malt extract, blackstrap molasses and other healthier choices. Wheat and dairy are covered with appropriate alternatives along with recipes for creating hazelnut milk, almond and hemp milk and other "virgin drinks".

After laying the foundation, the recipes for baked goodies pour forth with beautiful photographs and witty narrative. Boozy Cherry Cupcakes, Brainiac Brownies and Rawvolutionary Carrot Cake are a few of the many tempting recipes you will find in The Virtuous Tart.  Granola, nuts and muffin deliciousness await us as well.

I love to bake for friends and family -- I usually poo-poo these types of titles - but I "bake corrected" - this book is fun and beautiful with recipes any lover of flour, butter and sugar would enjoy.  Susan will be in New York on February 13th, check out our author events for the details.

Special thanks to Susan and her publisher, Roost, for sharing this colorful and tasty cheesecake recipe for us to try. Head over to our contest page to enter for a chance at one of five copies of this book in our giveaway.


By loading more fresh veggies and nuts into us ladies, we'll arm our bodies against The Aging Process and give Natalie Portman some competition. This cake should help. Avocados and almonds are drenched with helpful fats and nourishing minerals needed to keep our toes tapping and skin glowing.

Remember, the skin is your largest excretory organ. If you're eating garbage, you'll end up wearing it on your face.


11/2cups (180 g) walnuts
6 Medjool or other sticky dates, stones removed
Pinch of sea salt flakes


3 ripe avocados, stones and skin removed (240 g)
1 small bunch (25 g) fresh basil, leaves only
Juice of 3-4 limes
6 tablespoons raw honey
3 tablespoons unscented coconut oil, melted


1 pint of fresh strawberries

Serves 8

To make the base, blend the walnuts, dates, and sea salt in a food processor (not a blender) with a splash of water. When it starts clumping together into a cookie dough ball, you're good to go. Press into an 8-inch loaf pan. Bring the dough up the sides, making sure you support the elbow of the base-the part where the base meets the sides. Freeze.

Meanwhile, get going on your "cheesecake" filling. Purée the avocado flesh, basil, the juice of three limes, 4 tablespoons of honey, the melted coconut oil, and some Frank Sinatra at full speed until savagely smooth. I use my blender for this bit. Taste. If it needs more zing, add another squeeze of lime juice to the mix. If you prefer more sweetness, add an extra bit of honey. Spoon the filling over the frozen base and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. The cake will last for three days in the fridge like this.

Just before serving, slice a handful of fresh strawberries and scatter them over the top along with any stray basil leaves you find loitering in your kitchen.

From The Virtuous Tart by Susan Jane White,© 2016 by Susan Jane White. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO.  

1 Comment

  • FireRunner2379  on  2/4/2017 at 11:57 PM

    I like the sounds of the Banoffee Mess!

Post a comment

You may only comment on the blog if you are signed in. Sign In

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!