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Cookbook review: Real Sweet is a healthy bakers delight
Raspberry Lemonade Yogurt Pops from "Real Sweet: More than 80 Crave-Worthy Treats Made with Natural Sugars" by Shauna Sever. - photo by Elizabeth Reid
"REAL SWEET: More than 80 Crave-Worthy Treats Made with Natural Sugars," by Shauna Sever, William Morrow, $27.50, 264 pages

A self-proclaimed possessor of a sweet tooth, author Shauna Sever has created a cookbook full of desserts that use only natural sugars. Instead of the usual refined white sugar, Real Sweet relies on muscovado, turbinado and rapadura sugars, to name a few. A budget-conscious Sever also notes which sugars can be substituted for others, helping make these recipes fit more pocketbooks.

While there are a few recipes that call for specialty flours and seasonings, the different natural sugars are what really make this cookbook unique. Throughout the book are short synopses of each sugar, what makes it unique, its best uses and any possible health benefits.

Besides the usual cookies and cakes, Real Sweet also contains recipes for marshmallows, popsicles, waffles, popcorn, graham crackers and confectioners sugar, making just about any kind of dessert possible.

Real Sweet is a delightful cookbook with full-color photographs that can delight those who are striving to be healthy.

Sever has appeared on various cooking shows and writes a popular blog at She lives with her family in San Francisco.


Raspberry Lemonade Yogurt Pops

Makes: about 10 2-ounce popsicles

These creamy pops are like a smoothie on a stick. The spark of lemon, tart yogurt and hit of vanilla give these gems a bit of an edge over your standard fruity, icy treats.

1 cups (6 ounces/170 grams) raspberries, fresh or thawed frozen

2/3 cup (8 ounces/224 grams) light agave nectar

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 cups (17 ounces/482 grams) 2 percent Greek yogurt

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the raspberries, agave nectar, cup water, vanilla bean, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Set the pan over medium-high heat and stir gently until the mixture comes to a full boil. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Pull the vanilla pod from the pan. Using the back of a knife, scrape any remaining vanilla seeds into the pan, and discard the pod.

2. Pour the raspberry mixture into a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Puree until smooth. Add the yogurt and process until well-blended. Transfer the mixture to a large spouted measuring cup for easy pouring, and pour into popsicle molds. Freeze until firm.

Real Sweet by Shauna Sever
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