Lesson #11: Naturally Sweetened & Unsweetened Desserts


How to Cook Real Food: Desserts

In our kitchen, sugar rarely makes an appearance and if we use a sweetener, we rely on locally produced honey or molasses where a rich flavor is demanded. That doesn’t mean we forgo wholesome, flavorful desserts and treats; rather, we rely on fresh fruit and fruit-based desserts. Or, as my 4-year old likes to call them, “Nature’s Candy.”


Prior to the industrialization of agriculture and the advent of modern food processing methods, sugar was a luxury and largely absent from the common table. Now that agriculture has been industrialized and food processing has become the standard, sugar is cheap and has wormed its way into a staple food for developed nations and even developing nations. It’s cheap and people like it. It comes, however, with a host of health and social problems. It’s linked to myriad diseases including heart disease, diabetes, bone loss, obesity, dental cavities and many more, plus much of the sugar routinely consumed is sourced in unethical ways: genetically modified corn, genetically modified sugar beets or sugarcane plantations that do not practice fair and equal trade measures in their labor practices.


The solution, then, is to limit the sugar we do consume to natural, ethically sourced alternatives. Moreover, it’s essential that we prepare wholesome desserts and treats from recipes that minimize sugar content when and where possible. In this lesson, there are two videos outlining methods for making a fruit crumble and an unsweetened stewed fruit compote, both dishes that can be easily and affordably made with fruit that is in season. Additionally, you’ll find a third recipe in your print handouts covering fruit sorbet. Each recipe helps to minimize cost while maximizing both flavor and nutrition.


This installment includes:

VIDEO: Fruit Crumble
VIDEO: Stewed Fruit Compote
WORK SHEETS: Basic recipe worksheet for fruit crumble, Basic recipe worksheet for stewed fruit compote, Basic recipe worksheet for sorbet, Basic recipe worksheet for ice cream, Recipe formula for fruit crumble (CHART), Recipe formula for stewed fruit compote (CHART), Recipe formula for sorbet (CHART), Recipe formula for ice cream (CHART)
FACT SHEETS: preparing low-sweetener and no-sweetener desserts, guide to unrefined natural sweeteners, fruits and their seasons (CHART)
RECIPES: stone-fruit and almond flour crumble, red wine apple sauce, blueberry and lemon crumble, blackberry sorbet, black cherry sorbet, vanilla bean ice cream, mint ice cream, strawberry ice cream, coconut ice cream, citrus-honey compote


  • Recognize the deleterious effects of refined sugars
  • Identify natural sugars and their uses
  • Identify and avoid modern sweeteners that are marketed to the natural foods community.
  • Develop a recipe for and prepare a fruit crumble
  • Develop a recipe for and prepare a stewed fruit compote
  • Develop a recipe for and prepare a fruit sorbet

Master Download

Download all the recipes, tutorials and fact sheets in one file by clicking here.

Videos & Links:


Video: Crumbles

How to make a simple fruit crumble.  Trouble viewing the video? Click here.

Video: Compote

How to make a simple fruit compote. Trouble viewing the video?  Click here.

Links addressing Probiotic Tonics