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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Treats without the Heat

By Don Orwell

When summer days heat up, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven to cook. It’s easy enough to whip up a salad, but, other than Jell-O and ice cream, what are your options for desserts that don’t require baking? Here are a couple of ideas from the Healthy Kids Cookbook by Don Orwell. For more of Orwell’s recipes, see

Raw Brownies


  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground vanilla bean
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • splash of water (optional)
  • 1/3 cup almond butter


  1. Add walnuts and salt to a food processor or blender. Mix until finely ground.
  2. Add the vanilla, dates, and cocoa powder to the blender. Mix well and, optionally, add a couple drops of water at a time to make the mixture stick together.
  3. Transfer the mixture into a 9”x 13” pan and top with almond butter.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Walnut Truffles


  • 1 cup ground walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • additional cinnamon for coating
  • coconut flakes
  • chopped almonds


  1. Mix first six ingredients and make 1-inch balls.
  2. Coat with cinnamon, coconut flakes, or chopped almonds.  

Don Orwell is the author of several books on superfoods.