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Mendo Lake Family Life

Treats without the Heat

May 29, 2016 12:00AM

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.