Former resident thanks community for helping her find international success
Tyllore Martelle - Staff Writer
Sioux Lookout born and raised, Heather Pace has experienced widespread success with her cookbook, Sweetly Raw Desserts, comprised of all healthy, raw vegan dessert recipes. Now residing in Victoria, BC, Pace credits a lot of her success to her upbringing in Sioux Lookout.
“Getting a book published happened very organically for me. About seven years ago I started a blog called Sweetly Raw (www.sweetlyraw.com) where I share healthy recipes with a focus on raw vegan desserts,” Pace wrote. Raw vegan recipes are made of all natural ingredients such as fruits, nuts, or sprouted grains in their most natural state to savour the utmost nutrition from them. Nothing is thoroughly cooked, but can be warmed to 118*F. “Although it sounds restrictive and perhaps boring, there is a LOT you can do with these foods. As a classically trained chef with a passion for food, recipe development has always come easy to me and within a year of starting my blog, I wrote my first dessert e-book.” Pace has written seven raw dessert cookbooks which can all be located on her blog.
“One day I was approached by Quarry Books, an American publishing company, to see if I would consider writing a raw vegan dessert book. It was a dream come true,” Pace stated, also noting how difficult it is to have a publishing company approach an author without the help of a literary agent. She was given six months exactly to come up with one hundred new recipes that had never been posted on her blog and work alongside a photographer to complete the book. “I dedicated all my time to the project in order to make it happen. Once that part was finished, the next four months were spent on final edits with an editor and design team before going to print. It was a quick, fun, and intense time!”
A year after Pace had signed the contract, her Sweetly Raw Desserts book hit the shelves in bookstores and on Amazon. “All of the recipes are raw, vegan, and paleo. They’re gluten free, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free, grain free, corn free, and soy free. With so many food intolerances these days, people often think they have to miss out on their favorite foods, especially dessert. I’m here to say “have your cake and eat it too,’” Pace wrote, wanting to let people know there’s a more natural, healthy alternative than more mainstream desserts. The only restriction she typically runs into are nut allergies, seeing as nuts are the backbone of most raw desserts, replacing the need for flour, eggs, and dairy. Otherwise all of Pace’s recipes are compatible with any diet plan.
“I’m trying to retrain people’s minds because they’re stuck on the idea that dessert is unhealthy and fattening – and rightfully so! But this is a new way of doing it. The body recognizes simple, whole food ingredients and knows how to burn it. People are usually blown away the first time they try one of my desserts. “This is delicious! There’s no way this is healthy!” they exclaim. It’s pretty cool.” Sweetly Raw Desserts has been featured by many popular news outlets, some being: the Rachel Ray Magazine, Breakfast Television Vancouver, CTV News Vancouver, Veg Expo Canada, and on radio station all across North America. Next week, Pace will be featured on Breakfast Television and City Line in Toronto to make some of the recipes from her book.
As for goals on a global spectrum, Pace plans on teaching raw food classes in other countries around the world, while simultaneously working on authoring another book of plant based recipes that are both sweet and savoury. “I’m most proud of the fact that my God given gift and creativity has created a book that reaches people all over the world,” Pace said, going on to credit Sioux Lookout for its role in helping her grow into a person capable of such success. “Having been born and raised in Sioux Lookout, I really have to thank my town. I introduced raw food and yoga classes almost 10 years ago there and it gave me a strong foundation for where I’m at today. It was all a bit new-agey when I started but people came and tried it out and I always felt supported in what I did. I live in Victoria BC now but I will always think fondly of Sioux.”
Heather Pace’s recipe for raw chocolate cheesecake:
1 1/2 cups almonds
2/3 - 3/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon water
Grind the almonds and coconut into a flour in a food processor. Add the raisins and water and continue grinding until broken down. Grind briefly to incorporate. Press evenly into the bottom of an 8” spring form pan.
2 cups cashews
2/3 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup water
1/2 - 2/3 cup cacao powder
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup melted coconut butter
2-3 drops stevia, optional
Blend the cashews, maple, water, vanilla and salt until smooth and creamy in a high speed blender. Add the coconut oil, butter and cacao powder. Blend to incorporate. Taste and add a few drops stevia if desired. Pour over the crust and set in the freezer for 5-6 hours and then in the fridge for 8-12 hours.
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons cacao powder, sifted
1 teaspoons hot water
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle over the cake.