My review of Clean Sweets by Arman Liew of The Big Man’s World, plus a tasty peak at a few of my favorites from the book so far!
I am really excited to be sharing this book with you today! Maybe even more excited than I was the day it arrived (and trust me, some serious exclamation point overuse went down on that day) because now I have had the chance to dive in, eat from, and get to know this beautiful book.
As I’m sure you already know, Arman is the awesome human behind The Big Man’s World. He also happens to be a good pal and huge support in my life–I wouldn’t be the same blogger that I am without him, and not nearly as efficient a video creator. As official TBMW Videographer (yes, I did just make that up), I am lucky enough to have tasted quite a few of Arman’s recipes. Even being very familiar with his signature dessert-for-breakfast style, I was absolutely blown by the creativity and novelty in this book. Just a quick flip through will leave you in complete craving overwhelm, I am sure of it!
When mini marshmallows make an appearance before even leaving the breakfast section…well let’s just say this book gets me. Quick and easy. All sweet. And don’t let the marshmallows fool you, actually healthy too!
Plus there are lots of drizzly sauces and silky frostings that makes things messily more delicious. And so many different creamy spoon-required recipes (my favorite kind of dessert) with all sorts of creative base ingredients—pudding, mousse, cheesecake, ice cream, and more.
My copy of Clean Sweets hasn’t left the kitchen since it arrived and is certainly not in pristine condition anymore, which I consider a very good sign! I have many cookbooks that never escape the book shelf, but a cookbook isn’t meant to live with books. A cookbook is meant to live amongst the bowls and baking dishes. Cover coated in flour, sticky fingerprints from turning the page with dough-covered hands, creases from using the peanut butter jar as a bookmark—those things are the mark of a true COOKbook. Used and abused, a.k.a. kitchen loved.
I credit that mostly to the fact that these recipes are EASY–one bowl or blender, just 15 minutes or less required for most recipes, and ingredients you most likely already have.
If I see a recipe in a book with a list of ingredients 20+ long, half of which I’d have to go buy and a quarter of which I don’t even know where to buy, it’s not happening. But with this book I could probably make more than half of the recipes in the entire thing without having to go out and buy anything. A few basic flours, interchangeable nut butters, protein powder of choice, and other always-on-hand basic healthy baking ingredients.
Familiar ingredients transformed into new treats–that is a perfect way to describe it!
There is plenty of chocolate in these pages, but the fruitier flavors make many appearances too. Banana pudding, berries all ways, lemon cheesecake, and I may or may not have spotted dates near the back of the snack section, just to name a few. Plus some undercover fruit use like applesauce and pumpkin as the healthy base for tastier things.
I have had a few weeks to explore the delicious depths of this book and try out a handful of the many recipes that caught my eye.
A few things I’ve made so far…
The very first thing I made from the book was the Peanut Butter Cup Cereal Pops. And then made them again the next day because I ate the entire first batch snack style and still wanted to test them out with milk. They are just as yummy as they are fun, with milk or without. Sidenote: one bounced away onto the floor while I was styling this shot, and my dog snagged it and then stared me down for the rest of the shoot for more. So they have multi-species approval in my house!
Then there were the Thick and Fluffy Vegan Pancakes which, as much as I hate to admit it, out fluffy-ed my fluffy pancake recipe. Although all that fluffy envy melted right away with the maple syrup drizzle, then I was just in breakfast heaven.
And while we are on the topic of super fluffy foods, the Chocolate Blender Muffins were probably the fluffiest muffins I’ve ever pulled out of my oven. This little impromptu birthday cake situation was actually that muffin recipe made jumbo sized and frosted.
Frozen yogurt that felt and tasted like I was at a froyo place. Well minus the extensive topping bar, but I can cut my own strawberries and sprinkle on nuts without a tiny dedicated scoop. Or go true Arman froyo-eating style, which is sans toppings anyways. I might suggest making a double batch though because a) easier to blend and b) more frozen yogurt, duh. The first batch I made minty as per the recipe, and devoured it long before I remembered to take a photo. But round two was just vanilla to pair with these gorgeous strawberries in my fridge that needed to be eaten.
And finally my favorite, this-is-totally-genius recipe: Thick and Creamy Mocha Ice Cream! I don’t want to say too much and blow the surprise of this unconventional-but-amazing ingredient list, but if you have the book already please make it. Soon. For me. And yourself.
With just about every kind of sweet treat you could dream of, easy recipes with short ingredient lists, and lots of options for any dietary preference (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, paleo), Clean Sweets will keep your life stocked with healthy homemade snacks. Baked or no-bake, blender-ready or mixing bowl-made, single-serve or shareable–there are so many sweet options.