For the first year, it was hit or miss, finding fun and delicious vegan items that it seemed like the rest of the world had at their fingertips. To be honest, I was a bit envious of my vegan friends all around the world.
On the upside, I became a better vegan cook in my own right. I learned to appreciate the value, the taste and the health benefits of a whole food, plant based diet. I learned how to make seitan sausages, gyros and ribs. So I’m not too salty about it.
In the past 2 years, Romania is really stepped up its game and I’m proud of the manufacturers and all the other vegans in this small country for making them see we are a forced to be reckoned with.
All that, is my long-winded way of telling you about the most magnificent new vegan find of the week.
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream…nay, Ben & Jerry’s vegan ice cream.
It was tasty, as far as ice cream goes, but my Hubs really appreciated it. I did too, but I’m half way through the container and I have yet to find a salty pretzel!
I used chocolate chunks because I have yet to come across vegan chocolate chips here in Romania and I like having big chunks in some bites and tiny slivers in others.
I haven’t been this satisfied with a vegan cookie recipe since I veganized my favorite peanut butter cookie recipes, and that was one of the first dessert recipes I veganized back when I was a new vegan.
These cookies are crispy on the edges and super soft on the inside, reminding me of why I don’t make cookies all that often. They are, honestly, too good and I had to do a long, grueling workout today to make up for how many I tested out yesterday.
Thank you, PopSugar.
What’s your favorite cookie recipe? I don’t eat them often, but I make them a lot because my partner and my in-laws seem to love’em.
I don’t know about you but whenever I have a few overripe bananas, which I do often because my partner buys them and pretends that he will eat them so they get overripe and I have no choice but to use them, the first thing I think of is banana bread. Of course.
Even though I’m a vegan who isn’t a huge fan of bananas, I can admit to a deep love of banana bread, with or without blueberries, walnuts, pecans, cranberries or any other add-in. But thanks to the above mentioned surplus of overripe bananas lately, a woman like me is forced to be creative.
So I dug deep in my well of vegan cookie knowledge and came up with something new, at least to me.
Vegan banana oat cookies.
This is an easy vegan cookie recipe that you can halve or double from the original 24 cookies.
Although Thanksgiving in the United States has come and gone, the season for sweet potato pie is still upon us and I, for one, think that as long as you can find sweet potatoes then you have time/room for pie!
And when it comes to making vegan desserts, I know that sometimes all the substitutions can make vegan baking a daunting task but this vegan sweet potato recipe is easy and delicious. And the best part? No pie crust!
If you’re in the market for a quick and easy vegan pie, keep reading.
Let’s start with the vegan pie crust because, and I can admit this because we’re all friends here, it is my vegan baking weakness. The first problem is that here in Romania I have a hard time finding actual vegan butter, it’s just margarine which has too much water to make a good vegan pie crust. The second problem is that I have yet to make a vegan pie crust with coconut oil that didn’t just go limp and lifeless.
I don’t know about you guys out there in the world, but sometimes I find myself binge-watching food videos on YouTube because, well, what else is a vegan foodie to do for inspiration? Sometimes I see things that are WAY beyond my cooking capabilities and it turns out…not so great.
And other times, well other times we end up with a delicious vegan cake recipe that is time-consuming but overall easy to make. This recipe was adapted from Chef John on Food Wishes because who doesn’t love a good Dad joke? Or apple crumble vegan coffee cake?
I for one, love both and so when I had some free time recently, I got busy in the kitchen.
I found this vegan cake recipe easy to make but like with most complicated vegan dishes, you need to focus on prep work. So we’ll take this in steps.
Gather your ingredients:
Before you get started, pre-heat the oven o 350 (175C). And dice your apples, with or without peels, the choice is yours.
Step One: Toast the chopped pecans, or whatever other nuts you prefer and place in a bowl with brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and melted vegan butter. Set aside.
Step Two: Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Also, set aside.
Step Three: Cream together coconut oil (or vegan butter) and sugar until blended. Use a big-ish mixing bowl because we’ll be adding dry ingredients to this bowl. Add vegan eggs. Then vanilla and yogurt, but if you don’t want to use vegan yogurt, consider full fat coconut milk instead.
Step Four: Add flour mixture to the butter/sugar mix and combine until well blended and then STOP. Resist the temptation to over-mix. Fold in diced apples.
Now it’s time to layer!
You’ll need two layers of batter so when you pour the first layer, keep in mind you’ll need another. My top layer came up a little short so…yeah.
In fact, let’s just say that I’m a fan of the gourd family, as evidenced by my pumpkin cookies. And muffins. And cupcakes.
This time I thought I’d try something a little different in the form of…blondies!
I love a good brownie, in fact I’d say that brownies are probably my favorite dessert and after about my second year as a vegan, I finally perfected my vegan brownies. So this year, I’ve decided to tackle blondies.
The ingredient list is quite simple and if you’ve ever made vegan blondies before, you already know just how easy this vegan dessert recipe can be! So…here we go.
The first thing you want to do is grab two bowls. In the first, add the dry ingredients. Flour, baking soda & powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger. If you’re in a pumpkin spice kind of mood, add that, but I’ve added too much pumpkin spice this year. Whisk to mix and then add in the sugar. I used brown sugar and I sifted it to make sure it was all broken up because brown sugar tends to clump.
In the other bowl, add the coconut oil, milk, extract and squash.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined.
I was able to find vegan baking chocolate so I had to chop it up by hand but if you have vegan chocolate chips, toss them in while you mix to avoid over blending.
Pour the batter into a greased baking dish and smooth with a spatula, then add a few more chocolate chunks on top…if you like.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes and let it cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Trust me, it’s worth the wait!
This goes great with mulled wine, cider (if that’s your thing) or a nice mug of hot cocoa.
What’s your favorite type of blondie? Drop links or photos in the comment section.
I’m not much for sweets but my partner has quite the sweet tooth which feeds my need to bake when autumn and winter roll around and pumpkin & squash are EVERYWHERE!
I really love to grab a big ol’ pumpkin, roast it up and use pretty much the whole damn thing. I’ll soak & roast the seeds, make a soup, cookies, pies, cakes, breads, sauces & creams and whatever else strikes my fancy. It’s just how I roll.
Last week, he jokingly asked if it was possible to have peanut butter pumpkin cookies and I was like…why not?
And here we are.
If you’re looking for a vegan holiday cookie recipe that’s easy and delicious, this one might be the perfect fit for you. If you’re more of a cupcake lover, check out my Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes.
I find it easier to measure in grams when baking because I find that it yields a better final result, but if you’re in the US or you just love imperial measurements, this recipe was adapted from The Natural Nurturer.
Preheat the oven to 175C/350F and put down parchment paper on your baking sheets. The original recipe said this would yield about 18 cookies but somehow I got 37. I might bee because I ran out of whole wheat flour so half of this recipe is soy flour I had on hand, but I can’t say for sure until I try again.
Let me tell you how easy this recipe is: combine everything into one large bowl (except chocolate chips if you decide to add them, which I did not) and mix well until just blended.
Scoop out onto your baking sheets and bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes and gobble, gobble.
Yeah, these vegan cookies are just that simple. If you have time and all the ingredients on hand, kick your fall up a notch with these tasty pumpkin cookies.
The best part about these cookies? They are very calorie friendly as long as you don’t eat a full dozen in one sitting!
The key to any good vegan pumpkin desserts or sauces or…whatever, is the right pumpkin cooked the right way. Cut the pumpkin in half (like the photo below) and rub the flesh with oil. I used coconut oil because I planned sweet applications for the whole thing and roast it flesh side down. It should take about 40-50 minutes if it’s on the large side, but check it every 10 minutes after the 40 minute mark to make sure it doesn’t burn.
Let the pumpkin cool completely before you scoop out the insides. Refrigerate the insides for up to a week or you can freeze what you don’t use right away and it’ll hold for much longer.
I know we all love to make fun of those who go a little crazy when pumpkin spice season rolls around, but the truth is these people are just taking advantage of an abundance of a spice blend that really should be available all year long. I mean, ask yourself, what is so wrong with any of these:
Cinnamon GInger Cloves Allspice Nutmeg
I can’t think of one reason to hate on these spices, especially when you have every type of squash and pumpkin at your disposal! It’s like being mad that your market has broccoli, cauliflower and romesco! Unfathomable, that’s what it is.
All I’m saying is, embrace the season and not just because we are all living in the Upside Down known as 2020, just enjoy because it’s tasty, easy to make and readily available.
All you have to do is take your favorite vegan pumpkin cupcake recipe, or a vegan cake recipe, or any other vegan autumn recipe and add the pumpkin spice blend to the dry ingredients. It really is just that simple.
And if you’re feeling really sauce, like I apparently was, add a pumpkin spice glaze by adding the same blend to powdered sugar along with almond milk, or any other nut milk, plus pinch of bourbon or brandy. For these vegan cupcakes, I used a splash of Apple Pie Moonshine because it has that extra hint of sweetness and booze that turn these vegan cupcakes into something truly amazing.
Want to make’em?
Here we go:
250g All Purpose Flour 225g Brown Sugar 1 tsp Baking Soda 1 tsp Baking Powder 1/2 tsp Salt 3 and 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (homemade or store bought) 335g Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie filling) 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (I’m in love with this Madagascar vanilla from Dr. Oetker. 60ml Coconut Oil (or other oil, like EVOO) 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar 1 Vegan Egg (I like Archeor Megga Exx, both are German brands if you’re interested)
Mix the dry ingredients together and pour the wet into the dry, stirring until bend but be careful not to overmix or you’ll end up with tough, dense vegan pastries.
Bake at 180C for 20 to 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Now you’re done and ready to gobble up your vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes!
If you plan to add a glaze, let the cupcakes cool for 15 to 20 minutes or you’ll end up with a big, gooey mess.
What do you like drink with your vegan cupcakes…beer? Cocktails? Almond milk?
In my quest to find calorie friendly vegan snacks, I’ve been scouring blogs, YouTube and social media pages in search of inspiration of any kind. Unlike my partner, I don’t have a big sweet tooth so other than one little taste, cakes and cookies are mostly consumed by him. And my mother-in-law who comes with her own love of all things sugary.
This recipe is easy, it’s fast and it’s totally vegan!
When I say this vegan snack recipe is easy, I mean it!
All you’ll need is a scale, a food processor and a casserole dish. Parchment paper optional.
Cashews (I used raw & unsalted because the flavors are clean and toasted them a little)
Dates (pitted & chopped)
Lemon juice & zest
That’s it, pop the cashews into the food processor (thisis mine!) first and run until are fine-ish, almost like a meal.
Then add the dates because these suckers are sticky and you want them to break up enough to provide the binding for your vegan bars.
Finally, add the remaining ingredients until blended and then press into your casserole dish like the top photo.
Refrigerate until firm. If you’re too impatient to wait, they’ll crumble apart as soon as you cut into them. Cover and keep in the fridge until the container is empty, or freeze the leftovers.
The bars were not too sweet but very delicious. They would have been better but I didn’t have enough coconut as the recipe required, but I highly recommend anyway.
And the best thing about these bars is that I already have a few ideas to make different types of vegan snack bars to enjoy! In fact, my partner thinks these are pretty great pre-workout bars, though he only eats half when that’s the case.
Some of you have reached out to me and asked why, oh why, do I so rarely post any #vegan desserts on this blog and the answer is two-fold really.
The first answer is simple: calories & sugar. Back in 2017 I made the decision to go vegan for my health, which meant I needed to get rid of old eating habits and replace them with healthier, cruelty free options that would help me lose weight and get back in shape.
Second, shortly after going vegan we moved from Germany to Romania and the stove we had until recently was total crap. Complete and total crap.
So there you have it, my short-ish explanation for why this blog has been seriously lacking in vegan dessert recipes. Today, we’re going to see if we can change that with some quick vegan peanut butter cookies.
Just in case you’re wondering, I have not yet reached my weight goal so these are not celebratory vegan cookies, they’re more like ‘celebrating my new stove’ cookies.
And since I’ve been looking for ways to make calorie friendly dessert recipes, I decided to fiddle with the recipe a little bit, so here we go!
Brown sugar (light or dark, unless you have access to truly vegan cane sugar)
Almond milk (or your preferred plant milk)
Vanilla extract (I use Dr. Oetker’s Madagascar vanilla and I love it, but use what you have)