Vegan Recipes : Peanut Butter Truffle Cookies

Vegan RecipesWho doesn’t love a good peanut butter cookie? They pair well with a tall glass of soy milk, and they are perfect for those days when you just need a little pick me up. With prep and cooking time combined, these cookies will only take 25 minutes to make, and a single one of the these vegan recipes will make about 18 cookies. If you need to make more, you can easily double the ingredients.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to have on hand:

  •  1 cup creamy peanut butter
  •  1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  •  1 egg replacer (I use 1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G Egg + 2 tablespoons water)
  •  3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

Start preparing these vegan recipes by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet with your preferred method, or you can line it with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the first 4 ingredients on this list together with a spoon. Next, add in your chocolate chips. With a teaspoon, drop little mounds of dough onto your cookie sheet. Make sure that each mound is at least 2 inches apart. Let the cookies bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Once you take them out of the oven, let them cool for 5-10 minutes before removing them from the sheet. Then, it’s time to enjoy!

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Milk Replacers That Can Be Used In the Vegan Diet

Vegan DietMilk is often considered to be a staple of the average American’s diet, but did you know that the milk replacer industry is booming? This is great for those of us who follow the vegan diet. The Wall Street Journal recently replaced a report on the extraordinary growth of non dairy milk substitutes, and the number of options that we have to choose from is only expected to keep growing. There are options for every type of palette and budget. Here are just a few of my favorite options!

Soy Milk – Soy milk is probably the most well known milk replacer, and it is often used by people who don’t follow the vegan diet. It has a high protein content, and it has absolutely no cholesterol. Additionally, it also has a low content of saturated fats. I personally like to use soy milk as a creamer for coffee and to make milkshakes.

Almond Nut Milk – If you’re looking for an affordable milk replacer for your vegan diet, almond nut milk is going to be what you are looking for. It has a very mild taste that has just a hint of nuts to it. It is also extremely low in calories. A single cup of almond nut milk is only going to have about 60 calories. You can even make it at home. Moreover, almond nut milk is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin E.

Coconut Milk – This is an option that is quickly gaining popularity for those who follow the vegan diet. It is made from coconut meat that has been combined with water. It has a thick consistency that is very similar to that of whole milk. Be warned that it does have a higher fat content with about 5 grams of fat per one cup. Coconut milk has been used for centuries to create delicious tropical dishes.

Hemp Milk – Hemp milk is created from ground up hemp seeds that have been soaked in water. Unlike other milk replaces, it offers a complete source of protein, with all ten essential amino acids being present. It also contains healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, and iron. It can be harder to find, but it can often be found at health food stores.

Grain Milk – Finally, grain milk can be made from a number of grains, including rice, oats, spelt, and rye. These milks tend to be lower in calcium and protein than other milk replacers, but it has a light texture and taste that pairs well with most types of cereal. If you are interested in making grain milk a part of your vegan diet, it won’t be difficult to find options that have been fortified with vitamins and minerals.

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Vegan Recipes : Strawberry Cake

Vegan RecipesWith the holidays coming up, there is going to be plenty of baking involved. If you’re looking for vegan recipes for cake for yourself or someone in your family, here’s an excellent option you can try. With prep time and cooking time together, this cake only takes about 45 minutes to make, and it is guaranteed to be a hit at your next holiday party!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to have:

  •  3 cups all purpose flour
  •  2/3 cup coconut flour
  •  2 teaspoons baking soda
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  2 cups granulated sugar
  •  1 cup vegetable oil
  •  1 1/2 pounds strawberries
  •  4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •  4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  •  Additional strawberries for decoration, cake filling, etc.

You can begin preparing these vegan recipes by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using your preferred method, grease 2, 8” round cake pans well.

Puree your strawberries in a food processor until they are smooth. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients. One at a time, add in your wet ingredients (including the strawberry puree) and blend together well between each addition. If you need to, add a little extra puree to adjust the consistency of the batter.

After your oven has finished preheating, add the vinegar to your prepared batter and mix it in well. Place an equal amount of batter in each cake pan and place them immediately into the oven. The cake should be allowed to bake for 25-35 minutes. When it is completely done, an inserted toothpick should come out clean.

Let the cakes cool in their pan for at least 10 minutes. After the ten minutes have passed, loosen the edges with a dull knife, and invert onto cooling rack to cool completely. Consider placing strawberry jam or macerated strawberries between the two layers, frost with vanilla frosting, and decorate with chocolate covered strawberries! Then, you are ready to enjoy these vegan recipes!

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Vegan Recipes : Vegan Cheesecake Ice Cream

Vegan RecipesTo make these vegan recipes for cheesecake ice cream, you are going to need to have an ice cream maker on hand. If you don’t have one, I would strongly recommend investing in one. Just because you follow the vegan diet doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy ice cream! It makes a cool, refreshing treat on hot summer days, and it also pairs well with many different kinds of desserts.

To make these vegan recipes, here are the ingredients you’ll need to have:

  •  3/4 cup raw cashews
  •  8 ounces vegan cream cheese (I use Galaxy)
  •  1 cup water, soymilk, or coconut milk beverage, divided
  •  3/4 cup sugar
  •  2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  1/8 teaspoon salt

You can begin preparing these vegan recipes by placing your cashews in a food processor and grinding them until they have been reduced to a fine powder. For the next step, add your ground cashews, ½ cup of water, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt to a blender and mix the ingredients together on the highest speed setting for 2-3 minutes. Place the blender jar in your fridge and let it chill for approximately 2 hours.

In order to take the next step, you will need to make sure that the canister of your ice cream maker was frozen overnight. Once it’s frozen, add your ice cream mixture to it and process the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, there are one or two alternatives you can try. For example, try freezing your ice cream mixture into cubes, like in an ice cube tray. Once they are completely frozen, throw them in your food processor, add a small amount of liquid (water or milk replacement will work just fine), and blend them together on a low setting until they form ice cream. Be aware that this ice cream will be softer than usual.

If you don’t have a food processor (get one!) to blend the cubes together, freeze the mixture in a baking dish. Remove it every 30 minutes or so and stir it by hand until it is smooth and creamy. Try serving it with vegan graham crackers or your favorite kind of pie.

All together, these vegan recipes will take about 4 hours to make, but the end result will be well worth the effort! A single recipe will make 6-8 servings of ice cream.

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The Vegan Diet & Cooking Oil

Vegan DietThink about how much would be missing from our vegan diet without the presence of cooking oil. Sautéed vegetables, marinades, even fried mozzarella sticks would be gone. Granted, that last one isn’t the most heart friendly treat, but for an occasional indulgence, it works just fine. When it comes to the vegan diet, the number of cooking oils that you have to choose from is plentiful, but choosing the right one can be difficult. Not all cooking oils are created equally. Here are 5 of my favorite, healthy vegan diet friendly cooking oils:

  •  Avocado Oil – This oil is created from pressed avocados. It has a slightly nutty taste and a smooth texture. It is also one of the healthiest options that you can pick, because half of its composition is comprised of healthy monounsaturated fats. It’s not the best oil for frying things in, but it works superbly on salads.
  •  Canola Oil – Created from rapeseeds, which are a part of the cabbage and Brussels sprout family, canola oil works rather well for baking or light cooking. Medical studies have shown that, in moderate amounts, it is actually good for your cardiovascular health, because it has a low content of saturated fats, but a high content of healthy Omega 3 fatty acids.
  •  Olive Oil – This has to be one of the world’s most well known cooking oils, and it can be used in the vegan diet many different ways. Olive oil is perfectly suited for sautéing, but I also like to use it as a dip for my bread and as a salad dressing. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats that have been shown to lower unhealthy forms of cholesterol in the body. Because olive oil has a lower burning temperature, it shouldn’t be used to fry foods.
  •  Safflower Oil – Safflower oil is an excellent oil to use in baking. It is both colorless and flavorless. It is commonly used to make margarine, and it fares well when subjected to high heat, so this is an ideal oil for frying foods in. In terms of nutrition, safflower oil offers high levels of Vitamin E, and some medical studies suggest that it can be beneficial for those who suffer from coronary disease.
  •  Sesame Seed Oil – Finally, we come to sesame seed oil. Like safflower oil, this oil also stands up well to high heats, and it is commonly used in stir fries. Sesame seeds are also loaded full of antioxidants. I like to use sesame seed oils in Asian inspired dishes, dips, and sauces.
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Vegan Recipes : Black and White Cookies

Vegan RecipesThere is a famous Seinfeld quote in which Seinfeld says, “If only people would look to the cookie, all of our problems would be solved!” While these amazing vegan recipes for black and white cookies might not solve the world’s problems, they can certainly make you temporarily forget your problems! They are just that good.

Here is the ingredient list for these vegan recipes:

  •  1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  •  1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  2/3 cup applesauce
  •  1 cup granulated sugar
  •  1/4 cup stick of vegan margarine, softened
  •  1 1/2 teaspoon – 2 vanilla extract
  •  egg replacer for 2 eggs
  •  1 1/2 cup – 2 cups powdered sugar
  •  3 Tablespoons soy milk
  •  1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  •  2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

You can start preparing these vegan recipes by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine your flour, baking powder, and salt together well with a whisk. Placing your applesauce in a fine sieve, let it stand for about 20 minutes. In a separate bowl, you’ll need to mix together the drained applesauce, sugar, and margarine. Once well blended, add in your vanilla extract and egg replacers. A little bit at a time, add the flour mixture in and blend together well.

On a parchment lined sheet, place a small amount of dough in little blobs until all the dough has been used. The cookies should then be placed in your oven and allowed to bake for 10-15 minutes. Once they are done baking, they should have a spongy consistency, similar to a cake. Let them cool on wire racks for at least 15 minutes.

For the frosting, Combine 3/4 cup powdered sugar, 1tbls soymilk and almond extract. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Frosting should be quite thick so add more sugar accordingly. Spread white frosting over half of each cookie. Let stand for 10 min or until frosting is set.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar and cocoa. Add in 2 tablespoons of soy milk and stir it with a whisk until it is smooth. Spread the chocolate frosting over the un-iced half of each cookie. Let the cookies set for about 10 minutes, and these vegan recipes will be ready to eat! Each recipe is going to make about 12 cookies.

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The Vegan Diet & the Protein and Calcium Myth

Vegan DietWe’ve talked before about some of the myths that surround the vegan diet. One of the biggest ones is that vegans don’t get enough protein and calcium in their diet, but the truth is that protein and calcium can be found in hundreds of plant based sources. How do you separate fact from fiction? Read on.

One of the most common questions I hear is “Where do you get your protein?” Protein occurs naturally in hundreds of different types of plants. Beans, nuts, and grains are some of the most common examples. Did you know that two tablespoons of peanut butter contains approximately eight grams of protein? In a similar fashion, a single cup of cooked lentil beans is going to offer an astonishing eighteen grams of protein. According to the guidelines handed down by the United States Department of Agriculture, the recommended daily allowance of protein for the average American man and woman is 56 grams and 46 grams respectively.

On average, Americans who do not follow the vegan diet normally eat twice the amount of protein that they need in a single day. In the vegan diet, protein needs can be easily met. The trick is to consume calories from a number of different foods. Think about how large elephants and hippos are. They are both herbivores, and yet, they are still able to obtain the amount of protein their bodies need from a plant based diet.

“Where do you get your calcium?” easily has to be the second most asked question about the vegan diet. Many people mistakenly think that drinking cow’s milk is the only way your body is going to get the calcium it needs. I’m here to tell you that this assumption is just flat our wrong.

Examples of vegan diet foods that contain an abundance of calcium include nuts, seeds, tofu, beans, leafy green vegetables, and dried fruit. In some ways, they are even better for than the calcium derived from cow’s milk, because plant based sources of calcium are much easier for your body to absorb. Furthermore, you can easily find many vegan friendly items, like cereals, juices, or soy milk, that have been fortified with calcium.

Did you know that it has been estimated that as much as 2/3 rds of the world’s population has difficulty digesting cow’s milk? Think about the original purpose of cow’s milk. It is designed to help baby calves rapidly gain weight during the first few weeks of their lives. Now think about the growth hormones, antibiotics, saturated fat, and cholesterol that can be found in cow’s milk. Why would you want to put this in your body? If you need to add more calcium to your diet, forgo the cow’s milk and start piling your plate with vegan diet options.

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Vegan Recipes : Miso Sesame Winter Squash

Vegan RecipesAre you looking for great vegan recipes? Try out Miso Sesame Winter Squash! These vegan recipes are flavor forward, and you will certainly enjoy the unexpected flavor combinations this recipe provides. If you are in a culinary rut, this is a great recipe to jump start your taste buds. It is guaranteed to be a hit among both your vegan and non vegan friends.

The primary ingredients of these vegan recipes are tossed in a citrus spiked, marinade that is infused with hints of molasses. The sweetness of the molasses is counterbalanced by complex salt flavors of the miso, tamari, and shoyu. A toasted sesame seed backdrop adds an additional measure of taste.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to have on hand for these vegan recipes:

  •  2 pounds delicata squash (~3), halved, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch inch thick pieces
  •  2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  •  2 tablespoons molasses
  •  1 teaspoon tamari or shoyu
  •  2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  •  1 heaping tablespoon white or yellow miso
  •  1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  •  1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  •  1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  •  5 tablespoons water
  •  8 ounces organic extra-firm tofu, pressed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Began preparing these vegan recipes by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. The squash should be tossed in a bowl with the sesame oil. Afterwards, it should be spread on a well greased baking sheet and roasted in the oven for 40 minutes. Make sure to check on it once every ten minutes.

In a medium sized bowl, the molasses, tamari, maple syrup, miso, orange juice, lemon juice, lemon zest, water, and the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil should all mixed together. The tofu should be tossed in, coated, and then set aside. The lemon juice should be added to taste. Some like a little more juice for that extra kick, while others prefer a little less.

The squash of these vegan recipes should then be placed in a 2 quart baking dish, and the tofu mixture should be poured over the squash. It should be baked uncovered for roughly 30 minutes. Don’t worry. A good amount of the marinade will boil off. Take it out of the oven and let it cool for about 5 minutes. The finished dish should be finished off with toasted sesame seeds. Now it’s time to enjoy these delicious vegan recipes!

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Animal Byproducts That Like to Make Spontaneous Appearances

Vegan DietThe good news is that in today’s age, there is a vegan diet friendly option for almost any kind of food, or two, or five. However, it’s still a good idea for you to stay up to date on animal byproducts that can pop up foods we use every day. We don’t need them or want them, so your vigilance will pay off.

  •  BBQ Sauce – There are several vegan diet friendly versions of BBQ sauce on the market, but if you purchase one from a grocery store, make sure to check the label for these ingredients: anchovies, chicken fat, rendered beef fat, beef extract, beef stock, eggs, and honey.
  •  Beer – Many kinds of beer on the market today are refined with gelatin, albumin (which comes from eggs, and potassium caseinate (which is derived from milk products).
  •  Bread – Some breads can contain eggs, milk, butter, whey, or honey.
  •  Brown Sugar – Brown sugar is created by adding cane molasses to refined sugar. Cane sugar is refined by using bone char (which comes from animals); however, you can find brown sugar that is processed without the use of bone char in most health food stores.
  •  Cereal – Cereal can contain many of the same suspects as bread, including milk, whey, sugar, and gelatin. However, one ingredient that you need to watch out for is Vitamin D. Vitamin D without a subscript refers to either Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) or Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). Vitamin D3 may be derived from lanolin, a substance that is secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep. Vitamin D2 is derived from fungal and plant sources.
  •  Flour Tortillas – These tortillas usually include lard, whey, and glycerides. These three ingredients may or may not be derived from animal sources, so you will need to do your homework before purchasing them.
  •  Margarine – Even though margarine is made as an alternative to butter, it can still contain whey or other ingredients derived from dairy sources. If you need a vegan diet friendly margarine, Earth Balance is a great option.
  •  Sugar – Commercially-produced white, granulated sugar comes from either cane sugar or from beet sugar. Cane sugar is either filtered through activated carbon or bone char but beet sugar is not. Sugar that hasn’t been filtered through bone char can usually be found at natural food stores. Additional alternatives include Sucanat (non-refined cane sugar that has not had the molasses removed), turbinado sugar (made by steaming unrefined raw sugar), Stevia, maple sugar (about twice as sweet as standard granulated sugar), and date sugar (an unprocessed sugar made from dehydrated dates). Liquid sweeteners such as brown rice syrup, pure maple syrup, agave syrup, malt syrup, and fruit juice concentrates can also be used.
  •  Wine – Wine can be made using animal derived ingredients, like gelatin or egg whites. Animal blood is occasionally used to refine wine, but not as much as it was in the past. Just do a little homework before you purchase a certain kind of wine.
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How to Make The Switch to Vegan Recipes

Vegan RecipesIf you have eaten meat your entire life, then making the switch to vegan recipes only can seem intimidating. However, making the change to vegan recipes is not as difficult as it might seem. The key to successfully making the change to vegan recipes is not about cutting animal based foods out of your diet. It is about crowding them out. It will be much simpler for you to adopt the vegan diet if you make an ongoing effort to sample unfamiliar vegan foods. Of course, you won’t like all of the vegan recipes that you try; however, you will discover foods that you love and that you will naturally want to substitute for meat based meals in your life. Over time, you will find that your taste buds have naturally begun to crave vegan recipes and foods. To find one of the most extensive selections of vegan recipes on the Internet, head on over to the website of Vegan Do It today.

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