Dark Chocolate Brownies

This is by far the best vegan brownie recipe I have found. I’ve been through a lot of cookbooks. To put it best…I judge a cookbook by the strength of its dessert section. I believe a diet must always allow for sweets and never be too restrictive.

When I come across a cookbook with all fruit desserts, I snap it shut and move on. That’s just me. I will always eat healthy, but I will never be overly virtuous.

Rip Esselstyn gets it! The recipes in his cookbook, The Engine 2 Diet provide a great balance between good sense and enlightened indulgence.

His recipes are extremely low fat and no-fat, but in the case of this recipe, thankfully, he allows for an abundance of naturally occurring cocoa butter in the form of a most generous allotment of chocolate chips. Thank you, Rip!

These beauties are everything a brownie should be: moist and fudgy with a dark cocoa edge that refuses to take a back seat to sugar.

When it comes to chocolate, vegans must be ever so cautious in label reading, because even some of the brands we trust have slipped milk fat into their formulas. A final note: Never pinch pennies when it comes to chocolate. You won’t regret it.

 Dark Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients

Makes about 20 brownies

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup raw sugar

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tbsp egg substitute mixed with 1/4 cup water

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp soy milk

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 cups (dairy-free) 60% chocolate chips or chunks (Ghirardelli offers a dairy free 60% product)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 deg F. Combine the sugars and applesauce with an electric or handheld mixer. Beat in the Ener-G mixture, soy milk, vanilla, and vinegar. Combine the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a separate bowl. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, then stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into a sprayed 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Almond Ginger Cookies (Gluten and soy free)

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Finally! A moist, chewy, gluten-free cookie made with whole, natural ingredients. I love this recipe because it is simple and easy–no science project here, just straightforward mix and bake.

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I found this recipe video by Emily Phares online and it made me laugh. The girls were so cute, I just had to give it a try

 

Chock-Full of Chocolate Cookies

IMG_1954If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know there is no need for deprivation in a vegan lifestyle. Holiday treats are no exception to this rule.

Now, don’t get me wrong…I come up against plenty of temptation, with most of my family members and many other individuals in my daily life that are non-vegan. It seems everywhere I turn there is a plate or basket of some sort of cookie or candy or festively decorated sugary doodad being generously offered at this time of year.

And like a lot of vegans–I wasn’t born this way. I have my share of pleasant holiday food memories. But there are so many reasons to say no to those foods that contain animal secretions. I simply refuse to endorse or support the dairy industry, no matter how small a role it may be as simply the consumer of a cookie. That is how a vegetarian became a vegan. If you want to know why I feel so strongly about this, check out the following website:  http://www.chooseveg.com/dairy.asp

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Decadent, sweet, chocolate treats are essential in my enjoyment of the holiday season. These cookies fit the bill, without breaking the caloric bank. They have a little less fat than some recipes out there, but they are easy to make with common pantry staples, they contain plenty of delicious chocolate and are absolutely egg and dairy-free.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

from “Vegan Planet” by Robin Robertson

2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup corn oil

Egg replacer for 2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil two baking sheets.

In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients and brown sugar and mix until well blended. Set aside. Combine dry ingredients, then add half of dry ingredients to wet, mixing just until combined. Add remaining dry ingredients, then fold in the chocolate chips and nuts (if using). Drop by spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake until golden brown, 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Makes about 2 dozen cookies, depending on the size of your spoon.