Welcome to Nature Maven's Healthy Eating Healthy Planet Blog

Welcome! If you're a vegan, you'll find support and suggestions you may be able to use here. If you're a vegetarian as I was when I started this blog in June 2008, reading my archived posts may be of interest to you. If you haven't gotten here already, I hope you'll consider trying the vegan way of life, too.

As I try new recipes, learn to eat in restaurants, entertain non-veg friends and make the changes necessary to bring my life into greater harmony with the planet, I share what I learn. And little joys and other thoughts get thrown into the mix here, too.

In March 2009 after starting to read The Engine 2 Diet by vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn, I became fully vegan, to the best of my knowledge and ability, and I post entries here as I live and learn in this lifestyle. It's definitely a process of experience and discovery.

Please check out the Vegan News Headlines supplied by Google News Reader down on the right, and see my Blogroll for just a few of the choice blogs and websites I've found useful.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Vegan Baking Bliss

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (foreground and top rack)
Oatmeal Raisin & Oatmeal Raisin-Chocolate Chip (lower rack)
A RAINY DAY is a perfect time for baking, so I pulled out my Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar (by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero) and whipped up a batch of amazing chocolate chip cookies and a batch of oatmeal raisin that I divvied up and added vegan chocolate chips to half. They turned out hugely well.
Departures: I used hemp milk because the opened carton of soymilk had spoiled. I used it for the first time, and the hemp milk was a fine replacement. It has a nutty flavor, and I look forward to putting on my cereal tomorrow. Isa and Terry called for quick-cooking oats for the oatmeal raisin, but all I had on hand was extra-thick whole rolled oats, and they worked just fine in the cookies. The chocolate chips were my idea for enhancing the oatmeal raisin dough after making the first batch according to the recipe. I learned that they are nearly impossible to mix in. I had to grab walnut-sized gobs of dough and stuff the chips in, then push them back in on the cookie sheet when they fell out. But, once baked and cooled, they stayed put and are a great addition. For the chocolate chip cookies, I used mini vegan chocolate chips rather than the regular sized ones, mainly because I had more of them after using the bigger ones in the oatmeal raisin chocolate chip batch.
The egg replacers for these recipes are different. The oatmeal-raisin batch was held together with flaxseed meal in the dough. The chocolate chip batch was bound with the addition of a small amount of tapioca flour.
In Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, Isa Chandra and Terry Hope (learn more and order via The Post Punk Kitchen, Isa's site)have done all the hard work of converting these classic recipes to egg-free, dairy-free deliciousness! I use the book all the time and have made some amazing treats that others marvel are vegan. I also love the earlier vegan books these amazing cooks have published.
After baking and cooling, I arranged the cookies on some of my vintage Fiesta plates and styled them for photos, and I left them thus on the counter until my husband returned from tennis so he could see, savor and enjoy them. After this I put some in a glass cookie jar, others in a plastic container, and at day's end after we'd had a few more, stuck the rest in a freezer container that already contained frozen vegan brownies (from the same cookbook). Because our weather was rainy, foggy and humid all day, they got pretty soft, but I think I could pop them in a warm oven for a few minutes to recrisp them if we want to try it.

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