Vegan Baking – Where I came from and where I am now
Author: Amber French
I can cook, I have been cooking for over 10 years. I think about meals and food all of the time. But baking I have never been good at. Even BV (Before Vegan) I never had the confidence or ingredients to pull off anything well. I was impatient and cheap. Baking always seemed expensive and had too many rules.
I wanted to bake (real bad) I would put myself in positions were I volunteered to bake cookies or dessert and then lie awake cursing myself for doing so.
I burned things (including myself) a lot.
Slowly I discovered that the right tools were 80% of the game. It was like trying to carve a sculpture and relying on marshmallows and pipe cleaners to get the job done.
I also discovered that following a recipe was key until I got comfortable and then I could experiment.
But I still wasn’t great at it and my dreams of feeding people perfectly frosted cupcakes and homemade oatmeal cookies remained a lofty goal.
Until I gave up eggs and dairy. All of a sudden baking became a world of experimentation and loose rules. If I made chocolate chip cookies with egg substitute and it was a bust, I could try flax seed or chia seeds to bind my bake goods.
I could control the amount of oil I used in my recipes by utilizing fresh apples instead. I experimented with flavours and textures. I used silken tofu to make maple pudding and key lime pies! I could use avocados to whip up dreamy chocolate mousse.
Black Beans and beets made brownies moist and delicious.
I discovered that doing things the way they had always been done wasn’t for me.
I could sneak real food and super grains into muffins (spelt, zucchini, carrots and oat flour). As I dug deeper I learned that I didn’t need everything to be bleached and hydrogenated. I could use real food, spices and the right tools and whip up magical creations that left people wanting more!
I could even do away with processed sugar and utilize maple syrups and coconut sugar to sweeten my experiments.
Soon the dread of bringing a dessert became a pleasure and prepackaged snacks and treats were replaced with weekly baking sessions resulting in less store bought snacks and some killer quick grab and go breakfasts.
Everyone has their favourite vegan substitutes. Mine are as follows….
Eggs = 1 Tbsp. of ground flax & 3 Tbsp. of water for every egg the recipe calls for.
Cream = Coconut milk (Can, not Carton)
Milk = Almond (unsweetened)
I also love subbing in apple sauce for oil or Coconut Oil for canola oil. I am obsessed with Chocolate chip cookies that combine Coconut Oil and Flax seeds!!! Super yummy!!
This recipe from the Kathy at the Lunchbox Bunch www.thelunchboxbunch.com are my current favourite cookie recipe.
Gotta recipe you want “converted” giving me a shout, I would be happy to help!
About the Author: Amber has been in the fitness and recreation game for over 15 years (not including school!!). She made fitness her life because as the age old saying goes, study and teach what it is you need to learn. In other words, she’s battles with some weight issues for many years and wants to share what she has learned along the way.
You can follow her @TheVeganHouse