Keep family baking traditions alive with these sweet vegan recipes

I grew up on a cattle and pig farm in Woodbury County.

We had meat at each lunch and dinner and generally for breakfast. I used to be in 4-H and confirmed pigs on the Woodbury County Truthful. On the finish of the honest, the pigs had been despatched to slaughter.

My dad largely raised feeder cattle, that means he purchased them after they had been taken from their moms on a special farm and dropped at ours. They'd bawl for his or her mamas after they arrived.

I watched because the calves grew into cattle and had been finally despatched to slaughter. Whereas I felt unhappy once I noticed my 4-H pigs (who I beloved) and the cattle head for slaughter, this was a lifestyle for us.

I actually did not take into consideration how my selections may very well be completely different till a few years after I left residence for Iowa Metropolis to go to school and the place I stayed after I graduated. I knew from a younger age that I beloved animals, particularly cats, and I used to be heartbroken at any time when I noticed any animal struggling. I knew that cattle have loving relationships with different animals, love their infants, have distinctive personalities, and really feel ache.

Nonetheless, I continued to eat meat.

After I turned extra concerned in animal rescue, together with volunteering at a shelter for cats with particular wants, I started to know that I might now not love and cherish some animals whereas consuming others. I turned a vegetarian.

I used to be conscious that I used to be being hypocritical by persevering with to eat dairy and eggs, since chickens and dairy cows are subjected to the identical cruelty as animals raised for meat consumption, however I wasn't prepared to present them up. Lastly, a number of years after I gave up meat, I ended consuming dairy and eggs as effectively.

The toughest half about changing into vegan wasn't giving up cheese, as it's for many individuals; relatively, it was giving up baking as I knew it. I grew up baking with my mother. We had traditions that had been essential to me, corresponding to baking rhubarb cake and chocolate zucchini cake in the summertime, cutout cookies and peanut blossom cookies at Christmastime, brownies to share at potlucks or to tackle household holidays, and making ready my grandma's no-bake cookie recipe, which was a household favourite.

In my first 12 months of 4-H, my mother and I spent the summer time making an attempt numerous chocolate chip cookie recipes in an try to search out the proper one for me to take to the honest. These cookies earned me a blue ribbon.

These traditions are particularly essential to me since my mother died from most cancers shortly after I graduated from highschool. I've her recipes, a few of them handwritten, and baking these recipes helps me really feel nearer to her.

After I turned a vegan, I began looking for vegan recipes for a few of my favourite baked items, and the primary recipe I seemed for was one for chocolate chip cookies. I used to be so completely happy when the primary one I attempted was yummy.

I continued to search for good vegan baking recipes and was excited when I discovered the web site Nora Cooks ( She has turn out to be my favourite vegan blogger, and I've ready a lot of her recipes for cookies, desserts, bars and frosting.

I used to be additionally thrilled when I discovered Nation Crock Plant Butter. It is available in sticks and is a straightforward and scrumptious substitute for butter in baking.

As I discovered extra scrumptious vegan recipes, I noticed that I don’t have to surrender my household baking traditions simply because I'm vegan. I can nonetheless make cutout cookies and peanut blossoms at Christmas, brownies and no-bake cookies to share with family and friends.

I've carried on these traditions with my very own daughter, and now we have made new traditions, corresponding to baking and adorning cutout sugar cookies for Valentine's Day and the Fourth of July. I put the frosting on, and he or she does the sprinkles.

Vegan baking has turn out to be one among my passions. I like to bake for household and associates, and it's a option to calm down after a traumatic day. I'm so completely happy that vegan baking will not be solely enjoyable and scrumptious, however additionally it is cruelty-free.

I desire to search out vegan recipes relatively than make them up myself, however I did determine to attempt veganizing my mother's rhubarb cake, and it got here out effectively. I put together it through the use of plant-based butter and a flax “egg.”

I get pleasure from sharing this cake with household and associates. It brings again fond recollections of baking with my mother, particularly the sound of chopping rhubarb. I don’t have a backyard stuffed with rhubarb like we did once I was rising up, however this time of the 12 months and all through summer time, rhubarb is on the market in most grocery shops and farmer's markets.

This cake could be very moist, as is true for many cake recipes ready with fruit. It was our favourite rhubarb deal with after we had been rising up. It is a scrumptious providing for a picnic or potluck.

Rhubarb Cake by Nancy Holcomb

For the cake:

  • ½ C vegan butter
  • 1½ C sugar
  • 1 flax “egg” (1 tablespoon of floor flax seed combined with 3 tablespoons water; let it sit for a couple of minutes to thicken)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 C plus 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 C bitter milk (1 C plant-based milk combined with 1 Tbsp. vinegar)
  • 3 C chopped rhubarb


  • ⅓ C brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 levels.

2. Cream the vegan butter and sugar till effectively mixed, utilizing stand or hand mixer. Add the flax egg and blend till mixed. Alternate including the dry elements and the bitter milk. Combine simply till mixed; don't over combine. Stir within the rhubarb.

3. Pour into an oiled and floured 9x13” pan. Combine the brown sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the cake. Bake for 35-45 minutes till a toothpick inserted within the middle comes out clear.

Chocolate No-Bake Cookies

(Tailored from "The Full Fool's Information to Vegan Baking" by Donna Diegel)

My most requested recipe is my no-bake cookies. Although this is not my grandma's recipe, I consider her each time I make them. I nonetheless have her handwritten no-bake cookie recipe, which I'll all the time treasure, and I'm grateful that she launched me to the magic of those cookies. They're a scrumptious mixture of chocolate, peanut butter, nuts and coconut that you can see exhausting to withstand. Beware, you will be unable to eat only one, two and even three!

  • 2 C sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • ½ C vegan butter or coconut oil (I take advantage of coconut oil)
  • ½ C soy milk or different plant-based milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ C easy or chunky peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 C rolled oats
  • ½ C chopped walnuts
  • ¾ C shredded coconut

1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In giant saucepan over medium warmth, mix sugar, cocoa powder, butter or coconut oil, plant milk and salt. Deliver to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds; then take away pan from the warmth.

2. Utilizing a big wood spoon or spatula, add the peanut butter and vanilla; combine effectively. Add the rolled oats, chopped walnuts and shredded coconut, and stir effectively. Enable cookie combination to chill barely.

3. Utilizing a cookie scoop or spoon, place the nice and cozy cookie dough on ready baking sheets. Press down barely together with your fingers to make a flat cookie. (I put them within the freezer to chill and agency up, nevertheless it's not essential.)

These cookies will be saved within the freezer or at room temperature in hermetic containers or Ziploc baggage. I desire to retailer them within the freezer, as a result of when they're saved at room temperature, they're a bit crumbly. When you find yourself able to eat or share them, they do nice at room temperature. I ceaselessly take these cookies to bake gross sales, potlucks, and to deal with my associates and associates.

Amy Holcomb lives in North Liberty and works as a supported group residing counselor at Goodwill of the Heartland. She shares her residence together with her canine Fluffy and several other cats. She volunteers for the Johnson County Humane Society, the Iowa Humane Alliance and the Iowa Farm Sanctuary.

For questions or feedback relating to the Vegan Group of Japanese Iowa, electronic mail or go to Everyone seems to be welcome to affix the VCEI on Fb and MeetUp

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