Right now, I’m in a bit of a baking frenzy. I bake daily, testing and perfecting recipes for the second book in The Allergy-Free Cook series. While the first book is focused on breads, muffins, rolls, and things like that, the second book will be loaded with cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and bars.
Needless to say, until this is finished, all I think about is baking. Actually, when I’m finished, I’ll still be thinking about baking for the third book.
Since my mind is constantly full with new ideas for cakes, a new ingredient to try, a method to experiment with, it’s in constant motion, all dedicated to baking. I go to bed thinking about cake, wake up thinking about cookies, ponder about brownies on my runs…
Okay, you get the idea.
So I’m going to convince you why vegan baked goods are better than those made with animal products. For me, obviously, the baked goods are gluten-free, too, which also has its perks (I’ll save that for another post). But in honor of Vegan MoFo, I’ll set the story straight: vegan baked goods trump anything made with an animal.
1. We can eat the batter.
This is pretty obvious why it is number 1. Of course, eating raw cake batter or cookie dough is a huge plus. And yes, before I was vegan, I still ate raw batter. But now, we don’t have to think twice or worry about getting hit with shoddy bacteria, or eating raw eggs, which, really, is disgusting in itself. Make vegan baked goods, eat loads of batter. Makes it a good swap right away.
2. We ditch the animal fat.
Saturated fat that comes from dairy products has different properties that saturated fats that come from plants, such as coconut. Foods that contain saturated fats raise the level of cholesterol in our blood, and high levels of blood cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. However, some plant-based saturated fat, like that in coconut oil, is made up of medium-chain fatty acids, which join together to make medium-chain triglycerides. Our bodies metabolize these fats more efficiently because the molecules are smaller and require less energy to break down for digestion. Basically, it takes minimal effort to digest and absorb them.
3. We up the nutrition.
Okay, not always, but with vegan baking we have an automatic way of making it more nutritious: replacing eggs. Now, I’m not saying that we always make the right choice, but for the most part, our options of egg replacers make the end result a little better for you. Common egg replacers include flaxseeds (nutritious!), applesauce (nutritious!), other mashed fruit (nutritious!), additional nondairy milk (nutritious!). See? Nutirtious.
4. We have better whipped cream.
See number 2 on coconut oil. Make whipped cream with coconut milk. Your life will change.
5. Our sugar is better.
Yes, generally, white sugar is a go-to for many folks (vegan or otherwise) for baking. But sometimes in the search of vegan sugar or healthier alternatives, we come across unrefined cane sugar, which is what I use in my baking in addition to natural sweeteners. I love using Sucanat for it’s rich taste and for the fact that it is minimally processed. Yes, I know sugar is sugar. However, if I am going to eat it, I might as well get a few nutrients thrown in, too. I also love pure maple syrup, maple sugar, and agave nectar. I think I would use maple sugar exclusively if it wasn’t so darn expensive!
6. We’re more creative.
In an effort to wow you over with our baked goods, we try to think about the box. We understand that you’re already sold on your classic chocolate cake, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. We do. So if we make a vegan one that is better but you refuse to believe it, we’re okay with that. So instead, we’ll wow you with a triple layer super something or other, which will blow off your socks and you can’t compare it to anything you’ve had before. THEN we’ll give you the chocolate chip cookies and you’ll nod in appreciation while you reach for another.
7. We become better bakers more quickly.
This, of course, needs to be clarified. I am not saying that vegan bakers are better. But I do think that with the amount of substituting and swapping done to recipes to make them vegan, we speedily become a little more intuitive in the kitchen at a quicker rate. While there are plenty of vegan recipes out there for vegans to follow, there are also plenty that we want to take the time to recreate. Grandma’s Babka, mom’s homestyle apple pie… those nostalgic flavors and recipes that we don’t want to let go. This point can also go for anyone making substitutions: celiacs, those with allergies, diabetics, those trying to make it lower in calories.
8. They’re more delicious.
Of course they are.
Speaking of vegan baking, if anyone wants to do some recipe testing for my second book, all gluten-free, vegan, allergen-free cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and bars, please drop me an email. It’s due in a few weeks and I’d love to have a few more testers in the loop!
So tell me: why are vegan baked goods better?