Culture-conscious Christmas Crumblies

By Kristen Castillo

October 3, 2019 5 min read

The Christmas holiday is the perfect time for sweet splurges. But often, recipes are prepared with animal products, such as eggs or milk, leaving vegans hungry for delicious desserts of their own.

But an increase in veganism -- one report says the number of self-identified vegans in the U.S. grew from 1% to 6% from 2014 to 2017, representing a 600% increase -- and more curiosity about the lifestyle could mean more and more consumers will want to enjoy vegan desserts this Christmas.

The following vegan treats are healthier than traditional baked goods, and they are packed with flavor and holiday fun.

PROTEIN COOKIE BITES

Serving: 9 small cookie bites

1 mashed small banana

1 tablespoon peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter)

1 packet or scoop (~25 grams) vegan plant protein

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg or your preferred spice

1-3 teaspoons water (adjust depending on how dry the batter is)

Mix together all ingredients. Drop mix onto greased cookie sheet in little balls. Sprinkle seed/nuts/chocolate chips if desired. Bake at 350 F for 11-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before enjoying!

(Recipe from Joanna Weng of EverLife.)

VEGAN LEMON SCONES

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 lemon, zested

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cups full-fat canned coconut milk

LEMON GLAZE

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 lemon, zested

Scones: Preheat oven to 425 F. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and zest of one lemon in a medium bowl. Add the coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix gently until it starts to form a ball and then transfer onto the counter or cutting board. Gently fold to incorporate the rest of the flour, and form into an 8-inch flat disc. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut into eight triangles. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 425 F for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool slightly (about 5 minutes), and drizzle with lemon glaze. Serve warm.

Lemon Glaze: In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until smooth. Drizzle over warm scones.

Note: When you open the coconut milk, do not mix the fat and the coconut water. Scoop out the fat and then add enough of the water at the bottom to make 1 1/2 cups. Do not use low-fat coconut milk; it will make a very tough scone. You can substitute 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened coconut cream.

(Recipe from Marie Fiebach of Feed Your Family Tonight.)

HEALTHY CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

Servings: 9 brownies

1 3/4 cups almond flour

3 tablespoons coconut butter

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup almond or coconut milk

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup coconut sugar

2 tablespoons cacao powder

1 handful vegan dark chocolate chips

1 pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F, and line a rectangular or square baking tray with parchment paper. In a large bowl, add flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, sugar, cacao, salt and chocolate chips. Mix together. In a small bowl, mix together oil, butter and milk. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Your mixture should be soft and sticky, like cake batter. If not, add a little more milk. Transfer to your baking tray, and cook for about 15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, as the brownies will continue to cook for a few minutes after you remove them from the oven.

(Recipe from Katy Malkin of Learner Vegan.)

BAKED PUMPKIN SPICE OATS

4 cups quick oats

4 cups water

1/3 cup chia seeds

4 bananas, sliced

2 Gala apples, sliced and chopped

1 can pumpkin puree

2 teaspoons ginger powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, water, ginger powder, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir in the water, followed by pumpkin puree and banana. Pour contents of mixing bowl into a lasagna tin that's lined with parchment paper. Top the contents of the tin with apple. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 F. Serve hot, and top with raisins and frozen blueberries. The outside of the baked oatmeal should be crispy and orange, and the inside should be gooey.

(Recipe from Doris Zeger.)

Update your holiday menu with these healthy treats. A nutritious spin on holiday favorites will fall right in line with your New Year's resolutions -- without sacrificing an indulgent Christmas season.

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