Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cruelty-Free Desserts

I definitely have a weakness for sweets.  It seems that I have an entire mouth full of sweet teeth, rather than just the proverbial “sweet tooth.”  Friends have often been amazed at how much ice cream, cookies, or cake I am able to consume. When I became vegan, I was dismayed at the fact that I would no longer be able to indulge in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food or be sent into a food coma after eating a Pizza Cookie at Oregano’s.  However, after thinking about it, what could be more the antithesis of a delightful dessert than considering how the animal products within were procured?  It was enough for me to give up those delectable treats, but of course I had to find replacements.  It is therefore my continuous mission to discover the most delicious vegan desserts. 

I do a lot of baking, and my non-vegan friends and family seem to find everything I make delicious.  I often hear, “You can’t even tell it’s vegan!” or am met with a sense of bewilderment: “No eggs? Milk?  Butter?  But how?”  Not only are these desserts delicious, they are much healthier than their non-vegan counterparts.  My point here is that you should try it before you judge it.  You will probably be pleasantly surprised.  That is not to say that the items I list below are “healthy” or should be eaten all the time.

If you are looking for a great vegan dessert or have the chance to try one, the following is my list of top recommendations.  Some are products you can buy locally, while others are served at specific bakeries and restaurants.  Here are my current top ten, listed in no particular order:

1.       Soy Dreamy Ice Cream – Trader Joe’s
This stuff honestly doesn’t even taste like soy ice cream—it’s that creamy.  The best flavors are Cherry Chocolate Chip and Vanilla Mango.  Just thinking about it makes me want to go buy some right now.

2.       Vegan Cookies – Trader Joe’s
There are a few different flavors, and they are all delicious—chocolate chip, trail mix, and oatmeal chocolate chip.  I usually make sure to bring a bag along on road trips.

3.      So Delicious Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwiches – health food store or grocery store
What can I say?  The miniature size makes them so cute, and with vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry soy ice cream flavors all in one dessert, how can you go wrong?

4.      Purely Decadent Ice Cream Bars – health food store or grocery store
These things are made with coconut milk and sweetened with agave, so there is no cane sugar added.  My favorite is vanilla ice cream coated in chocolate with almonds.  Words cannot explain how delicious they are.

5.      Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes – Sprinkles Cupcakes, Phoenix, AZ and Los Angeles, CA
When I realized I could no longer partake in Sprinkles Cupcakes, I was kind of devastated.  When my roommate presented me with a signature Sprinkles cardboard box on my birthday, I thought she was playing some kind of mean trick.  But lo and behold, Sprinkles offers a vegan cupcake!  If you are lucky enough to live near a Sprinkles, you must try one immediately!  You definitely cannot tell that this cupcake is vegan.  By the way, they also offer a gluten-free cupcake. 

6.      German Chocolate Cake – Herbivore Café, Berkeley, CA
It was just like the chocolate cake my ancestors made, except no animals were harmed to make it.  Right up my alley. 

7.      I am Bliss Chocolate-Hazelnut Cream Torte – Café Gratitude, locations throughout CA
If you are going to this place, you need to have an open mind.  It seemed like our waitress had achieved a state of inner peace.  Also, the dishes all have names that start with “I am…” and they are all fantastic.  After I tried the torte and the homemade soy ice cream sundae I wanted to stand on the table and shout “I am in heaven!” 

8.      Anything from BabyCakes Bakery, New York, NY, Los Angeles, CA, and Walt Disney World Resory, FL
I plan on going to the BabyCakes storefront while I am in New York next weekend.  So far, I have used their cookbook to create some of their treats myself, and ohmygosh.  Seriously good stuff.  Most of it is also gluten free, too. 

9.      Vegan Carob Chocolate Cheesecake – Persian Garden Café, Phoenix, AZ
It was just so good.

10.  Chocolove Cherries & Almonds in 55% Dark – health food store and grocery store
I am definitely a chocoholic.  I recommend this chocolate bar as one that is not overly bitter.  It also contains a love poem inside, usually Shakespeare.  Love it!

Enjoy!  And don't forget to brush your teeth (with cruelty-free toothpaste)!

1 comment:

  1. Come to Portland and your list will quadruple!