Vegan Baking Cheat Sheet by Peta

carrot cake, vegan baking, peta cheat sheet, desserts, lemon cheese frosting, soya cheese

Vegan carrot cake with lemon cheese frosting and walnuts – my non-vegan friends didn’t realise this was an egg and dairy free treat!

My vegan diet can make eating out or buying ‘ready made’ a challenge. Health food shops stock an increasing variety of vegan savoury alternatives such as cheese, burgers, mock meat or fish (of every description), pates, spreads and pasties and some superstores now stock their own range of dairy and egg free products (Tesco has the best selection of dairy substitutes at the moment). This is fantastic, but the choice of desserts is distinctly lacking. Biscuits are reasonably easy to come by as some brands of digestive, oat crunch, bourbons and rich tea are suitable as well as certain packs of Oreos. Lotus Caramelised biscuits are  labelled suitable for vegans, but their fabulous biscuit spread isn’t, so requires further scrutiny. Alpro provide a lovely range of long life dessert pots including dark and milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel and mocha – an essential for the stock cupboard. Sainsburys stock vegan Millionaires Shortbread, Tiffin and chocolate caramels in their ‘Free From’ section as well as my absolute favourite treat – Swedish Glace soya ‘ice cream’ in Vanilla and Neapolitan (other flavours are available from Holland and Barrett). Vegan cheesecakes can be found in some superstores or health food shops and of course there’s a much larger choice if you shop online.

What is notable in its absence overall though is cake. Who doesn’t have a soft spot for good old fashioned Victoria sponge, Madeira or cupcakes? Luckily I enjoy cooking, so I bake my own. It’s so easy to find vegan recipes online or in cookbooks, but sometimes it is assumed that because you choose not to eat meat, dairy or eggs, you are a health freak. While this may be the case for some vegans, I am not. Although I am aware of the health implications, I enjoy junk food just as much as the next person. My choice of diet has a moral and ethical basis, which means that I don’t necessarily care for wholemeal, wholewheat, wholegrain, reduced fat and low sugar dishes.  I want chocolately, gooey, sweet, sticky stodge with lashings of cream (Soya of course).

Peta has saved the day by producing The Ultimate Vegan Baking Cheatsheet – which makes it easy to modify any standard non-vegan baking recipe. It gives a variety of egg and dairy replacers linking them to their role played in the recipe. I find baking powder and vinegar an extremely effective leavening agent to replace eggs. So, download or print off the sheet and get baking for yourself or to impress your vegan friends.

Also, check out these surprising egg substitutes:

Make it Possible – Animals Australia

discrimination, animals, factory farming, free range, hen, chicken, kitten, rabbit, dog

I became vegetarian and then vegan after discovering what factory farming was. Having always kept pets, I could never quite get my head around eating cows, sheep, pigs and chickens when I was living with and caring deeply for gerbils, guinea pigs, cats and dogs. Once I looked further into the hidden truths of intensive farming, I never ate an animal again.

My personal choice is not to have an animal die just so that I can have a specific taste in my mouth (after all, animal protein is not a requirement for survival). I cannot think of any other sense (sight, touch or smell) for which the suffering endured by animals in factory farms and the abattoir would be deemed acceptable. I’m not an unrealistic bunny hugger, I realise that the whole world won’t become vegan, though I’d like to think that we will become more compassionate towards animals in the future. I strongly believe that willingness to consume a fellow creature who has unnecessarily suffered and died for you should go hand in hand with respect for it as an individual, living being. As respect requires knowledge, we should all be strong enough to face the reality of where our food comes from. Make an informed choice.

Factory farming is the number one cause of animal cruelty today, can you imagine a world without it?

Animals Australia can.

Let the little winged pig fly into your heart and watch the thought provoking TV advert below (no graphic footage included) and sign the pledge to make possible a world without factory farming:

I could write an entire book on my views about this subject, but for now the rant is over. If you take only one thing from this post, please let it be to think about whats on your plate – remember that your meal was once a living, breathing, feeling animal just like you.

End factory farming – YOU can make it possible.