The Vegan Thanksgiving, Part 2: But what about dessert?

Little secret? You don't always have to cook.

As a vegan, it's important to be conscious of one’s health, simply because a large part of one’s (let’s face it) natural diet is being omitted. Therefore, raw or dried foods is often the way to go, anyway, to ensure that one gets all the nutrients one needs.

Now, I’m not saying that vegan baking is difficult or should be avoided. Heck, no. I’m simply proposing that, if you’re new to the vegan baking game and are unsure about how to approach some of these questions… you make stuffed dates, instead. Like this:

1 lb dried dates

2 tubs Tofutti dairy-free cream cheese

1 bag fresh mint leaves

“Omg, seriously, that’s all I need?” Yep, that’s all you need. No questions asked.

But there’s an important issue that we need to discuss, and that is the origin and quality of your dates. (Not those dates! Well…yeah, those, too.) In my experience, Jordan dates are far superior to California dates. I’ve rarely come across a California date that I didn’t think was dry and chewy. This may not always be the case; it’s just what I’ve experienced. I tend to spring for the Jordans, and recommend that, for the sake of succulence, you do the same.

You should also:

Use a paring knife to pit the dates. Soften the cream cheese in a small mixing bowl with a fork. Spoon it into the empty dates. Rinse the mint leaves and lay them gently on top, one leaf to one date. And, although it may be hard to resist, don’t eat too many before they’re served.

Doesn’t that feel better? Don’t you feel like you relieved some of the pressure of satisfying your vegan’s sweet tooth? I made these for Thanksgiving last year, and they were gone in ten minutes. Another plus: they can be served as an appetizer, freeing up some menu space for the vegan almond-raspberry thumbprint cookies I’m going to teach you how to make next.

desserts are perhaps the most daunting undertaking of any new- or non-vegan, inspiring such questions as…

What should I use to replace eggs/milk/butter?

Can I bake for the same amount of time?

How do I make cookies that don’t taste like cardboard?

How do I know if my sugar is vegan?

I hear that some flour has bone in it. Truth or fiction?

Well, dearies, I don’t presume to have all the answers, but as both the maker and eater of countless vegan treats, I do know that there are ways to get around many of these questions.

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