To see my Coconut Oat French Toast, click on the picture:
Why would a meat eating cheese monger such as myself want to make something vegan? Several reason, not the least of which are my friends and family who can’t or wont eat dairy. As meat eaters, it is even more important for us to experiment with vegan and vegetarian food and not hang on the crutch of animal products with the exclusion of other foods. We need to have all types of recipes in our arsenals, not just to accommodate those who might be guest at our tables, but in order to discover foods that we didn’t know we loved, because we didn’t think food with “vegan” labels applied to us. In exploring vegan cooking I have discovered what an amazing texture vegetable shorting lends to frosting, how rich and beautiful coconut milk tastes, and how fruit purees can be a flavorful stand in for butter.
Dairy free baking is something I want to lean towards more. Only using milk products when other substitutions would compromise the overall product, but in many cases vegan substitutions make the end result just as good or even better. Plant based foods just feel better in my body and if the taste of the food isn’t harmed then why would I make any other choice?
I started exploring dairy free cooking when three friends where coming over for dinner. One was kosher (meat and dairy can not be served together) one was allergic to cow’s milk and the other was breast-feeding a baby who couldn’t have dairy. All three needed a dairy free meal. I realized how much dairy I use. Why? I love plants, produce, vegetables, fruit…why all the milk?
These brownies where really good. Not just “good for vegan” but just really good. So fudgy and intensely chocolatey, even Tater couldn’t keep her little fingers off them.
She took a bite and then carefully put it right back where I had place it. So cute, I love that kid.
Chocolate Coconut Vegan Brownies
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk (can sub coconut milk)
1/3 cup strong coffee*
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 tsp salt
In a bowl, beat together the coconut oil and the agave nectar until well combined. Add the soy milk and coffee and beat again. in a separate bowl, add the cocoa powder, flour, shredded coconut and salt and stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined, don’t over mix.
Spray a 8×8 inch baking dish with cooking spray (or line with parchment paper) and pour bater into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes. You don’t want to overcook these or they will be too dry. Allow to cool before cutting into.
For an extra treat, serve warm topped with coconut milk ice cream.
*Note: Coffee intensifies the flavor of chocolate, with no trace of a coffee taste. If you don’t like coffee, or don’t have a coffee maker, stop by a Starbucks and order a black coffee, use 1/3 of a cup and freeze the rest in ice cube trays for use in future chocolate baking.