Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Appropriately veganesque

Veganism is something I kind of shy away from. If you know me, you are well aware of my borderline sanity-threatening obsession with cheese. I am simply not willing to give that up. We can peacefully coexist, veganism and I, it’s just not my cup of proverbial tea, much like socks with individual toes or cutting the crusts off sandwiches.

I used to live with a girl who worked at our local food co-op, and as such, her diet became appropriately veganesque. She would regularly bring home tofu, nutritional yeast, and the like. For the most part I was game to try everything; I came around to my own occasional green smoothie, I came to love kombucha. I never did get within less than a few feet of nutritional yeast.

My point is, while I’ll likely never crossover into a land of no cheese, or bacon, or anything worth its culinary salt (I kid, I kid) I certainly don’t discount the possibility that vegan and good can exist in the same sentence. It can happen, and it does happen. And actually, I’ve done it:

These vegan cookies are damn good.

The thought of cookies without butter, eggs, or flour seems a bit like baking blasphemy at first, I know. But somehow, these little guys pull it off. Bananas and olive oil serve as the liquid and fat, respectively. There are nuts, and chocolate, which always help. I don’t exactly know how the rest all works, but I don’t really care. I’ve made these twice already, have fed them to precisely zero vegans, and everyone loves them.

See? You shouldn’t judge a cookie recipe by its dietary life decisions. Try it if you don’t believe me. (These also, as an added bonus, take barely twenty minutes to throw together.) My old roommate would be proud.

Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 - 7 ounces dark chocolate chips or carob chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third.

In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and olive oil. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

The dough will be a bit looser than a normal cookie dough, don’t be alarmed. This is perhaps the only setback to not having butter and flour. Drop two-teaspoon-sized balls of dough an inch apart onto a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes, making sure that the bottoms get nice and brown but just shy of burning. (If you don’t let these bake long enough, they will fall apart on you.)

No comments: