Vegan Holiday Sugar Cookies

Vegan Holiday Sugar Cookies

Nothing is as special to the holidays as the love of baking and giving. Decorating cookies brings merriment to the season. 

Ingredients for cookies

4.5 Cups of All Purpose Flour

4 tsp. of baking powder

1 tsp. of salt

16 ounces or two packages of Miyoko’s butter (https://miyokos.com/collections/vegan-butter)Available at Whole Foods, Amazon.com, and Trader Joe’s

2 cups of Wholesome Organic sugar – (http://shop.wholesomesweet.com/Organic-Cane-Sugar/p/WHSM-406004&c=Wholesome@GranulatedSugar)Available at Whole Foods, and Amazon.com

2 tablespoons of Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer mixed with 4 tablespoons of water. Let sit for 1 minute before adding to other ingredients. (https://www.bobsredmill.com/gluten-free-vegan-egg-replacer.html)Available at Whole Foods, and Amazon.com

½ cup almond milk

½ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions for cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Blend the butter and sugar.

Add egg replacer, almond milk, and vanilla.

Then add the dry ingredients, ½ cup at a time, until incorporated. 

Wrap up dough in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for approximately an hour to overnight.

Then lightly flour parchment paper and place a portion of the sugar cookie dough. 

Flour a rolling pin and roll out sugar cookie dough to approximately ¼ inch thick.

Use cookie cutter to cut out the shape of the cookie. 

Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Place cookies on greased baking sheet, approximately 2 inches apart.

Depending on the size of the cookie, bake 10 to 14 minutes. 

Let sit for one minute on baking pan, then place cookies on baking racks to cool.

Icing for Sugar Cookies

In a large bowl blend all the ingredients together. If icing is too thick add more corn syrup.

Create

Separate icing in bowls and use different food coloring and mix to the desired result. Dip, pipe, or brush on the icing, then decorate with Fancy Sprinkles. Life is better with sprinkles! (https://www.fancysprinkles.com/collections/vegan)

Happy Holidays to you and yours. 

Sending you love and light.

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A Vegan States, “Moo-ve Over Dairy Milk, Non-Dairy Milks are on the Rise.”

Picture that beautiful Holstein grazing in the pasture. Now wake up! That is what the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) wants one to believe. Nevertheless, in reality, dairy cows stand in feces all day, are breed over and over, and their calves are taken away from them immediately after birth. 

A cow’s milk is produced to feed a calf. “Milk is the perfect food – for calves,” states Marion Nestle, a nutritionist who studies food and public health. The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) spends billions to tell the consumer how nutritional milk is for the human body. However, milk contains 87 percent water. The remaining 13 percent is fat. That fat contains the protein and carbohydrates that the IDFA promotes. 

The appeal of milk has soured, and what is causing humans to drink less milk? During the 1970s, the average American consumed approximately 30 gallons of milk per year. Today, the consumption of milk has dropped to 18 gallons annually. People are drinking alternative milk because of the options; many choose to drink non-dairy alternatives for their health and most substitute cow’s milk for fewer calories. Soy milk comes the closest to containing the same ingredients as milk. Nevertheless, soy milk does not contain casein. Casein is a carcinogen in dairy milk. T. Collin Campbell’s China study opened the world’s eyes to the milk protein casein. He discovered that he could turn on and off liver cancer by the amount of casein consumed.                   

The table below shows the alternatives for dairy milk. The list does not include a description of milk choices sold as combinations. For instance, one can purchase hazelnut/pistachio milk. One can visualize all the different options, and it becomes clear why the dairy industry is struggling. More consumers are making the switch to alternative milk as they find that the taste is not only refreshing but better for them. Not only have consumers switched from drinking dairy milk to other substitutes but the largest coffee chain, Starbucks, has added almond milk and coconut milk as a beverage choice. Here is a list of a few of the many alternatives to milk.

Almond MilkRice MilkSoy Milk
Hazelnut MilkCoconut MilkPistachio Milk
Hemp MilkCashew MilkFlax Milk
Oat Milk7-Grain MilkSunflower Milk

Milk alternatives are gaining momentum. In the future, there will be a day when one’s children and grandchildren will ask about the time when people drank milk from another animal and wonder why.

Tip: Delicious and refreshing homemade almond milk recipe.

Add agave nectar for a little sweetness.

Happy healthy eating!  Sending you love and light. 

Vegan White Chocolate Tree with Macadamia Nut Cookies

These white chocolate cookies are vegan friendly. Makes approximately 30 large cookies.

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour 

1 tsp. of baking soda

1/4 tsp. of salt

1 cup of organic light brown sugar

1/2 cup vegan friendly white sugar (Wholesome Organic Sugar)

8 ounces of Miyoko’s butter at room temperature (https://miyokos.com/collections/vegan-butter) Do not use Earth Balance Vegan butter which has pungent aftertaste, even in baking.

2 tablespoons of Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer mixed with 4 tablespoons of water. Let sit for 1 minute before adding to other ingredients. (https://www.bobsredmill.com/gluten-free-vegan-egg-replacer.html)

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 cup of chopped macadamia nuts

3/4 cup of vegan white chocolate chips (Pascha Organic Rice Milk Chocolate, https://paschachocolate.com/products/white-rice-milk-chocolate-chips).

Decoration of Tree Ingredients

1 cup of Pascha Vegan White Chocolate chips 

1/2 tsp. of coconut oil 

Mr. Sprinkles Rainbow sprinkles or other vegan sprinkles (https://www.mr-sprinkles.com)

Green food coloring – I used powder food coloring when working with chocolate. 

Piping bag with number 2 tip 

Directions for cookies

Preheat oven to 356 degrees

Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. 

Using blender mix Miyoko’s butter and both sugars until grainy. Add egg replacer and vanilla extract and blend until incorporated thoroughly.

Add flour and blend on low until combined.

Stir in gently chocolate chips and the macadamia nuts to mixture. 

DO NOT grease cookie sheet. Place rounded tablespoon of dough on cookie sheet approximately 2 inches apart. Bake 14 minutes. 

Let sit a minute then transfer cookies to cooling rack. Refrigerate cookies before decorating. 

Decorating Cookies

In microwave safe bowl, place white chocolate, coconut oil, and green food coloring. Microwave for 20 seconds and stir for 3 minutes. Then microwave another 20 seconds and stir for 3 minutes. Keep microwaving in 15 to 20 second intervals and stirring until all chips are melted but careful not to burn.

Place chocolate in piping bag with small tip. Here is a video on how to make an easy tree. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlaM7nmDXsY.  You can experiment. As soon as you make your tree on the cookie, then top with sprinkles immediately. Chocolate will harden quickly. Enjoy and don’t forget to share.

Happy Holidays! Sending you love and light.

A Vegan Says, “Oh-No!” to LDL Cholesterol.

The heart is the force of life. If one places their hand on one’s chest, one can feel the heart at work. Over one’s lifetime, the heart will beat three billion times.  Malfunctions of the heart kill more people than cancer or any other illness in America. Heart disease has been the number one cause of death for almost 100 years. The condition does not recognize race or gender, and all can be affected.

Heart disease is also referred to as coronary heart disease. Coronary disease is the chief cause of heart problems that can result in a heart attack. The body manufactures cholesterol on its own. Nonetheless, when one consumes animal-based foods, one is adding poor cholesterol to the body. The poor cholesterol triggers one’s body to manufacture good cholesterol to counter the plaque build-up. At some point, the battle is overthrown by one’s eating habits, and the bad cholesterol wins with a higher concentration. There are two forms of cholesterol, one of them being high-density lipoprotein, or HDL. HDL is good cholesterol. HDL protects the arteries by keeping them clear of plaque. The second form of cholesterol is the low-density lipoprotein that builds up on the walls of one’s arteries. The buildup of LDL can cause arteries to narrow, which prevents the flow of blood. Blood is essential, as it carries oxygen to the organs.

Cholesterol is essential for human cells to function correctly. It contributes to the density of the cells and keeps them from falling apart. The following body components are made up of cholesterol:

•   Estrogen – the hormone responsible for the evolution of female characteristics and reproduction.

•   Testosterone – the hormone responsible for the evolution of male characteristics.

•   Progesterone – the hormone that prepares the uterus for pregnancy.

•   Cortisol – an anti-inflammatory stress hormone

•   Aldosterone – regulates salt balance.

•   Vitamin D – found in the liver and responsible for absorbing calcium.

•   Bile – required for fat and vitamin absorption.

•   Brain synapses – neurotransmitter exchange.

•   Myelin sheath – insulates nerve cells.

The human body makes good cholesterol. All animal products eaten contain cholesterol that the human body does not need. Certain animal foods are unusually high in cholesterol, and these include liver, egg yolks, dairy fats, glandular organ meats, and brain. The liver is where the body makes cholesterol. Eggs and milk contain more cholesterol which is necessary for baby chicks and calves to grow. Glandular meats like the kidney and pancreas are abundant with high cholesterol because they are responsible for building hormones. Finally, the brain is high in cholesterol to insulate the electrical circuits.

Plants do contain cholesterol, but it is different from animal cholesterol. Our bodies are like kryptonite to plant cholesterol. Plant cholesterol goes through our body and is disposed of through one’s waste. Plant cholesterol is called phytosterols. The take away from all of the above is that animal products eaten are not healthy for the human body because of the LDL cholesterol. Whereas cholesterol from plants cannot be digested, and thus cannot harm the human body. 

Happy healthy eating! Sending you love and light.

A Vegan’s Childhood Memories

An examination of my past unlocked the beliefs I hold today. It all began when my father decided to buy a ranch when I was in grade school. The farm became a hobby for him and a place where he could dig fence posts while designing roads and creating a mini-town. The land prevailed as his blank canvas, a place where he could develop outside of his office.

My family called the place the farm. Humans did not live on the land. The occupants were several barn cats and hundreds of cattle. My father began raising Angus cattle; then he moved on to breeding Simmental cattle. He held a love for all animals to a point. Nevertheless, he did not realize the connection between animals and food on our plates. 

I often went with my father to the farm to feed the animals. I would climb up on the fence post as he called these magnificent creatures from the pasture to come to dinner I can still hear his voice calling the cattle in a song voice repeating the words, “Hey cattle, come on cattle.”

The cows would walk swiftly to the trough of grain as they were eagerly anticipating their treats. As I watched the cattle, I noticed their different personalities. Like people, their personalities ranged from shy, friendly, brave or skittish and a mixture of characteristics. The babies prevailed as courageous and often held an intense curiosity. Of all the cattle, Jethro the Angus bull was my favorite. Jethro weighed over a ton, and his gentle disposition juxtaposed his appearance. I remember walking up to the fence where he would greet me and let me rub his curly head right above his eyes. He prevailed as a sweet-tempered creature. The barn cats loved him. Jethro laid in the pen while the cats would rub underneath his giant head. Both derived great pleasure from each other. Dad let him live out his life and never sent him to the slaughterhouse. It stood as an example that a big bull’s life existed as worth saving and not eating. 

The animals left a tremendous effect on me later in life. They set forth a message of compassion that reached me many years later. As an animal lover, I finally connected the dots. 

Sending you love and light!

A Vegan’s Giving Tuesday

PETA rocks my world! A dear friend lives in a part of Texas where the good ol’ boy rules (happens to occur in most of the state). Anyway, my friend had complained and complained to the Sheriff’s Department and the SPCA about the way these people were abusing their dogs. The Sheriff and the SPCA would do nothing!!! Occasionally, one of the 30 dogs managed to escape and run to my friend’s home. She would take the dog to a veterinarian because they were always sick, and then find the dog a furever home. These neighbors existed as unstable (long story for another time), and my friend feared if she stirred up trouble that they might cause her harm. Finally, she couldn’t take the animals starvation any longer, and she asked me to call PETA. I did, and within five days all the 30 dogs and several cats were rescued. PETA is my hero! PETA gets tough and will fight for those that can’t speak. I won’t tell you my friend’s name or where she lives for her safety. Inner peace exists in the knowledge that 40 animals will sleep better and eat tonight because of PETA. Thank you, PETA!  

Please, give what you can to help those that cannot speak. There are many animal rescues where your dollars can help and here are a few below. I am sending you love and light.

PETA

https://support.peta.org/page/1828/donate/1?locale=en-US

Mercy for Animals

https://give.mercyforanimals.org/page/7324/donate/1?ea.tracking.id=DAA01A

Lone Star Bulldog Rescue

http://dfwbulldogrescue.org/donate/

The Gentle Barn

https://www.gentlebarn.org