Vegan desserts are probably the best way to introduce plant-based food to people who eat a typical unhealthy diet. There are so many amazing plant-based ingredients that can go into a vegan dessert: coconut oil, almond flour, dates, maple syrup, berries, dark chocolate, almonds and other nuts (to name a few!).

 

We’ve collected three vegan holiday desserts and two wintery beverages that will impress anyone. Enjoy these desserts with the added benefit of knowing that you are actually nourishing your body with healthy fats and antioxidants.

 

In addition to being egg and dairy free, the following desserts are also all gluten-free and made with natural sweeteners (instead of white sugar). No guilt!

Decadent Chocolate Torte

with coconut cream

Adapted from Raw Food Real World by Sarma Melngailis and Matthew Kenney.

 

This is the perfect dessert to make when you want to impress someone, especially someone who is skeptical of vegan food. It’s simple and easy to make, but the ingredients are expensive, so it is best to save it for a special occasion. This torte is rich, fudgy, and indulgent, and packs in tons of antioxidants from the raw cacao (unheated cocoa powder) and healthy fat from the coconut oil.

 

Ingredients:

 

Crust:

½ cup raw cacao

1 ½ cups almond flour

¼ cup pure maple syrup

¼ cup melted coconut oil

pinch of sea salt

 

Ganache filling:

2 ¼ cups raw cacao

2 ¼ cups pure maple syrup

1 cup melted coconut oil

 

Coconut cream:

1 can of full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight in the refrigerator

Maple syrup to taste

 

To make the crust:

Mix all ingredients well in a standing mixer, or by hand with a wooden spoon. Press the dough evenly into a 9-inch pie dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator or freezer to chill for at least 1 hour.

 

To make the filling:

Blend the filling ingredients in a blender until smooth. Test to make sure the ganache is not grainy; if it is, continue to blend until smooth. Pour into the chilled crust. Place in the refrigerator to chill and set for at least 3 hours.

 

To make the coconut cream:

Open the chilled can of coconut milk, and scrape off the solid top layer. This is coconut cream. You will have coconut water left at the bottom; you can discard or save this for another purpose. Put the coconut cream in a dish, and whisk in maple syrup to taste.

 

Slice the torte and serve with a dollop of coconut cream. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator (this will melt fairly quickly).

 

Cheesecake

Raw vegan cheesecake is one of the most magical desserts, because it’s almost impossible to figure out what it’s made from if you don’t know. Cashews are the secret ingredient, blended up with a little lemon juice to add the characteristic tangy flavor of cheesecake. This is a simple, easy recipe for no-bake vegan cheesecake:

https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2014/06/26/raw-cheesecake-recipe/.

 

Cranberry Pecan Pie

Adding cranberries to a pecan pie is a genius move. The sharpness of the berries cuts through the sticky sweetness of the pecan filling to create a balanced dessert. Pecans are a good source of magnesium, a mineral that supports relaxation in the body and mind, while cranberries provide vitamin C to support your immune system. This recipe can be found in Sarah Britton’s cookbook My New Roots. Or, just add a handful of fresh cranberries into your favorite vegan pecan pie before baking! Here is another great recipe that would benefit from those cranberries: https://vanillaandbean.com/vegan-bourbon-pecan-pie/.

 

Vegan Holiday Beverages

Enerhealth’s Cocoa Mojo is perfect for making vegan hot cocoa. This mix is sweetened with organic coconut palm sugar, and infused with medicinal mushrooms (which can’t be tasted in the cocoa). It can be made with almond or coconut milk, or any other non-dairy milk you like.

 

 

If you like eggnog, it’s essential to enjoy at least one cup during the holidays. Try this vegan version, using dates as a sweetener and topped with freshly grated nutmeg: http://tasty-yummies.com/vegan-eggnog/.

 

You’ll feel great about indulging in these delicious vegan drinks and desserts. Enjoy!