Recently, I mentioned that Cody and I dropped animal products from our diet and didn't say much about it (besides appreciating the vegan donuts at PV donuts). Well, in case you were wondering, here's more about it along with my first attempt at making a vegan treat!
In early July, Cody and I made the mistake of watching the Netflix documentary, What the Health?. I say "made the mistake of" because I did not realize it was an eye opening doc that exposes the food industry for the snake that it really is. We watched it and well, we were kind of annoyed.
Now, it's not a "SAVE THE ANIMALS BY WATCHING ANIMALS DIE!" documentary. It's not about that at all. It focuses on how bad animal products are for us to consume and how bizarre the food industry is (for example, have you ever wondered why a beef company is the leading sponsor of the Heart Disease Association? Hmm...) and how it has kind of brainwashed us into thinking we need to consume animal products - meat, milk, cheese, etc.
Now, don't worry, the one thing I hate is when people get preachy so I am not going to fill this blog post with more of the above. If you want to learn more, watch the documentary. It's really well done! I learned a lot and though I am sure not all of it is 100% accurate, Cody and I decided to challenge ourselves and for 2 weeks essentially become vegans.
How did we do? Cody lasted 4 days. I, however, am STILL going strong!! I lasted the two 2 weeks and then some and since I surprisingly didn't find myself missing anything (though I do love me some cheese and ice cream), I decided to stick with it.
I have always heard dairy products can make stomach issues worse and skin issues worse and Lord knows I already have enough of both of that so I'm curious to see how eating a plant-based diet will help with that. So far, I don't know much about the skin and stomach stuff but overall I've felt really good. I noticed when I work out, I have more energy and don't hate it 30min in. I still enjoy myself for the entire hour and even though I'm tired, sweating, and guzzling water, I am not feeling like crap and wanting it to be over.
All that being said, what am I supposed to do about my sweet tooth?? Time to try my hand baking vegan! So I figured I'd start safe. Muffins are pretty easy to turn vegan as they usually require oil over butter. For this, I just substituted applesauce for the egg and bought vegan chocolate chips.
These come together so easily (in one bowl!) and bake up so perfectly. They're soft, moist, and really let the cherries shine. I do love me some cherries no matter how tricky they can be to eat!
I promise you'll take one bite of these and you won't even miss the dairy. The vegan friendly chocolate chips I found are pretty darn yummy and taste exactly the same as Nestle's semi-sweet chips. It makes leaving out the dairy products a breeze!
The recipe below bakes about 6 large muffins but this recipe can easily doubled for a bigger batch! Trust me, you're gonna want a bigger batch!
Cherry Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from Green Scheme
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin tin with paper liners (or spray really well with cooking spray)
- Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl
- Add vanilla, milk, coconut oil, and applesauce and mix until combined
- Gently fold cherries and chocolate chips into batter
- Spoon mixture into muffin tin/liners and bake in oven for 20-25min (or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and muffins have started to turn golden brown on top)
- Let cool completely and dig in!