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November 12, 2015

Plant-based good cheer: Part 1 of 3

Theres a clear trend in contemporary cooking towards plant-based diets, and as the holiday season Unknown-3nears,theres nobetter time toadd some new options to yourparty favorites. Vegetarian guests coming over? Vegan friends hosting a potluck? This is the way you always cook? Youll love this Christmas Cranberry Coffee Cake.

Maybe youve seen the Jazzy Vegetarian on public television. Now in its fifth season, the show was created and is hosted by award-winning chef and author Laura Theodore. Shes spent the past two decades developing recipes and perfecting techniques that demonstrate how easy and delicious vegan cooking can be.

Theodores vegan coffee cake is a true crowd-pleaser. Fresh cranberries are now in season, and this dairy-free cake perfectly balances the tartness of cranberries with the sweetness of orange juice and organic brown sugar.

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She leaves the choice of sugar up to you. Theodore focuses on five kinds of organic sweeteners from Wholesome! because theyre available in many health food stores as well as online cane sugar, powdered sugar, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar and Sucanat. Theyre vegan, as are all Wholesome! sugars. Many people think all sugars are vegan, but some are processed through animal bone char. Wholesome! never uses that process, so you always have delicious vegan options to choose from.

In this recipe, the light brown sugar produces a lighter color with hints of maple overtones. The dark brown sugar would contribute a darker color and deeper flavor, reminiscent of a pudding or rich pie filling. Wholesome! powdered sugar sprinkled on top makes the coffee cake even more irresistible with the mellow toffee flavor retained in the unrefined, unbleached organic sugar.

Theodore has countless tips and ideas for successful vegan cooking. She uses ground golden flax seeds, for instance, to replace eggs (1 Tbs = 1 egg). Or cashew butter can be used to replace dairy cream.

In the coming weeks, look for two more posts featuring great vegan desserts for spreading plant-based holiday cheer. Or you can search the Wholesome! website for more than 100 vegan recipes for entres, sides, desserts and more.

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