National Coffee Day – Vegan Version

A variety of medical studies have found that coffee actually has some impressive health benefits. That’s good news for those of us who are going to drink it either way. Today, on National Coffee Day, I thought I would devote a hot minute to a discussion of coffee and, in particular, seasonal vegan coffee beverages.

Now, it is important to note that some of the benefits of coffee on your health disappear if you overindulge, or if your coffee is frequently/always full of fat and sugar. Taking the animal fat out of the equation is helpful, but sugar is still something to keep an eye on. Still, sometimes, you might want coffee that feels a little more like a dessert. And at this time of year, that brings to mind the ever popular PSL (pumpkin spice latte).

If you are in the U.K. and some other locations, you can get the vegan version of the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks this year. In the U.S. that isn’t available yet, but there is no shortage of yummy seasonal drinks! Here are a few examples:

Starbucks
Salted Caramel Mocha Latte – Substitute mocha sauce for caramel sauce, skip the whip, and ask for non-dairy milk
Cinnamon Dolce Latte – Ask for non-dairy milk and skip the sprinkled topping and the whipped cream

Peet’s
Pumpkin Latte – Can be made all vegan, including the whipped cream! What? Truth
Vanilla Cardamom Lattee – Just ask for non-dairy milk (and/or whip) Doesn’t that sound amazing?

Your Local Coffee Shop
Frequently, smaller coffee shops can do some serious seasonal magic, so check in with your local shop and see what they have going on. I bet they can whip you up something seriously amazing. The one nearest me (Groovegound Coffeebar) can make a vegan Pumpkin Spice latte with non-dairy milk and pumpkin spice syrup and a gingerbread latte, along with other seasonally interesting options!

If a PSL is what you really want, and you can’t find a place near you that can make one, Califa, Silk, and Almond Dream all have Pumpkin Spice non-dairy creamers to add to your own coffee or espresso. Throw on a little pumpkin spice (McCormick, Frontier, and other brands make them) and you are ready to go!

Vegan Apple and Cherry Coffee Cakes

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Vegan YumYum gets the credit for this one! I was planning to make little pie bites with crescent rolls, but my grocery order arrived with no crescents (apparently they were completely out… what the heck?). So, off I went in search of a recipe for something else. I found this one, and decided to do one batch as muffins and one batch as a cake, but with slight variations on the original.

They came out deliciously. If you like your coffee cake really sweet, you may want to ramp up the sugar just a bit. Otherwise… here you go!

Ingredients

2 ½ cups flour
1 cup raw or vegan sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (for apple version)
2/3 cup vegan margarine, softened (or canola oil)
2/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond) + 2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice
2 Tbs cornstarch mixed with 1/2 cup water
2 tsp vanilla extract (for apple) or almond extract (for cherry)
1 20 to 25 oz can/jar apple or cherry pie filling
1 Tbs sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon, for topping on apple
1.5 Tbs raw sugar, for topping on cherry

Process

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Combine dry ingredients (except topping). Add liquid ingredients (not the filling) and fold the batter until well combined. It will be pretty thick.

Spread 1/2 of the batter in the bottom of a pie pan, square cake pan, or muffin tins.

Add pie filling evenly over the top.

Spoon the rest of the batter over the top in clumps. It doesn’t need to be connected or smoothed.

Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture or raw sugar.

Bake for 70 to 90 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. If it starts to get too brown before it is fully baked, Vegan YumYum suggests covering it with foil.

Allow to cool and serve.

Vegan Irish Cream Recipe

Bailey’s Irish Cream was something that I missed, particularly around the holidays, since becoming vegan. This year, I decided it was time to change that by making my own. It worked!

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Ingredients

2 cans coconut milk (or 1 can plus 1 equal amount of soy milk)
½ cup sugar
2/3 cup espresso
1 T chocolate syrup
¾ cup Jameson Irish Whiskey (or other brand)

Process

Prepare 2/3 cup espresso and set aside to cool.

Combine coconut milk and sugar in a pan. Gently heat to boiling, stirring frequently or constantly. Reduce heat to a soft boil and continue to cook, stirring very frequently or constantly, for 10-15 minutes, until milk thickens. You want it somewhat thicker than you would like the final version, as you’ll be adding liquid in the next step.

Whisk the espresso, chocolate syrup, and Jameson into the condensed milk.

Pour into glass jars and store in the refrigerator. This will make a little over a quart canning jar.

Enjoy with coffee, over ice, or in recipes.