Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Avocado Cookies

Vegan Avocado and Peanut Butter Cookies from Veggie and the Beast

I’ve had a huge sweet tooth lately. HUGE. Recently I’ve been just going to Pinterest, typing in “Desserts,” and seeing what happens.

Note: I do NOT recommend doing this.

Per usual, my sweet tooth hones in on two things: chocolate and peanut butter. I don’t even care what the context is; if the party includes chocolate and peanut butter, I’m there.

Vegan Avocado and Peanut Butter Cookies from Veggie and the Beast

Take these cookies, for instance, which were the result of a few rounds of kitchen experimentation and dumb luck. I’ve been wanting to make vegan cookies for a while, but felt a bit intimidated by the idea, because there are many things to consider. To help you navigate vegan baking, here are the usual non-vegan ingredients, and their vegan solutions.

  • Butter: Since butter is a dairy product, it’s clearly not vegan. Vegan cookies require a different source of fat and moisture. Solution: Earth Balance (or other buttery spread) and avocado*.
  • Sugar: White sugar is often not vegan-friendly, because many US cane sugar refineries use animal bone char in the manufacturing process. Solution: Sucanat (stands for Sugar Cane Natural) is a great substitute for white sugar. It is a bit sweeter than regular sugar, so in these cookies I added extra salt to balance out the sweetness.
  • Eggs: In non-vegan cookies, eggs bind the ingredients, add moisture, and add some leavening. Solution: Flax eggs for moisture and binding, and a touch of baking powder to help the cookies rise.
  • Chocolate chips: Most chocolate chips are made with milk or non-vegan sugar. Solution: Buy vegan chocolate chips! Simple.

*After using avocado as a partial butter substitute for cookies last year, I knew it could do the job, but you’re probably looking at me like I’m a crazy person right now, so let’s break it down. Most importantly, these cookies do NOT taste like avocado. The avocado simply takes the place of half the butter/margarine, adds good fats, and fills the cookies with moisture and richness.

Vegan Avocado and Peanut Butter Cookies from Veggie and the Beast

Now that we’re done with all the explanations, let’s get to the good stuff; I love a fat cookie, and these fit the bill. They’re super soft, thick, fluffy, cakey, packed with dark chocolate and peanut butter. Prrrrrfection.

I suspect that these cookies can make a believer out of anyone who is wary of vegan baked goods. The Beast, my very non-vegan coworkers, and The Beast’s mom all devoured these cookies, despite their vegan-ness. Whether you are vegan, have a friend who is vegan, or just want a slightly healthier option for your dessert cravings, you must, MUST try these.

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Creamy Veggie-Stuffed Enchiladas with Spanish Quinoa

Cheese and Veggie Enchilada10

I’ve been having some intense cravings lately. Before you start in on the “you must be pregnant” jokes (which are ALWAYS funny, btw), let me remind you that it is LATE March and Minnesota has been having high temperatures in the teens. If that’s not an excuse to treat myself to yummy comfort food, then I don’t know what is.

The hardest craving to ignore? Mexican. The salty, cheesy, and rich combinations just hunker down and warm you up, no matter how frigid it may be outdoors.

cheese and veggie-stuffed enchiladas

The blustery weather has resulted in many-a-Mexican meal for The Beast and I as of late. A few weeks ago we made a Mexican casserole, and then many enchilada experiments followed. In my new favorite variation, I keep things healthy and filling with veggies, thick and creamy Greek yogurt, and a ridiculously easy homemade sauce.

Spanish Quinoa | Veggie and the Beast

Little-known fact on enchilada sauce: deciding on a store-bought variety can prove to be a tricky task. The first one we tried tasted metallic and full of chemicals (even though the ingredient label looked only moderately offensive). The second option we bought tasted fine, but included red food coloring, because apparently tomatoes aren’t red enough on their own. Finally I took things into my own hands and made it from scratch, and I will never go back. The sauce comes together in 20 minutes, and it is DEEEELICIOUS.

To make our homemade Mexican even better, we always serve it with the simplest and yummiest side ever: Spanish quinoa. I’ve discussed spanish quinoa before (try not to judge my early-blog photography too harshly), but it would be a shame if it were forgotten or ignored, so I must mention it again today. You’ll thank me.

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