When I lived with my old roommate, I always envied her and her boyfriend’s (now husband) weekend routine; they would get up early(ish), go on a walk, and buy breakfast treats from a neighborhood bakery. I remember romanticizing this cute tradition and wanting to be part of it…but like with my own boyfriend, not tagging along with them…That would make me look crazy.
Welp, now I’m nearly 3 years into my relationship with The Beast and we still have never adopted this morning routine. It could be because we tend to sleep in on the weekends, or it could be that he never wants to eat breakfast, but I still feel like I’m missing out. Last Saturday I randomly decided we should change this, so I told him we were going to get up early, go on a walk, and get some breakfast baked goods, gosh darn it. The Beast says I’m a bit bossy. I just say I have good ideas.
The night before our walk/breakfast outing I realized I should plan ahead so nothing un-vegan would occur out of carelessness, so I researched vegan-friendly bakeries in our neighborhood. I wanted to go somewhere new and different, so I kept the two nearby organic/vegan-friendly takeout restaurants in the back of my mind as last resorts. I looked for donuts, scones, muffins, ANYTHING, and came up nearly empty handed. I kept reading write-ups about local bakery/donut shops that catered to vegans, and then feeling crushed to find that they closed 2 years ago. Come on Minnesotans, where’s the vegan bakery love?
The morning of our walk, we made the mistake of snoozing our alarms twice and then turning them off completely (whups…). When we finally rolled out of bed at 10:00, I still had no idea where we would find baked goods. I called a bakery 20 minutes away and learned that they did indeed have two vegan scone options, but Ryan didn’t want to venture out that far. I would have been more insistent, but the two vegan scone options didn’t sound too appealing to me; If I’m taking in the calories of a scone, it better be pretty damn amazing.
Desperate for the lovely morning I envisioned, I finally decided to walk to the takeout restaurants we frequent all the time for lunch and dinner. The first one only had vegan brownies and fruit bars which, although I’m sure they were delicious, weren’t quite the breakfast goodness I needed. We walked to the second restaurant and they told me I could buy a vegan granola bar, but that was about it. I asked if I could get a vegan smoothie and the person at the counter replied, “Is yogurt vegan? If so then yes.” Uffda. Come on guys.
Around 11:00 we decided to just take tea and coffee on our walk. It didn’t occur to us as we ordered our hot beverages that the midday sun would be high and the air heavy with heat. Sweating through our clothes, we walked along the path with scorching hot cups in our hands, barely talking apart from a comment every couple minutes about our deathly temperatures.
Needless to say, this morning walk and breakfast didn’t quite match up with the vision in my mind, so the next day I took matters into my own hands.
I woke up Sunday ready to fulfill my baked good craving with a wonderfully buttery and carb-a-licious vegan scone. Since berry season needs to be cherished, these scones are bursting with chopped fresh strawberries in every bite. I used a mix of whole wheat flour and unbleached all-purpose flour to give the scones some fiber while keeping them from being overly wheaty in taste and texture. Almond extract and sliced almonds add depth of flavor as well as a nice slight crunch. The chocolate chips, well…those are just in there cause I couldn’t resist.
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar (vegan friendly if you can find it, otherwise organic cane sugar would work well)
- 8 tablespoons vegan buttery spread, cut into squares and chilled
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds, mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ½ cup chopped fresh strawberries
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup vegan mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine the almond milk and vinegar in a small bowl. Let sit for five minutes.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Use your hands to work in the chilled margarine pieces.
- Add the milk and vinegar mixture, chia seed/water mixture, and almond extract to the wet ingredients. Beat on low until just combined (a few minutes). Use a spatula to gently fold in the strawberries, almonds, and chocolate chips.
- Form the dough into a ball with your hands and turn out onto a floured surface. Pat down and then use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Cut the dough into 8 wedges. Top each wedge with a strawberry slice (optional, but cute).
- Place the wedges on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden on top. Best served warm!
By the time I finished photographing these beauties on Sunday, the window of time for a morning walk had long passed. On Saturday I had the walk, and on Sunday I had the scone, so if we put the weekend together then I totally succeeded, right?