Yummy Desserts – Vegan Style

A delicious dessert is the perfect ending to a wonderful meal. But for adults and children who are lactose intolerant, foods laden with milk, heavy creams and cheese may not be an option. If you have been seeking a yummy treat to serve someone who can’t eat dairy, try some vegan options certain to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Banana Ice Cream

Smooth, sweet and creamy, here’s an ice cream that doesn’t contain an ounce of dairy. Created by “Raw” author Lynelle Scott-Aiken, this dessert requires minimal effort, however you will need to freeze your bananas several hours in advance. It’s often so enjoyable you may want to keep them stocked in your freezer if you are looking for a fast dessert that’s easy to prepare. This dessert also gives you a way to preserve overripe bananas for later use. Serves 4 people.

Ingredients

4 very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
Your Choice of toppings

Preparation

Peel the bananas cut into chunks. Place in a zip-lock bag and freeze. Thirty minutes prior to preparing your dessert remove from the freezer and allow to slightly thaw. Take all of your ingredients and add to a food processor or blender. Pulse until you get your desired consistency. Pulse slightly if you prefer the consistency of hard ice cream or more thoroughly if you enjoy a soft serve or custard texture. Add sprinkles, crushed cookies, nuts, dark chocolate sauce or any other favorite topping.

Vegan “Cheesecake”

Vegan cheesecake is a tempting dairy-free alternative that’s certain to please the fussiest of palates. Made with vegan cream cheese, it’s sure to be a hit with family and friends. Serves 4.

Ingredients

16 Graham crackers, crumbled
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1 tablespoon light Karo syrup
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
16 ounces vegan cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
4 egg substitutes (Ener-G egg replacer is available at most health food stores)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Juice of 1 lemon
Non-dairy chocolate syrup
Fresh berries or berry jam to serve as a topping

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Make your crust by combining the graham crackers, margarine, Karo syrup, and flour in a bowl. Mix and press firmly into a round metal baking pan. Make your filling by combining the vegan cream cheese, sugar, egg substitute, vanilla, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender and pulse until creamy and smooth. Pour into your crust.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until your cake sets. Remove from the oven and let cool. Place the “cheesecake” in your refrigerator and chill overnight. Top with vegan chocolate syrup, fresh berries or jam.

German Chocolate Cake

Vegan German chocolate cake is a decadent dessert that derives its unique flavor from a mix of chocolate, coconut and pecans. From the “Dining with Friends” cookbook distributed by the charity Friends of Animals, below is a recipe simple enough for anyone to recreate in their kitchen.

Cake Ingredients

3 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 cups cold water
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Coconut Pecan Frosting

¾ cup vanilla soy milk
½ cup sugar
7 tablespoons nondairy soy margarine
1 teaspoon coconut extract
4 teaspoons Ener-G Replacer (egg replacer) with 3 tablespoons water
1 1/3 cups shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Preparation

To Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar and salt together. Sift or mix thoroughly with a fork to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed. In a separate bowl mix the water, oil, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk thoroughly until the batter is smooth. Grease and lightly flour either two 9 –inch round cake pans or one 9x13x2 cake pan. Pour batter into the pans and bake for 25-30 minutes. Poke with a toothpick. If toothpick comes out clean, the cake is fully baked.

To Make the Frosting: Place the soymilk, margarine and coconut extract, egg replacer and water in a sauce pan and mix. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until thickened. Remove from heat and add coconut and pecans. Allow to cool until spreadable.

Vegan Apple Crisp

Let the aroma of baked apples waft through your home as you prepare the easy and tasty treat. This apple crisp is a warm and inviting dessert that’s perfect to serve during cooler months.

Apple Filling Ingredients

5-6 apples cut into ¼ slices
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/16 teaspoon cloves
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup water

“Crisp” Ingredients

½ cup oats
½ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/6 cup of canola oil
1 ½ teaspoon soy or almond milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375F. Mix together all filling ingredients except the apples. Place the apples in a metal bread loaf pan and then pour the other ingredients on top. Using a separate bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the crisp. Sprinkle this mixture over the apple filling, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil, bake for an additional 30 minutes and serve alone or with vegan ice cream.

About the Author

A “vegan for life,” Sonia Banfield teaches nursing courses and is a content contributor for education sites. Today, nursing jobs are highly sought after by women thrown back into the work force by a down economy. Sonia feels that give back careers such as medical assistant jobs and nurse jobs are even more important during tough times.

Photo credits: Vegan Berry Cheesecake by Elaine Vigneault/flickr; Vegan German Chocolate Cake by SusanV, the Fatfree Vegan Kitchen.