We wrote about the good reasons to try Veganuary in January, what were your reasons? How did it go? Ludo took it as an occasion to try to veganise her favourite desserts. Making plant-based desserts like cheesecake and tiramisu. She also wanted to get better at using spices and herbs. Have you tried to make any particular recipe yourself?
Some of the vegan tiramisu and cheesecake recipes contain cashews due to their creamy texture when blended. Although, cashews are not good either for their carbon footprint or for the ways are sourced. This particular ingredient in fact is not very ethical. Cashews are also known as “Blood cashews” (similar to the idea of “blood diamonds”). Read more about it in this article in the Guardian. It’s good to look for certified fair-trade products, like the ones from the Rainforest Alliance or the fairtrade foundation.
So, Ludo looked for recipes which didn’t include this ingredient.
Vegan Tiramisu recipe by Vegan on board
Vegan Cheesecake recipe by Chocolate Covered Katie
Think about alternatives for your plant-based desserts
For plant-based desserts in general, if you can’t find vegan cream cheese you can replace it with silken tofu. There are lots of questions marks as well surrounding products derived from soya. Although, if it is grown to feed humans rather than livestock then it is better already of course, just opt for the organic version. Whereas instead of some vegan yoghurts you can choose an oat-based yoghurt. This has a smaller carbon footprint than other non-dairy products. Ludo used the plant-based yoghurt made by Oatly.
If you are nut or gluten intolerant you can use this version for the crust: 200g porridge oats (gluten-free), 75g maple / date syrup (you can even blend dates together like in the original recipe), 4 tbsp coconut oil (melted), 2 tsp baking powder.
Other crust recipes suggest using refined cane sugar or vegan margarine but it’s always better to use whole foods and or products that are refined as little as possible.
If you are looking for sugar substitutes then this article by Foodprint.org is worth a read.
Another ingredient that you can use in sweet desserts that is not ethically / environmentally friendly is avocado.
This article by BBC Future “Why the vegan diet is not always green” is a good reference point if you want to find out more about this subject.