By Andrea Dana
What is veganism?
Being a vegan means that you do not eat meat, dairy, or anything that comes from an animal’s body.
Benefits of being a vegan:
-Dairy products and meats contain a large supply of saturated fats. By reducing the amount of saturated fats consumed, it will improve a person’s cardiovascular health.
-Can prevent heart attacks and strokes.
-Women who eat very little meat and animal products have a lower rate of breast cancer than do the women that consume more animal products.
-Following a healthy vegan diet can create more energy and positive feelings.
-Vegan foods are typically lower in calories.
Cons of being a vegan:
-Vegans tend to lack zinc and iron. However, there are vitamin supplements that vegans can take to make up for the vitamin deficiency.
-It is difficult to find food to order at restaurants.
In comparing dairy versus vegan, your typical brownie recipe is provided, as well as a recipe for vegan brownies, to compare and contrast the contents of the two.
Regular Dairy Brownies
6 oz. unsweetened baking Chocolate squares
1 cup salted butter, softened
4 large eggs
2 cups white sugar
2 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (6 oz.) semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1.Melt unsweetened baking chocolate and butter over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until almost melted. Remove from heat and stir until completely melted. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light yellow in color, approx. 5 minutes. Add sugar and mix thoroughly.
3. Add vanilla and melted chocolate to the egg and sugar mixture. Mix until smooth, then add the flour and mix thoroughly.
4. Pour batter into greased 9″ x 13″ baking pan. 8″ X 8″ pan will work too, but may need to bake longer. Smooth with a spatula. Sprinkles chocolate chips on top.
5. Bake on the center rack at 300* F for 45-55 minutes. A clean toothpick placed in the center of the brownies indicates they are done.
1/2 cup (1 stick) non-dairy butter (such as Earth Balance)
3/4 cup natural cane or granulated sugar
2 large flax eggs (2 tbsp flaxseed + 6 Tbsp water)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
(Optional add-ins:) 1/3 cup walnuts, hazelnuts or chocolate chips
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray 7-8 standard-sized muffin tins with cooking spray. Alternatively, fit each with a paper liner.
2.Prepare flax eggs in a small bowl and let rest for 5 minutes.
3.Place butter in a large mixing bowl and melt in the microwave. Then stir in the flax egg, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Whisk to combine. Lastly, add the flour, then fold in any mix-ins – chocolate chips or walnuts would be excellent here.
4.Scoop batter evenly into 7-8 muffin tins until 3/4 full and bake on the middle rack for 22-26 minutes, or until the brownies start to pull away from the sides and they spring back slightly to the touch. Be careful not to overcook or they will get crumbly. Remove from oven and let rest in the tin for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a plate or cooling rack.
5.Store in an airtight container to keep fresh for a couple days. Freeze for long-term storage.