Easy Vegan Desserts

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In “The Easy Vegan,” vegan chef Janet Hudson shows how to use easy-to-find fresh ingredients, dairy and meat substitutes, and common pantry staples to create easy everyday recipes low in cholesterol and fat as well as high in important antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These appetizers, dinners and desserts make for healthy, satisfying animal-product-free feasts for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.  
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Turn a yam into a tasty, healthy dessert with this vegan Sweet Potato Pecan Pie Recipe.

Whether you’re a practicing vegan or a meat-eater looking to improve your health, The Easy Vegan: Over 440 Delicious Recipes and Menus for Every Day of the Year (Hampton Roads Publishing, 2012) offers hundreds of recipes to reinvigorate your everyday meals. With more than 440 recipes ranging from appealing appetizers to delicious desserts, Janet Hudson’s The Easy Vegan takes a healthy approach to some of the most common dishes. In the following excerpt, Hudson shares three recipes for vegan desserts — a polenta pound cake, a sweet potato pie with pecan topping and a versatile whole-wheat pie crust recipe that you can use for just about any kind of pie.

Buy this book in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: The Easy Vegan: Over 440 Delicious Recipes and Menus for Every Day of the Year.

Polenta Pound Cake Recipe

Serves 8 plus

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup vegetable margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup raw sugar
3/4 cup tofu
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of almond extract
Dash of sea salt
egg replacer for 5 eggs
powdered sugar 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5 inch baking dish or loaf pan and dust with flour. Mix the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the margarine and sugars until combined. Add the tofu, salt, and extracts. Add the egg replacer and mix well. Now add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes then invert and give it a blast of powdered sugar.

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie Recipe

Serves 8

1 Gourmet Whole-Wheat Pie Crust (recipe follows)
3 cups sweet potatoes, skins removed, cooked and mashed
1/2 cup almond milk
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup chopped pecans
non-dairy whipped topping 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pre-bake the pie shell 10 minutes. Mix the sweet potatoes with the milk and syrup. Combine the cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt; stir together and then continue blending with mixer until smooth. Cut in the pecans. Place the mixture in the pie shell. Bake for 1 hour.

Cool and garnish with the non-dairy topping.

Gourmet Whole-Wheat Pie Crust Recipe

Makes 1 double 10-inch crust or 2 single crusts

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup white cornmeal
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup vegetable margarine, melted
1/2 cup ice water

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the margarine and mix in well. Add the water and mix to a dough. Divide in half and form into two balls using your hands. Roll out on wax paper and transfer to an oiled pie pan/s.

Crimp the edges and, if you are placing one of the shells over a filling, aerate the top of shell 2-3 times with fork. Bake the piecrusts at 350°F until browned, about 10 minutes.

Read more: Find more of Janet Hudson’s tips for simple vegan cooking in Easy Vegan Soup Recipes, Easy Vegan Dinner Recipes and Easy Vegan Side Dish: Scalloped Rutabagas.

This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from The Easy Vegan: Over 440 Delicious Recipes and Menus for Every Day of the Year by Janet Hudson and published Hampton Roads Publishing, 2012. Buy this book from our store: The Easy Vegan: Over 440 Delicious Recipes and Menus for Every Day of the Year.