Over the past few months, I’ve though a lot about what I want this blog to represent and what it might offer to other people. I was initially attracted to eating mostly plant-based foods for both ethical and health reasons. Staying away from meat and other animal products allowed me to forget about where those products were coming from (and how those animals were treated) and make me feel as if I was contributing to the greater good by not supporting industrial factory farms with my money. Eating mostly plant-based meals still makes me feel the best. There’s nothing like the feeling of ending my day full of nutritious greens, legumes, whole grains, and fruit.
However, as I explored and learned more about my local food community over the past year, I found that many of my local ranchers and farmers are producing meat, cheese, and milk in a way that is healthy, humane, and sustainable. The ranches around me keep their cows, chickens, and and lambs on an expansive pasture, where they spend each day grazing on chemical-free grass. They are treated as any being should be: with kindness and respect. My local dairy farm knows that the key to their success is taking proper care of their cows, an ideal I align so closely with. They package their milk in glass bottles that can be refunded for $2, so that they can reuse them. And the beautiful ladies from my local goat cheese farm (goat cheese=life) have told me that their goats live more lavish lives than most people.
And so, while most of my farmer’s market money still ends up in the pockets of local, organic produce farmers, I feel happy to buy a log of goat cheese, a cut of grass-fed beef, and a gallon of whole milk whenever I want to. People aren’t going to stop eating meat or animal products. But, if given the chance to see the impact that supporting humane, local farms can have on animals, the environment, and their local communities, they might be persuaded to support these farms over companies such as Tyson, National Beef, and Cargill.
As I turn my focus to knowing where my food comes from and how it (and the people that produce it) is treated, you might see changes on The Sun and The Spoon. While I won’t be posting recipes for pot roast any time soon, I will be posting more seasonal recipes (and some might even have a little goat cheese thrown in). Part of my goal in doing this is to encourage others to seek out what their local farms have to offer. If you don’t live in Central or Southern Arizona, I would be happy to help you track down your own farmer’s market as well as your local goat farm.
So now that you known how much I love goat cheese (and the goats it comes from) I can profess my love for these super-duper Vegan Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles, which are by far the some of the best
vegan cookies I’ve ever made. Why? Because not only are they wholesome Vegan Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles (100% whole wheat, coconut oil, PUMPKIN), they are soft, moist, sweet, straight up delicious cookies.
The biggest problem I’ve had developing vegan cookie recipes is getting the texture to be just right (a.k.a. not dense, not completely flat, not a rock hard ball of dried dough), but I think I’ve finally found the solution: almond milk (AND NO FLAX EGG). When I realized this, I was kind of mind-boggled. “No flax egg?!” I thought. It was an incredible realization for a girl who thought every vegan baked good needed an egg substitute. But anyways, it works. It creates the most perfect cookie dough that you just know is going to produce the best, most tender cookies once it’s been baked. YUM.
And guess what? I’ve come to realize that non-vegans need to bake vegan cookies once in awhile, too. Sometimes your friend’s vegan husband is coming over and you know how much he loves snickerdoodles, let alone pumpkin. Or your niece just had a baby who’s lactose intolerant and you want to send her some homemade cookies. Or you just want to prove to yourself that vegan cookies can taste as good as those ones your grandmas used to make. So pop a batch of these in the oven, because the dough literally takes 10 minutes to make, you only need one bowl, and everyone will love you even more than they already do.
- ½ cup coconut oil, at room temperature
- ¼ cup cooked, pureed pumpkin
- ½ cup organic brown sugar
- ¼ cup cold, unsweetened almond milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup organic cane sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the coconut oil and pureed pumpkin.
- Once the mixture is smooth, add the brown sugar and beat it with a whisk for about 30 seconds, or until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the cold almond milk and vanilla extract to the bowl and continue to beat for another 30 seconds. The temperature of the almond milk will cause the coconut oil to harden: this is okay!
- Add flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt to the bowl. Mix the dough until everything is smooth and evenly combined.
- In a small bowl, stir the cane sugar and cinnamon together.
- Use a tablespoon to measure each ball of dough.
- Roll each tablespoon of dough into a ball before rolling it in the bowl of cinnamon and sugar to cover the surface of the dough.
- Place each ball of dough 2" apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, depending on how well-done you like them.