Thursday night my friend, Jan, and I went to a vegan baking class at Whole Foods. Did you know that Whole Foods offers a whole variety of cooking classes? I discovered this after salivating over my friend, Danielle’s, Asian cooking class pictures and recipes. I thought self, that would be a great activity to do with Jan. Jan is my adventure partner. We are constantly on the look out for things to do. So far we have taken a gun class. There I learned that even after knowing how a gun operates, I’m still not a fan. That’s okay, I don’t live in Texas. After gun class, I asked Jan if we could do other less life threatening activities. I am okay with losing a finger, burning myself, making a fool etc, but I don’t live on the side of danger. She gracefully agreed. After gun class, our next fun day was sewing class at Crafty Planet. That resulted in an adorable tote bag. Then we hit a lull. Finally, I stole the idea from Danielle and we settled on vegan baking.
It was taught by Robin Asbell. She shared with us she has been vegan since the 80’s. Many of her recipes are still being used at co-ops around the Twin Cities because she was the head chef or something, at the Wedge when it was first opening. She has written several cookbooks and is currently working on a gluten free book. This book, Sweet and Easy Vegan is going to be available either later this summer or Fall, I wasn’t really paying attention because the wafting smells coming from the oven distracted my hungry brain. What I did pay attention to was the recipes and their ingredients.
One of my biggest vegan pet peeves is the over use of soy, multiple hard to find ingredients or expensive ingredients. While I appreciate agave, it is expensive, although not as hard to find anymore. You can buy it at Target and the AMISH store. If the Amish are willing to stock it, then it is findable to matter where you are. This book focuses on using real ingredients, real nutrition and easy. I love that all of the recipes we “made”, really it was us watching her make them while she talked through it. Which I was fine with, but if you want a cooking class where you cook, don’t go to Whole Foods classes. There was a sample hour which makes the wait worth it. She doesn’t tell you what type of nut milk to use, the recipes use canola oil or a similar oil. I appreciated this. I like knowing I have the ingredients on hand and not having to make a treasure hunt out of finding the ingredients, only to mess the recipe up, because face it, that happens to all of us.
The recipes can also be made without a lot of fuss. The cookie recipe has 14 ingredients total, one of which is optional. As of writing this the only ingredients I don’t have is the palm sugar or almond extract. Then again, I keep my pantry stocked on bird food essentials. I’m not going to be posting any recipes as they are part of an unpublished cook book. But I will say, when it does become available, flip through it, give it a glance. The recipes we tried were divine, especially the cinnamon crunch bundt cake. And no, no one paid or asked me to say these nice things. I paid for that class. I just really enjoyed it.
An added bonus of the class was it made me realize how much I understand about vegan eating. I really thank the blogging community for the basic understanding and ability. It can seem overwhelming at first but once you learn, you can do it. Sure it won’t be perfection every single time and there will be frustrations. But the satisfaction that comes with it,that is hard to replace. A good place to start if you can’t figure out what you are doing wrong is a cooking class. I learned a lot about combinations of things like why recipes call for a nut milk and vinegar(to help activate the baking soda/powder or something because it needs acid(vinegar) that is not found in nut milk but dairy milk. See, learning. Did I know this before? No, but I do now. I would like to believe my baking will improve.