Once upon a time I decided to try a 10 day vegan challenge. Although I’ve always hated the taste of milk, in some ways pre-experiment I considered myself a Dairy Queen. I was a full fledged Greek yogurt and ice cream addict; I entered the challenge afraid I would be miserable without these foods.
After a few days of adjusting and realizing there are delicious non-dairy versions of yogurt and ice cream and even cool-whip, I was fine. And as a result of this experiment, something miraculous happened: I gradually craved dairy products less and less. In fact, after a while, they tasted kind of funky to me.
Another miracle came out of my dabbling with veganism: the IBS that has ailed me for years disappeared. Poof. Gone. Like magic. A thousand trips to GI doctors couldn’t tell me what this experiment did: my body is no good at processing dairy. I don’t know why I didn’t try this earlier, as when I was a kid I couldn’t digest it either and was raised on soymilk and was the weird kid that brought Gen Soy pudding packs to school instead of snack packs. Speaking of those, I need to get back on em. That cute lil panda guy makes the best darn packaged chocolate pudding I’ve ever laid my lips on.
For a few months I had gradually reduced my dairy intake more and more, simply because I wasn’t craving it. Then, when I realized every time I did occasionally eat dairy, my IBS came back in full force, I had even less desire to eat it. eliminate dairy as an experiment.
Additionally, I can honestly say, since switching to a primary vegan diet, I have not once felt sick or tired or gross or like I need to take a nap after eating, no matter what or how much I eat. I am full and satisfied, but also energized; I never get that “omg I need to lay down/why did I eat that” feeling ever anymore. And I can honestly say I don’t miss a darn thing. The whole vegan thing is easier and more accessible than ever and has forced me out of cooking ruts and turned me onto new flavors and products. I’m in a happy place.
Along with vegan cooking and lifestyle came vegan baking. And I must say, every vegan baked good I make or eat isn’t sub-par to any non-vegan dessert. [Also if you live in NYC go check out the vegan desserts at Peacefood O.M.G] It’s been a fun challenge for me adapting recipes and coming up with new ideas. And no more IBS is truly the biggest blessing I’ve ever experienced after years of constant pain and suffering. This is what works for me, so if you want to think I’m weird for it that’s fine. I believe everyone should do what works best for their body and right now, this is what works for me.
You know what else works for me? Cookies for breakfast. Like these Easy Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. They’re vegan and they’re healthy: free of refined flour, sugar, and anything artificial. In fact, they’re only 7 ingredients and are made from whole grains and fruits. A perfect breakfast or snack cookie, they’re sweet but not overly so, and are a good energy boost when you’re on the go or need a study snack. Speaking of study, I should be doing that right now. Sigh.
Chewy, sweet, feel-good cookies that take less than a half hour from start to finish. What could be better? Nothing. Except maybe figuring out my current mess of a life. If anyone has any tips on figuring out adulthood, HMU. Make these cookies today and have sweet nibbles for the next week. You can add whatever other dried fruits you have on hand, and/or nuts. Obviously I added nuts because I’m a nut.
Easy Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 12-15 minutes
makes 20-24 small cookies
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup oatflour (made from pulsing one cup rolled oats in food processor or blender; can also be substituted for whole-wheat flour, regular flour, or additional cup of rolled oats)
- 1 cup pitted dates, soaked in 1/4 cup water
- 1 large ripe banana, mashed
- 3/4 cup almond or soy milk
- 1/2 cup raisins (more if desired)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- dash salt
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a small bowl, soak dates in water until soft, at least 10 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, combine rolled oats and oat flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. If making oat flour, pulse 1 cup oats in food processor or blender until a fine powder forms.
4. Place dates in a food processor or blender with water. Grind until a smooth paste forms. Add to bowl with oat mixture.
5. Mash banana and add to bowl. Add almond milk and raisins and nuts if desired. Mix well until a cookie dough forms. Scoop 1-tablespoon balls of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet spaced at least one inch apart.
6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden, fragrant, and hollow if tapped. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
7. Enjoy as a delightful breakfast, snack, or quick energy boost. I really like these as study snacks. :-). ENJOY!