Vegan Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzels

Sometimes, being vegan means missing out admittedly-unhealthy-but-delicious-nonetheless foods. It seems like every time I go to the mall, the smell of soft, cinnamon-sugar pretzels waft through the air, just tempting me to give in and buy one. I never have, and now that I’ve put together this remarkable treat, I never will have to! I present to you: vegan cinnamon-sugar pretzels! I’ll admit, these things aren’t the same as eating a plate of greens, but they don’t hurt for a treat every once in a while. Better yet, they require very little ingredients and, though they can’t be put together within minutes, the steps are very simple.

First, prepare the ingredients for the pretzel dough. This will require combining active dry yeast with warm water, salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Once the yeast has been activated, the mixture will be bubbly. Begin adding 1 cup of flour at a time to the bowl, mixing each time. Begin kneading it the dough. Once the dough is elastic and smooth, knead for about 5 more minutes.


Next, place the ball of dough in a bowl that has been greased with a small amount of olive oil. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and place in a warm spot for about 1 hour, until the dough has expanded to about twice its original size. Using a knife, cut the dough into 8 separate sections–1 for each pretzel–and begin rolling and twisting the pretzels into their desirable shape.


Now, for the signature “pretzel taste,” bring a pot of water and baking soda to a boil. Place each pretzel in the baking soda bath for about 30 seconds, and then remove from the water. This process is, in my opinion, crucial for making pretzels that brown and harden on the outside, leaving a chewy bread on the inside.


Finally, add a mixture of equal parts sugar and cinnamon atop each pretzel. Sprinkle generously and then move onto a greased baking sheet (parchment paper will not work for these pretzels–the bottom of each pretzel would stick to the paper while baking).


Place baking pan in the oven at 450°F for about 12 minutes, until perfectly browned on the outside.


These pretzels are amazing right out of the oven. They’re sticky, sweet, and reminiscent of a perfect cinnamon roll on a Sunday morning. Enjoy these without the guilt of mall-bought pretzels. They can be customized any way you want to fit your preferences! Or, try cutting the dough into small bite-sized pieces, for tiny pretzel appetizers for a party, event, or night at home. Enjoy!

Vegan Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzels

Yield: 8 pretzels


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 10 cups water (for baking soda bath)
  • 2/3 cups baking soda (for baking soda bath)
  • 3 tablespoons Cinnamon (for topping)
  • 3 tablespoons (for topping)


  1. Combine yeast, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and warm water in a bowl for about 5 minutes, until yeast has activated (the mixture will be bubbly)
  2. Add 1 cup of flour at a time to the mixture at a time, mixing until the dough has combined
  3. Place the dough on a cutting board that has been sprinkled with flour. Knead the dough until it is elastic and smooth, then continue for an additional 5 minutes
  4. Place the dough in a bowl, greased lightly with olive oil, and cover with a damp towel. Place in a warm area for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size
  5. Cut the dough out into 8 separate pieces on a cutting board. Carefully roll each piece of dough, about the width of a cutting board, and then twist into desired pretzel shape
  6. Bring a pot of water and baking soda to a boil. Place each pretzel in the water for 30 seconds
  7. Create a cinnamon-sugar mixture and sprinkle atop each pretzel, then transfer pretzels onto a greased baking sheet
  8. Let pretzels bake in the oven for about 12 minutes in an oven, preheated at 450°F. Watch carefully: the pretzels will be done baking when they are golden-brown on the outside
  9. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes before serving




Fudgy Vegan Avocado Brownies

Senior year of high school is just around the corner… College apps, late nights studying, and significant decisions about my future are all becoming a reality, and I can’t help but feel a mix of emotions as my last week of summer passes. I can’t lie, last year, as a junior, I hardly slept–there were multiple nights where I pulled all-nighters studying for tests and finishing projects and I was under a lot of stress. This summer, cooking with Mark has been an amazing way for me to regain a creative outlet, and it has been especially comforting because it involves plant-based foods, a diet (though so much more than that to me) that I am extremely passionate about embracing and sharing. (We recently got home for a vacation in the mountains with Mark’s family and had a great time–there was lots of time spent in the water, enjoying good food, and playing cards!)


I have been doing a lot of thinking, particularly about how I want to better my lifestyle in the coming year. First of all, getting more sleep is necessary. I don’t plan on being up past 12, at latest, this year, though we will see how long that lasts. Most importantly, however, I want to continue bettering my eating habits. I do a lot of reading about vegan eating and nutrition and what is best for my health. For a long time, I have been very confused about how much fat I should be consuming, because there is a lot of mixed beliefs held by veggie doctors, nutritionists, and bloggers. I have come to realize that as I get older, I can worry about fat more, but as a teenage girl, eating some extra fat is not the worst thing I can do for my health. Though some studies suggest there are heart benefits with extremely low fat diets, it would be silly for me to think that I wouldn’t be missing out on some amazing benefits for my heart, brain, and body by eliminating healthy fats from nuts, seeds, and my favorite… AVOCADO.


This past week, I have been trying out all sorts of back-to-school recipes: crackers, chickpea chicken nuggets, and these delectable, fudgy brownies.

The steps are so simple for these brownies that they will only take about 10 minutes to prepare. Simply use a food processor to blend avocado, 2 “flax eggs” and coco powder.


Then, combine this with some additional ingredients to add taste and texture and spoon out into a brownie pan. (Look at this awesome pan, it allows all of the brownies to have crusted edges!)


Place the brownies in the oven for about 20 minutes, and when they’re cooled off, they’re ready to eat! These guys are best a few minutes out of the oven, where you’ll find that they have maximum fudgy-ness. Seriously, look at that inside!


These brownies are totally guilt-free and delicious. I can’t wait to make another batch of these for my first week of senior year. Nothing says “You will get through this school year” like a homemade vegan treat!


Fudgy Vegan Avocado Brownies


  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal + 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup coco powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare brownie pan with baking spray
  2. Blend avocado, coco powder, and “flax eggs” in a food processor or blender, until creamy. Add more water if necessary
  3. In a bowl, add baking powder, all purpose flour, sugar, and salt
  4. Add avocado and chocolate puree to the dry ingredients. Then, add water and vanilla extract into the bowl and stir all the ingredients together until smooth
  5. Add brownie batter into brownie pan and place into the oven for 20-25 minutes or until cooked all the way through. After baking, remove from oven and let chill for about 5-10 minutes before serving

Vegan Cranberry Chocolate Cowboy Cookies

Cowboy cookies are an instant reminder of childhood with their chewy texture and perfect blend of sweet and salty flavors. Sometimes, you just have to spend a night relaxing, watching movies, and enjoying a batch of warm, right-out-of-the-oven cookies. Tonight was one of those nights.


These cookies are very easy to make and are a hit with everyone. The batter only takes minutes to assemble, filled great ingredients like rolled oats and oat flour and creates a delicious treat that children and adults can all enjoy.


Once the dough is filled with the special ingredients–dried cranberries and chocolate chips–that make these cookies so unique and tasty, they are rolled out into balls on a cookie pan lined with parchment paper and then placed in an oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.


These cookies expand plenty once they are in the oven, so be sure to leave room between each cookie! Once they have been taken out of the oven and left to cool for about 10 minutes, they are ready to serve. The addition of homemade oat flour in this recipe can certainly be replaced with all purpose flour, but it is a major contributor to the taste of these cookies, which have a slightly nutty flavor that compliments the other spices perfectly. Treat yourself to something sweet and enjoy a perfect batch of Cranberry Chocolate Cowboy Cookies!

Cranberry Chocolate Cowboy Cookies


  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water + 3 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer, whisked
  • 1 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup semisweet, dairy free chocolate chips


  1. Combine oat flour, all purpose flour, Earth Balance Buttery Spread, vanilla extract brown sugar, and white sugar in a bowl. Whisk water and Energ-G Egg Replacer until frothy and add to bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, whisk the ingredients together until smooth
  2.  Add baking powder, baking soda, salt and oats into mixture and continue whisking ingredients
  3. Place cranberries and chocolate chips into the mixture, carefully folding them into the batter until well distributed throughout dough
  4. Place 1 inch balls of dough onto 2 separate cookie pans lined with parchment paper, pressing down slightly so that they are somewhat flat and leaving about 1/2 inch of space between each cookie
  5. Place cookies in the oven, preheated at 350°F, for about 20 minutes or until golden brown
  6. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving

Vegan Blueberry Crisp

Confession time. Jenna has never been a blueberry fan. To her, they’re just not as  as vibrant, sweet, or full of flavor the way raspberries and blackberries are. Sure, blueberries are full of antioxidants and nutrients, but they have never been her “go to” fruit. All of this may have changed, however, because of this blueberry crisp.


Deep, colorful, crispy and sweet, this blueberry crisp is a comforting treat that can be made extremely quickly and with ease. It is not filled with any questionable ingredients and it’s perfectly satisfying. What could be better?


This blueberry crisp only requires FOUR ingredients and they’re so basic that it’s likely that you’ll have all of them in the kitchen at all times. The crisp first begins by warming up, softening, and plumping 2 cups of blueberries in a pan of water.


Once this process is finished, the blueberries are tossed in some maple syrup and then placed inside a dish. Next, it is time to make the crisp’s “flaky” crust.


With some oats, maple syrup, and applesauce, the topping is mixed together until the oats are thoroughly coated and are sticking together. After adding the mixture to the top of the crisp, the entire dish is ready to go into the oven.The dish is set within the oven, preheated at 350°F for 20 minutes, until the crust has hardened and the blueberries underneath have begun to bubble.


After this crisp was taken out of the oven and given some time to cool down, we ate the entire thing. The blueberries were sweet but tart and the topping was perfectly crunchy. Overall, it was a definite hit. This crisp would make the perfect breakfast, afternoon snack, or dessert with a side of vegan ice cream!

Vegan Blueberry Crisp


  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (1 tablespoon for berries + 1 tablespoon for oat crust)
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup applesauce


  • Add 1 cup of water with 1 cup of fresh blueberries into a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once the blueberries have turned a deep purple and have began to enlarge, remove from water and set aside. Repeat with second cup of blueberries
  • In a bowl, toss warmed blueberries carefully with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, then add to dish
  • Add maple syrup, oats, and applesauce together in a separate bowl and mix together until crust forms, adding more applesauce or oats as necessary until a thick mixture has been created
  • Place the crust over the blueberries in an even layer
  • Cook the dish in an oven preheated to 350°F for about 20 minutes, or until crust has hardened and blueberries beneath have begun to bubble
  • Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, until warm, before serving

Vegan French Toast Bruschetta

Hello there, Jenna here! As rising seniors in high school, Mark and I are both approaching the scary-but-anticipated college application process. One step of this, of course, is the good-old college road trip. In preparation for my time away from the kitchen, I spent my weekend trying out all sorts of recipes and taking pictures. This, my friends, was honestly the best treat I could have made after hours of cooking.


Say hello to vegan French toast bruschetta.


This little creation is so beautiful and tasty that between my parents, Mark, and I, we polished off 12 pieces within an hour or so. Gooey, sweet, reminiscent of my childhood, and beautiful. (All credit goes to my dad for thinking of this when Mark and I were brainstorming creative food ideas!)


I had never made French toast before, but the recipe that I whipped up was simple and made the process extremely easy, as it is only requires some plain white bread, cut into thin slices as if to make traditional bruschetta, and a batter of almond milk, flaxmeal, maple syrup, tumeric, and cinnamon.


After frying up the French toast on a skillet with a dab of olive oil, I made a delicious fruit topping to replicate the tomatoes found on traditional bruschetta. A chopped up apple tossed in cinnamon and softened over the stove and a handful of fresh blueberries did the trick. After being coated in some maple syrup, this fruit was added right to the top of the French toast.


After sitting in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes, these little beauties were all done. They were just as amazing as I imagined when my dad first suggested their creation. Allowing the flavors to marinate in the oven was the best decision of all, because the maple syrup soaked right into the bread, making these bite sized treats all delectable. Because they turned out much smaller than typical French toast, these treats serve as a great appetizer, or, as I like it, allow you to eat a large amount without feeling too guilty… hehehe 🙂

Vegan French Toast Bruschetta


  • 1 baguette of choice
  • 1/2 cup almond milk 
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (1 tablespoon for French toast batter, 1 tablespoon for fruit topping)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon flaxmeal + 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 apple, fresh
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh


French Toast

  1. Cut baguette into thin slices, about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick each
  2. Create mixture to dip bread into by adding almond milk, maple syrup, turmeric and cinnamon. Set aside flaxmeal and water in a separate bowl for 3-5 minutes and then add into the main mixture when ready. Whisk all ingredients together until smooth
  3. Dip both sides bread into the mixture, allowing the excess liquid to fall back into the bowl before placing on a skillet over medium heat (Unless using a non-stick pan, add a small amount of olive oil onto the pan before cooking)
  4. Allow bread to cook until light-brown on each side, which may take anywhere from 30 seconds to about 1 minute

Fruit Topping and Assembly

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Wash, peel, and slice one apple into about 1/4 inch pieces and coat with a few shakes of cinnamon
  3. In a pan, add apples and about 1/4 cup of water, bringing the water to a boil and constantly stirring the apples until the water evaporates. Continue adding water (for about 10-15 minutes) until apples have softened as desired and no water remains in the pan
  4. Add 1 cup of blueberries and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to cooked apples and carefully mix everything together
  5. Place topping on each slice of French toast and then set in the oven for about 10 minutes to allow the topping to warm up and soak into the bread, while crisping up the edges for maximum deliciousness!

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies


Peanut butter cookies have been Jenna’s favorite type of cookie since she was just a little kid. They’re rich, sweet, and perfect after a long day of school or next to a cool cup of milk. After switching to a vegan diet 3 years ago, her family had to make a few adjustments in order to make perfect peanut butter cookies once again. Once this was accomplished however, there was no looking back.


These cookies are just as tasty as their egg-and-milk-filled cousins but they are suitable for anyone with egg or dairy allergies, or who happen to prefer vegan treats like us. Eating one of these may not be the same as having a salad, but hey, they’re not awfully unhealthy. Therefore, we feel no qualms eating 2 or 3 or 4 of these cookies at one time. 🙂


Classic Peanut Butter Cookies (Makes about 24 cookies)

Adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau 


  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoon water OR 1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer + 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance or other vegan butter spread
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and prepare 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper
  2. In one bowl, add brown sugar, peanut butter, vegan butter, almond milk, and pure vanilla extract. Use a hand mixer until the ingredients have combined
  3. In a small bowl prepare the egg replacer by either combining the flaxseed meal and water for about 5 minutes or whisking together the Ener-G Egg Replacer and water until frothy. Once the binder is ready, add it to the peanut butter mixture
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the all purpose and whole wheat pastry flour, salt, and baking soda and stir until evenly distributed. Then, add these dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture and use the hand mixer to blend everything together
  5. Place the cookie dough on the cookie sheets a couple of inches apart from one another. Use a fork to flatten each ball of dough to create a criss-cross design on each cookie. If desired, dip the fork in sugar before flattening each cookie for an extra sweet touch
  6. Place cookies in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until they are fully cooked and a light brown color

Sweet Date Caramel Popcorn

Oh, dates, our love for you has no bounds. We have discovered something that may just be the best use of dates known to man: date caramel. 


This mixture is full of healthy ingredients and contains no processed sugar. It’s sweet, sticky, and absolutely perfect for making caramel corn. No need for butter or corn syrup — this sauce is decadent and delicious and it still retains an impressive nutritional value, which makes it even tastier!


This snack is so easy to prepare, we made it and ate it all in well under an hour. When it was all finished, it was chewy, sweet, and a little bit salty. All together, it made a great snack that we will definitely make again on a movie night with friends or during a long day of studying.

The best part of all, of course, is that this snack is much, much healthier than “real” caramel corn. First of all, we used plain old popcorn kernels in a hot air popper. No oil, no salt, no weird fake-butter. It turns out that popcorn in this state is actually quite healthy — it is a whole grain, contains polyphenols (hello, antioxidants!), and is made of a hearty amount of fiber for its small size.


The dates that are the base of the caramel are also quite impressive. A chalk full of potassium and magnesium, these sweet little fruits are the perfect ingredient to make a caramel base. The maple syrup that is added to the sauce to gives it a rich, caramel flavor also has its benefits — made up of minerals such as calcium, manganese, and zinc, it aids in immune system efficiency and provides for energy production, among other surprising functions.


Even Jenna’s little corgi, Daisy, was begging for popcorn as we made it! We may or may not have caved and gave her a few pieces… and she may have absolutely adored it!


If you’re interested in changing up your popcorn routine but would like to avoid oil, vegan butter, or other processed ingredients, look no further! This recipe will be sure to satisfy your sweet tooth in the most nutritious way possible!



Sweet Date Caramel Corn (Serves 1-2)

(Vegan, Soy Free, Oil Free)


  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 cup of medjool dates, pitted
  • 5 teaspoons almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 200°F
  2. Pop popcorn kernels with a hot air popper or on the stove
  3. In a blender, combine dates, pure maple syrup, and 3 out of 5 teaspoons of almond milk; as the mixture combines, add the remaining 2 teaspoons of almond milk until the mixture is quite gooey and thick
  4. Spread the caramel evenly across the bottom of an oven-safe pan. Then, slowly add popcorn, applying pressure intermittently to allow the caramel to combine with the popcorn. Once all of the popcorn has been added, carefully toss it until it is all thinly coated in caramel sauce
  5. Place pan in the oven for no more than 20 minutes
  6. Remove from oven, add a small pinch of salt (this will bring out the rich caramel flavor), and let cool for about 5 minutes


  • Don’t worry if the caramel is not particularly smooth or creamy, for this recipe you want to aim for a sauce that is thicker
  • Don’t attempt to saturate the popcorn in the caramel sauce — a little goes a long way in this recipe, and you only want a little bit of date sauce on each piece of popcorn, otherwise they will become extremely small and will lose their crunch