Many national newspaper and periodicals have called 2019 ‘The Year of the Vegan’ and quite rightly so.
Both vegetarianism and veganism have been on a rapid increase for the last 5 years with more and more people conscious of the value of good, clean and healthy foods.
The ‘cook of the house’ used to spend copious amounts of time disguising vegetables back in the 60s and 70s when as children, you just didn’t really like them! Gradually vegetables have become so popular that they are quite often the star of the show. Vegetables are not just something you serve up with a roast dinner, they are now widely used in everything from burgers to desserts. Restaurant menus now feature more vegetable and vegan dishes than ever before, and that even includes the ubiquitous steak houses.
Possibly the most surprising innovation is the use of vegetables in desserts which are always associated with fruit or cake, biscuit bases and lashings of thick cream! Sugar-laden desserts always seem so attractive, but there are many ways of dispensing with sugar and cream and using other ingredients to satisfy your taste buds. Honestly, it’s true!
It is quite amazing how the texture of vegetables and nuts can create a stand out dessert, packed full of nutrients that your body needs to keep it working like a well-oiled machine. Almost no vegetables are spared from getting a dessert ‘once-over’, apart maybe from the stronger green leaved vegetables that can taste slightly ‘iron like’.
Nuts become cheesecake bases and can also thicken the filling of a cheesecake, as they become creamy when blitzed in a processor. Beetroot becomes brownies, again because the texture is so good and creamy, and slightly sweet. White beans are also a useful ingredient for desserts – the list of suitable veggies is endless and being a bit creative and experimenting is a great idea on a rainy afternoon!
Basically, with some imagination, vegetables can replace sugar in a dessert, once you get the hang of it. Adding some unusual spices is also another great idea to ramp up the flavour if you are not convinced. It’s only really dishes like meringues and meringue roulades, where it just doesn’t work without eggs.
Vegan chefs are not a bunch of mad scientists or trying to tout vegetables like some kind of miracle, they genuinely believe that you can get as much flavour from food without processed sugar and unhealthy additions to foods that are supposed to satisfy your sweet tooth. They are right too. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and with the number of vitamins, minerals, fibre and disease-fighting antioxidants found in vegetables, you will feel better, have more energy and build up a strong immune system. You can replace sugar, and for diabetics, it really is a bonus.
Try it once, and if you don’t like it, so be it. But we bet you will.