With about 2% of Americans practicing a plant-based diet, it’s no wonder many feel making healthier changes don’t relate to their lives. Most people don’t even know anyone practicing a plant-based lifestyle.
I’ve decided to start a series to spotlight past and present brown vegans (famous and non-famous), who have made a change in their lives for health and/or ethical reasons. Enjoy!
How long have you been a vegan? Summer 2009
What made you decide to embrace a plant-based diet? I am very interested in health and maintaining a healthy weight.
What was the hardest food to give up? Dairy was my number 1 food group. Yes, I love the entire group.
Any advice to new vegans? If you relapse, it is not the end of the world or your road to veganism. Evaluate how you failed and what made you fail, and try to make changes and improvements from there.
Please share a recipe you enjoy.
Vegan Oatmeal Cookie Bars
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup vegan, non-dairy butter
3/4 cup strawberry spreadable fruit ( jam, jelly, etc.)
1 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup chopped cashews
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 8 or 9 inch square pan or 2 loaf pans.
In a large mixing bowl, combine light brown sugar, all purpose flour, baking soda, salt, and quick cooking oats. Stir it all together well.
Next, add in vegan butter. Start by stirring the vegan butter into the dry ingredients. Eventually, your going to have to get dirty and combine it with your hands. The ingredients should come together to form a dough with no dry/floury parts. Use 3/4 of the dough to cover the bottom of the pans and reserve 1/4 the dough for later. Layer on strawberry spreadable fruit, then dried blueberries, cashews, and then crumble the remaining oatmeal dough on top. Lightly press all of the components together to make sure they form a cohesive bar. Bake for 30 minutes, until bars are browned and fruit parts are bubbly. Allow to cool before cutting and serving. Enjoy your vegan oatmeal and all cookie bars.
Tasha is a full-time graduate student in Public Health