If you could color Easter eggs in exactly the same way that you did as a child...AND not contribute to animal suffering by using real eggs, then wouldn't you? You can! Eggnots have arrived! Eggnots are ceramic eggs that look and feel the same as a real eggs. I hope all parents who care about animals will try these. Check out how beautiful the natural dyes came out... I think it's important that as vegan parents, we don't isolate our kids or limit their experiences and activities just because they're vegan. Vegan kids shouldn't have to miss out on anything-- there's a vegan version for almost everything out there. With a little effort and creativity, parents can find or make alternatives to common and holiday non-vegan activities. This includes coloring eggs on Easter. Of all the industries that use and abuse animals for food, the egg industry is arguably the worst in terms of animal treatment and suffering. Hundreds of millions of hens live in prison-like conditions-- stacked in wire cages on top of one another in filthy, windowless sheds where they're confined to a space the size of a piece of paper for their entire lives. Read more here.
Knowing the cruelty behind the egg industry, we could not in good conscience buy a carton of eggs and color them with our daughter. We had to find an alternative. The past few Easters, my daughter really enjoyed painting clay eggs, making paper mache eggs and doing other fun egg-type activities, but this year we were able to actually participate in a tradition that I remember doing as a child myself...dyeing "eggs" in mugs. We used the vegan-friendly Eggnots. They're so realistic that you'll think you're holding a real egg! I highly recommend them for vegan kids, as well as for kids who are allergic to eggs. I also recommend them for anyone who cares about animals-- it's one easy way to choose compassion over cruelty.
Eggnots are one of those products that give me hope and a glimpse into what the future can (and should) look like...a future that doesn't exploit animals for our needs and wants. Slowly, but surely, cruelty-free replicas are replacing non-vegan products. I think most people rely on animal products out of habit and comfort, but if you could have the same experience using a vegan version without harming an animal, then wouldn't you opt for that? Even Bill Gates gets this idea! He recently wrote a blog post on his website about how plant-based alternatives to animal food products are the key to a healthy, sustainable future! Instead of using artificial store-bought dyes that in addition to being non-vegan, are also toxic, we decided to make our own using natural fruits and vegetables. Using this post as a guide, we created:
BLUE: blueberries (boiled frozen blueberries in hot water, then strained blueberries leaving just the juice)
GREEN: chlorophyll (a few drops of liquid chlorophyll in mug)
RED: cherry juice
YELLOW: turmeric (boiled water with a few teaspoons of turmeric)
The colors came out beautiful and vibrant as you can see from the pictures. I was pleasantly surprised. We will definitely be doing this again next year, and adding more colors to our mugs!
From the Eggnots website:
- Realistic- they look and feel just like a real egg
- Inedible- no refrigeration needed, no mess and no smell
- Non-perishable and eco-friendly- EggNots ceramic will last forever!
- 100% safe for those with egg allergies
- Vegan-friendly- no animal products used!
- Convenient- No hassle of boiling and disposal!
- Made in the USA
If you could color Easter eggs in exactly the same way as you remember as a child...AND not contribute to animal suffering, then wouldn't you? You can. Use Eggnots!
HAPPY EASTER TO ALL!
I was really excited to make these Easter cookies, particularly the icing. I was determined to not buy any store-bought artificial food coloring, so I tested out a natural food "dye" that was safe and vegan....and came from a fruit. Using a bag of frozen, organic raspberries, I was able to create a beautiful, bright pink colored icing! Read on for this simple recipe...
Having fun making Easter cookies
Easter bunnies, chirping chicks, flowers in bloom, and....easter cookies! Holidays are always a fun excuse to make (and eat) cookies, so with the materials and ingredients in hand, my daughter Charlotte and I got started. Although I love my go-to delicious and easy-to-make sugar cookie recipe (from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar) that I use for Christmas Cookies, I decided to try out a new recipe. This is also a fun, kind alternative to coloring easter eggs.
It's pretty simple and tasty, so here it is:Vegan Sugar Cookies
3Tbsp Ener-G egg replacer powder (you can get this in any health food store or online here)
1/4c. warm water
3 3/4c. flour
2tsp baking powder
1c. vegan butter
1c. white granulated sugar
1/4c vegan cream cheese (Tofutti is a good brand)
1tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
1. Combine the Ener-G egg placer powder with the warm water, whisking until gooey. Set aside.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the vegan butter and sugar using an electric hand mixer for 3-4 minutes,
or until creamy and fluffy. Add the egg replacer mixture, vegan cream cheese and vanilla, beating until just combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating to form a stiff dough. Form the dough into two discs, wrap inplastic wrap, and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4" thickness (if it is a little hard and dry from the fridge, wait a few minutes). Using floured cookie cutters, cut out your cookie shapes, and place each on the prepared baking sheet about 1" apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.
Yield: About 3 dozen cookies
Note: Don't let the "vegan" ingredients scare you off. The Ener-G egg replacer is available in most health food stores or online. Recipes call for such a small amount, that I've had the same box for more than a year. So skip the eggs, and buy a box and keep it on hand. The vegan cream cheese and vegan margarine are available in most mainstream stores nowadays, including Stop & Shop, C-Town, Key Foods, Price Chopper, Safeway, Albertson's, Publix, etc. and of course, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.
Here's Charlotte mixing up the ingredients....
...and licking the spoon (no salmonella worries because there are no eggs).
The next day we rolled out the dough and cut it into egg shapes...
Now for the best part....the ICING. Food coloring is bad news for many reasons...there's a lot of controversy surrounding its toxicity, and of course most aren't vegan. There are vegan alternatives available sold in stores and online, but I was determined to find a fruit or vegetable (of any vegan food for that matter) that I could use to color my icing...and with the help of the internet and my professional baker friend, Sarah, I found one! I used raspberries and the icing came out perfect-- it was a beautiful, vibrant shade of pink.
Raspberry Icing Recipe:
1/2c. vegan butter
10oz. bag of frozen raspberries (thawed)
4c. powdered sugar
1-2Tbsp soy/rice/almond milk (if needed to thin it out)
1) Boil raspberries on medium heat until thoroughly mixed into a sauce (about 4-5min).
2) Mix raspberries and butter in large bowl.
3) Add one cup of sugar at a time. Mixing in-between cup additions.
4) Add vanilla, and mix. If the icing is too thick at this point, add one to two tablespoons of soy milk to thin.
Time for decorating the cookies with the raspberry-flavored icing and sprinkles...
Note: You can order organic, vegan sprinkles online.
HOPPY Easter to all!