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Vegans cakes contain no eggs or dairy

Restrictive diet does not allow food derived from animals

POSTED: May 28, 2014 1:00 a.m.

As the summer season and warmer temperatures creep in, residents head outdoors for cookouts. Traditional grilling foods include hamburgers and hot dogs accompanied by potato salad and desserts such as cookies, cakes and pies.

If you are a vegetarian, hot dogs and hamburgers are out of the question. But luckily vegetarians can supplement with plenty of vegetables or grill up veggie burgers.

If you are a vegan — a person who does not eat any food derived from animals — more foods are off limits. Vegans not only abstain from eating meat, chicken, fish and shellfish, they do not eat foods containing eggs, honey and dairy products such as milk, yogurt and butter, said Sheenagh King, the registered dietitian and bariatric program manager at the Center for Bariatric Surgery in The Longstreet Clinic.

“If you are vegan, you don’t do animals product,” she said. “No eggs and no dairy.”

That means most vegans cannot end a holiday meal with desserts since most brownies, cakes and some pies contain eggs and butter.

Luckily, several books have been published detailing vegan recipes. Thanks to the Internet, a quick Google search also provides several recipes adhering to their diet restrictions.

On Food.com, a site launched in 1999 allowing home cooks to connect and share recipes, about 174 recipes pop up when searching for “vegan cakes.”

Two recipes for a vanilla and chocolate cake take less than 10 minutes prepare and no more than 30 minutes to bake.

And while some people may think a vegan-friendly dessert will not taste the same as ones with eggs and milk, a quick taste-test among Times staffers seemed to disprove the assumption.

“It’s tasty, but not super sweet,” reporter Carly Sharec said. “I can definitely taste the salt, which I think would be counteracted with real milk. I wouldn’t be able to tell there were no eggs in it, though!”

However, most staffers polled preferred the vanilla cake compared to the chocolate one.

“The yellow cake was moist and I just didn’t expect that could happen without eggs or milk,” reporter Savannah King said.

But Sheenagh King was quick to point out many vegans would abstain from the sweet cake substitutes.

“True vegans aren’t interested in that stuff,” she said. “They tend to have more of a lifestyle philosophy. (They) are not just eating vegan, (they) are taking a total approach. Most oftentimes, they are health conscious with food, sleep habits and stress.”

Vegan diets also are growing in popularity among teenagers, especially females, according to an article published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in March 2009.

“Some girls who are weight conscious do that,” King said.

According to June 2013 poll conduced by the Harris Interactive Service Bureau, almost 1 million Americans are vegans.

Vegan diets tend to contain less saturated fat and cholesterol and more dietary fiber. Vegans tend to be thinner, have lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure, reducing their risk of heart disease, the article stated.

However, eliminating all animal products from the diet increases the risk of certain nutritional deficiencies. To counteract the deficiencies, King said many vegans would supplement with multivitamins.

“It’s not easy to be vegan,” she said. “It’s a pretty strict (diet.) ... Going to make that total comment means giving up certain things.”


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