Oh So Chewy Ginger Cookies (vegan)

This recipe needs to be shared.

Every Christmas as a child I would make a huge batch of fantastically chewy ginger cookies. I would cut them into christmasy shapes and give them away as gifts. The recipe was from ‘Company’s Coming Kids Cooking’ and my secret was I added a butt load of extra corn syrup and molasses to make them….


Did I mention they were chewy?

They became my trademark. In my ten-year-old head I was famous for them, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without them.

But alas, now that I don’t eat eggs or butter the recipe is a no go. Not to mention a food sustainability major such as myself wouldn’t be caught red handed pouring out GMO corn syrup.

And did I mention I’m wheat intolerant?

So much for my go-to recipe.


After several rounds of failure last year I have achieved perfection. Truly. I know this because my mother approves.

And she ain’t no lax critic.

SO without further ado.

Oh So Chewy Ginger Cookies 

  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan “butter”
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp brown rice syrup
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp Egg Replacer (I used EnerG brand)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup raw (dark) sugar (Muscovado, demerara or coconut sugar)
  • 1 cup light cane sugar (Turbinado)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups light spelt flour
  • 1 cup whole spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • light cane sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 375°F or 350° convection.
Allow ‘butter’ to soften to room temp. Melt coconut oil in microwave.
Whisk together egg replacer + water
Add first 6 ingredients together and beat until smooth and whipped-looking.
In separate bowl, whisk together the rest. Add to wet and gently fold until combined.
Roll into 2 inch balls and roll in cane sugar. Press lightly onto baking sheet (nonstick or parchment lined.)
Bake for 6-8 minutes. Do not over-bake! They should still look puffy and underdone when you take them out- do not be fooled!
Allow to cool then transfer to wire rack.
Eat them all!

Ethical Xmas Eats – A Vegan Holiday Menu

Firstly I’d like to commend CTV W5 for this awesome (horrific) feature:


This is nothing new, but rarely does it come into the mainstream. Great job CTV.

And now that you’re sufficiently turned off the holiday pork roast…

I’ve done some comprehensive menu planning just for you. You’re welcome. So rest snug as a bug on xmas knowing no harm came to anyone as a result of your delicious christmas festivities. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have baking to do.

Start the day right:

I use a recipe from Sarah Kramer’s ‘How it All Vegan.’ nom nom.

Ooey gooey cinnamon buns

Eggnog Pancakes

Afternoon coffee/tea:


Gingerbread latte

Swedish Lucia buns 

Side dishes:

Stuffed Mushrooms with Tofu and Herbs

Scalloped Potatoes

Sage and Onion Stuffing

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Wild Mushroom Gravy

Spiced Winter Squash w/ Fennel

Kale Slaw with Curried Almond Dressing

Roast Brussel Sprouts


Stuffed Seitan

Holiday Loaf with Apricot Glaze



Ginger Cookies

Eggnog Cheesecake 

Bliss Balls:

Bliss balls are my go to all year round. This season I opted for chocolate hazelnut (read: nutella!) and coconut lime. Super duper easy for the baking impaired. In a food processor just throw together some of the following to taste.

Chocolate Hazelnut:

Roasted hazelnuts (bake at 400 for about 10)




shredded coconut

brown rice syrup/maple syrup/agave nectar


Roll in coconut, cocoa or cinnamon.

Coconut Lime:


Shredded coconut


brown rice syrup/maple syrup/agave nectar

lime zest/juice

Grand Marnier or citrus liqueur of choice

Roll in coconut.


Bliss balls, date squares and ginger cookies oh my!

Since my Grandma passed away a few years ago, I’ve been in charge of the Christmas pudding. Honestly I don’t think I ever really ate the Christmas pudding until then, but now I think it’s the most glorious dessert ever in invention. Here is my version, made up based on my Grandma’s original recipe. Don’t forget to douse it in rum and light it on fire before serving.

Kristina’s Christmas Carrot Pudding

(fills large mould PLUS a leftovers)

7/8 C oil (grape seed, coconut…)

1 C organic cane sugar

1 C maple syrup

2 C carrot – grated

2 1/2 C potato – grated (2 large russet)

1 1/2 C Spelt flour (or wheat)

2/3 C other flour (Garfava, Brown rice…)

1 C dates – chopped

1 C raisins

1 C dried cherries

2/3 C currants

2/3 C dried blueberries

1 C nuts- chopped (almonds, pecans)

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp Baking Soda

3 tsp tapioca starch (or potato starch)

Beat together oils & sugar + maple syrup

Add carrots and 1 1/2 C potato; mix well

Sprinkle fruit with some flour and add to mixture

Add flour + spices + tapioca starch

Dissolve baking soda into remaining 1 C potato then add to mixture

Pour into greased pudding mold and steam for 3 hours

Steaming instructions: fill mold 2/3 (will expand) and fit with lid. Fill a large pot with with water and lower in mold (water should reach halfway up mold.) Keep mold from bottom so water can circulate (place on canning rings?) Put pot lid on and boil water for 3 hours.

This recipe is LARGE. Extra pudding can be steamed the same way in a glass jar with lid.


Garfava/Brown rice flour: Can replace with more spelt and omit tapioca starch

Field trip!

Dear Santa,

For xmas I would like a pet turkey. http://www.farmsanctuary.org/giving/adopt-a-turkey/

Please and thank-you,


So a couple weeks ago I had the privilege of visiting two animal Sanctuaries in Mission BC.

The first was called SAINTS (Senior Animal in Need Today) and is home to about 150 animals from dogs and cats to goats, cows and even an alpaca. Saints was started to provide an alternative for animals in shelters who would otherwise be put down simply because nobody wants them. For example old dogs, or special needs dogs such as those with paralyzation or blindness.

The “farm” animals are usually products of factory farming such as the hen who ended up at the processing factory still alive among the corpses and thanks to the workers eventually found herself at Saints where she will live what is left of her short life (commercial hens, bred for productivity, have such compromised immune systems that they rarely live past a year. Heritage breeds will live up to 7.)

Paraplegic Max: the most friendly and enthusiastic dog I’ve ever met!

Emily the Sterile Dairy Cow As a sterile cow born into the dairy industry Emily was sent to the auction to become veal where she was bought by the sanctuary…. We had a moment….


Gilbert the Goat

The second sanctuary was Hearts on Noses and was specifically for pigs. The majority were pot-bellied pigs but there were also a handful yorkshire (meat breed) pigs. Just like dog breeders perpetuate the problem of homeless dogs, pig breeders have created an excess of pot-belly pigs. Unlike dogs, shelters will not take them.

As the 4th most intelligent animal pigs can make awesome pets but they can also be a handful- with the intelligence of a 3 year old child, you can imagine the mischief they get up to. So they end up homeless. Lucky ones find themselves at Heart on Noses.

I LOVE pigs. Probably my favourite animal. Maybe second after chickens.


We’ll get to that.

Pigs have human-like eyes and cry tears.

Comet and I. I tried to do a selfy with him and dropped my phone in the mud.

There were also two horses.

What happens to thoroughbreds who don’t want to be ridden?


Piggy playing with horses!

Shout out to UBC Activists for Animals for organizing this awesome field trip!

But seriously Santa. Turkey. He will be named Arnold. Or Gladys if she’s a girl.