With Christmas rapidly approaching, here are some animal friendly, vegan holiday treats that you can make yourself, or purchase here in Kelowna!

Vegan Eggnog (or Vegnog if you will)

This staple holiday drink can be purchased in your local grocery store or made in your kitchen! To make it yourself, mix 1 cup non-dairymilk (we recommend soy for extra creamy-ness, but almond works too!), ½ cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight, 1 ½ tbsp maple syrup, pinch cinnamon, pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, drop of pure vanilla extract. Blend all the ingredients together on high setting and enjoy! For this and other great recipes, check out the Nature’s Path blog.

Vegan Eggnog
Vegan Eggnog

Wishing for a quick and easy solution this Christmas? Vegan Eggnog is readily available at Save-On Foods and some other Kelowna grocers around the holidays, and is sure to impress any vegan or dairy avoider. We recommend So Delicious Coconut Nog for its authentic nog flavours and satisfying heavy creaminess. Plus, it's only 90 calories per 1/2 a cup!

Our favourite Dairy-free Holiday Nog!
Our favourite Dairy-free Holiday Nog!

Vegan Gingerbread

Don’t give up on one of the most iconic holiday cookies of all time: vegan gingerbread is easy, with the right recipe! We recommend this one from vegan blogger Alison on Loving it Vegan.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup (170g) Vegan Butter
3/4 cup (150g) Brown Sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) Unsulphured Molasses
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 and 1/4 cups (280g) All Purpose Flour
1 and 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Ground Ginger
1 and 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Soy Milk*
1/4 cup (50g) White Sugar (for rolling)

Preheat your oven to 350 F, then cream together the butter and brown sugarwith an electric mixer. Mix the 1tbsp of Flaxseed Mealwith 3 Tbsp of hot water and leave it for a minute. Add the molasses, vanilla and flax meal mix to the butter and brown sugar and beat them together. Mix the flour, baking soda, salt and spices together separately, then add them to the wet mix. Flour your surface then startrolling the dough into a ball, before using a rolling pin to flatten it until it’s about ¼ inch thick. Cut out your shapes and transfer them to a parchment lined tray. Bake them for 15 minutes, then let sit until cool.

If you want to decorate, mix the frosting ingredients together until they are thick enough to ice your gingerbread cookies!

Vegan Hot Chocolate, Mochas and More!

Certain types of chocolate are vegan, and many of them can be found at Nature’s Fare, Superstore or Save-on-Foods! To make vegan hot chocolate at home, boil (or steam if you can) some non-dairy milk then slowly melt the chocolate into the milk, stirring constantly until chocolate is dissolved. Sweeten to taste.

Out and about? Stop by any Blenz location and ask for any of their 3 non-dairy milks andspecify you would like the Dark Belgian chocolate for your drink. Not only can you get a hot chocolate, but the baristas will add espresso to make it a mocha, or even a few pumps of vegan Peppermint syrup! Not a chocolate fan? Grab a Gingerbread Latte with your choice of dairy-free milk.

Another amazing coffee shop is our local Naked Cafe, where everything on the menu is vegan at both their downtown and Enterprise Way locations!

Almost any holiday treat can be made vegan: all you need to do is search the recipe online! Do you have your own vegan recipe suggestions? Let us know at life@thephoenixnews.com