Back to Back Issues Page
Vegan Bytes #57- Your Vegan Holiday Baking and Style Guide
December 11, 2012

Vegan Bytes #57: Your Vegan Holiday Baking and Style Guide

Welcome to the subscriber group! Our newsletter focuses on helping you learn more about veganism and how to apply it to your daily life. Vegan Bytes is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date with the world of food, answering your vegan nutrition questions, and providing you with ideas on ways to spread your lifestyle beliefs.

*Nutritional Spotlight: How Healthy Is That Bowl of Holiday Nuts?
*Vegan Travel: Plum Bistro Seattle
*Question: "Why is my metabolism slowing on a vegan diet?"
*Holiday Link: Ideas for Vegan Holiday Gifts
*Vegan Ebooks Collection: Vegan Nutritionista's Meal Plans and Cookbooks
*Recipe of the Month: Sneak Peak Recipe: Vegan Sugar Cookie Cut Outs
*What's New?: What's New With Vegan Nutritionista?

(if your email server doesn't allow you to click these links, scroll down in the email to the articles you like)

Do you know someone who would like this newsletter?

More and more people read Vegan Bytes each month and part of that is thanks to you forwarding your friends my website. Thank you so much for your support. Since it's the start of a new year, many people are interested in getting back in shape and making this the year of health and happiness, so if you know someone who could use a little encouragement, send this along.

If a friend forwarded this to you and you want more, visit the Vegan Bytes newsletter page to subscribe for free and we'll see you next month!

We're on a mission to reach more people on facebook, so please come like us at facebook and share with your friends. You can see fun pictures of my travel adventures, favorite recipes, and links that I don't share on the website.

If you haven't visited Vegan since you signed up for this newsletter, you might not have seen an awesome new feature we have. You can now comment on any page on the site! You can link it to your facebook account so your friends can see what you have to say, and help them to help themselves with a healthier, more compassionate lifestyle.


Nutritional Spotlight: How Healthy Is That Bowl of Nuts?

Nuts in Shell Newsletter

When I think of a bowl of nuts adorned with a nutcracker, I think of two things: Eddie from Christmas Vacation sauntering around the living room with a tight white sweater and fake black turtleneck, and the bowl of nuts my dad always kept around the house during the holidays.

The two have one thing in common: we like to eat nuts during the holiday season.

Now, is this little tradition healthy for us, or should we cut back on the nutty indulgence?

If you know me and how I promote a well-balanced vegan meal packed with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and topped off with healthy oils, nuts, and seeds, you probably know the answer. I put together a list of the most common nuts and their health benefits here.


Vegan Travel: Plum Bistro Seattle

Plum Bistro Newsletter

Seattle is an incredible city; it has easy and cheap public transportation, recycling cans on street corners, the trifecta of beautiful views of snow-capped mountains, tall city buildings, and boats on the ocean, it's really walkable, and jammed packed with vegan restaurants. All you northwesterners, take notice: I am officially jealous.

We were in town for three days and couldn't make it to even half of the list of 100% vegan restaurants in the city. We did, however, hit up the most highly rated and found a few of them to be exceptional.

One of the amazing places was Plum Bistro, just off Pike Street in the Capitol Hill area. We had no problem walking from downtown, but we took a cheap cab ride home to avoid the drizzling rain.

Have you heard of Plum's mac 'n' yease? It was by far the best vegan mac-n-cheese I've had in a restaurant, and I have to admit, even better than anything I've made at home. I will be working on recreating the recipe. Besides just the apps, they had several great dishes and a perfect atmosphere for date night.

Click here to read my full rave review of the Plum Bistro in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle.


"Why is my metabolism slowing on a vegan diet?"



"I'm female, 35 and I became vegan two years ago. I was eating a lot of food, more than usual, and even though I lost 8 kilos (17 lbs) in the first 15 months, I felt great and full of energy.

Since then I started gaining weight again. I nearly put the 8 kilos back on. I feel my metabolism has slowed down and anything I eat makes me fat. I feel tired and I have mood swings.

My diet in the last two years consists of whole grains, not much sugar, fruits, vegetables, nuts and some time chips, cupcake and processed food. I don't drink fizzy or drinks from cartons.

My breakfast has always been a sandwich with hummus, brown bread tomato and avocado.

I used to walk about 30 minutes to work and now I walk about 10 minutes.

I did a series of blood tests (including thyroid) but my GP said he wouldn't call me if the results were normal so I assume it was okay as I never got a call from him.

Has anyone had similar problem? Any advice?


What do you think? Do you think Soul's slower metabolism is because of her diet? See how I answered her question here.


If you have any vegan questions and you want some guidance, feel free to send them in by following this link.


Ideas for Vegan Holiday Gifts

Shopping for vegans is just the same as shopping for any other person, it can vary based on the person's personality and how strong their ethical beliefs may be. Unless someone is just a dietary vegan, you will want to make sure that your clothing gifts don't have any leather, wool, silk, or any other animal products. If you're thinking of getting a food product, look out for any milk, eggs, honey, beeswax, or anything related to animals.

Some of my favorite ideas for perennial vegan gifts are:

Check out my full list of vegan holiday present ideas here.


Vegan Nutritionista Downloadable EBooks

Book of the Month: Vegan Christmas Cookies: 20 Best Vegan Cookie Recipes

Vegan Christmas Cookies Thumbnail

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and part of the reason is because it's time to bake cookies. I've been baking my entire life, and I've been veganizing family recipes and making my own for years. In this ebook you'll find all your old favorites, like Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, Thumbprints, Linzers, Peanut Butter with Chocolate Bombs, Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls, Gingerbread, and of course, Vegan Sugar Cookies.

Read more about the book on the Vegan Christmas Cookies page, or if you already know you have to have it, get your copy now for only $7.95. Buy now and you get a free guide to Natural Homemade Food Coloring and a Vegan Grocery List.

Vegan Cooking for Beginners

Vegan Cooking for Beginners is designed for new cooks and veteran vegans who want quick, cheap, and easy vegan recipes. It has 75 recipes, tons of pictures of the finished meals, nutritional information, and detailed instructions to make every recipe easy to follow. Read more and download a copy for only $7.99 here.

Vegan Meal Plans for Winter

Vegan Meal Plans is a complete meal plan for one month vegan weekday dinners. It includes 64 recipes, pictures, nutritional information, grocery lists, and tips and techniques. Everyone from those beginning a vegan diet to those veterans who want fresh menu ideas love this ebook. It focuses on fresh, local, and seasonal vegetables and uses all normal ingredients-- no fussy or gourmet skills needed. Download a copy for only $9.75 here.

If you have an e-reader, you can get Vegan Meal Plans for Fall designed specifically for that device for $9.99:

The Vegan Bread Box: 30 Simple and Delicious Vegan Bread Recipes

Vegan Bread Recipes Thumbnail

This is one of our most popular cookbooks. I've found it really difficult to find a vegan bread cookbook on the internet; there are tons of recipes out there, but they're scattered all over different sites and you never know which ones are good. This book has everything from an eggless brioche to a classic whole wheat boule recipe, so you'll never have to go scrounging the internet again. I'm so happy people have gotten so much out of this ebook.

Learn more about the bread baking tip that's almost too easy here or download your copy for only $7.95 now.

Get iPad/Kindle/Kobo/Reader Formatted Vegan Bread Recipes for only $7.99!

Just the Menus Ebook Package Deal

Just the Menus Ebook Package 2

Just the Menus Ebook Package allows you to have both Vegan Nutritionista meal plans, one for the fall/winter and one for the spring/summer at a discounted rate. Download your copy for only $16.99 here.

Menus and Cookbooks Ebook Package Deal

Menus and Cookbooks Vegan Nutritionista Ebook Package

Menus and Cookbooks Ebook Package allows you to have Vegan Cooking for Beginners, both Vegan Nutritionista Meal Plans, The Vegan Bread Box, Vegan Christmas Cookies, and Cut the Cheese. Download your copy for only $41.99 here.

Vegan Grocery List

This massive, complete vegan grocery list is the only one you'll ever need. Print out copies of it to hang on your fridge, and then mark what you need as you go throughout the week. Download a copy for only $0.99.

Entire Collection of Ebooks Deal:

Vegan Nutritionista Complete Ebook Package

Get Vegan Cooking for Beginners, Cut the Cheese, The Vegan Bread Box, A Fresh New Vegan You, both Vegan Meal Plans and Vegan Meal Plans for Spring, Vegan Christmas Cookies AND a free copy of the massive Vegan Grocery List for only $63.99. Save BIG on this package! Download this package here. *Note: this does not include a separate file for Soak, Rinse, Boil! because you get it within A Fresh New Vegan You.


Sneak Peak Recipe of the Month: Vegan Sugar Cookie Cut Outs

Vegan Sugar Cookie Cut Outs

It's that time of year again-- cookie baking season. Right around now you start seeing piles of sparkling cookies on plates all around your office and you start imagining what you can make at home without eggs and milk. The good news is you can make absolutely anything anyone else can make, with just a few substitutions.

This month's free recipe gives you a sneak into my Vegan Christmas Cookies ebook, one of our most popular ebooks to date.

To find out what would be most enticing, I asked our superfans on our facebook page what holiday cookies they like best, and the overwhelming favorite was a sugar cookie cut out. If you're one of the fans who requested gingerbread, Mexican wedding cookies, Linzers, or one of many other varieties, we have those in the book too.

I like the cut out suggestion because it's such a versatile recipe; you can add different extracts to give it a totally different flavor, you can add nuts or chocolate chips or vegan toffee bits to give it a completely different kick. Even cocoa powder could completely change the face of the cookie without you having to dig for a new recipe.

See what other recipes are in the vegan holiday cookies ebook here.

Vegan Sugar Cookie Cut Outs

Makes: 60 cookies (depends on the size of your cutters)
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: at least 2 hours
Baking Time: 7-8 minutes

Ingredients for Cookies:

1 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
1 c. nondairy, non-hydrogenated butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. Ener-G egg replacer
3 tsp. warm water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. (extracts you could use: almond, lemon, orange, pineapple, or more vanilla)
2 1/2 c. all-purpose (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar

Ingredients for Frosting:

1 c. confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 to 2 Tbsp. nondairy milk


Prepare two cookies sheets with parchment paper or silicon liners and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg replacer and warm water, until fluffy.

In a large bowl, combine powdered sugar, margarine, vanilla, egg replacer, and your extra extracts and mix until fluffy and light. Mix in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.

Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours. You can let it wait on you for about a week if you want to make the cookies later.

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease a cookie sheet. Divide dough into halves and put one half back in the fridge until you're ready to bake.

Roll each half 3/8" thick on lightly floured board. If the dough begins to flake and break apart, let it warm up for just a few minutes. If it gets too loose and warm, put it back in the fridge to firm up again.

Cut into shapes and gently place cookies on prepared sheet. Bake until edges are light brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them sit on the cookie sheet for 1 minute, and then transfer to a cooling rack.

For frosting, mix powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in milk substitute until frosting is smooth and of spreading consistency. Split the icing into pastry bags and add in natural food coloring to decorate once the cookies are completely cool.


You can share your own recipes and comment on others by following this link to Vegan Nutritionista.


Pick Your Favorite Way to Follow Vegan Nutritionista

Vegan Nutritionista is constantly growing and changing, and if you signed up for this newsletter a long time ago, you might not have read our new information. Our blog page keeps you up-to-date with new articles on the site.


We're in the process of updating the design of our website. I sometimes had a hard time fitting everything I wanted to say into the two columns we used to use, so now we have three columns. And, we'll be transitioning over to a really pretty color scheme. Nothing changes for you; all the content is exactly the same. I hope you like it!


We also now have a vegan forum where you can find topics submitted by users for discussion, answers, and places to add your own input. There is no member name required to participate, so you can jump right in and







Thank you to our newsletter sponsors!

Vegan Essentials Ad with Border
Vegan Essentials is one of my very favorite places to shop for vegan supplies. They have everything from clothes and shoes to vegan cheese, and their prices are the best around.

Amazon Ad with Border
Amazon has really grown on me over the past decade or so. It no longer is just a resource for finding books, but now sells almost everything. Over the past few years, I've found more and more vegan-friendly supplies on amazon, including books, shoes, clothes, soymilk makers, soybeans, and so much more.

Vitamix Smaller with Border

VitaMix is hands down the best blender on the market. I recommend it to anyone and everyone, and it's absolutely amazing... no exaggeration. In fact, the other day, I found myself taking a complete stranger to a section of a cooking store to show her the VitaMix and explain its benefits, just for pure fun!

You can make soups, ice cream, smoothies, whole fruit/vegetable juices, grind grains, make nut butters, grind ice, and so much more. I can remember life before the VitaMix and how frustrating it was to never get the exact consistency I wanted in my smoothies because the ice just wouldn't break up, and now I never give it a second thought. Highly recommended!

Site Build It!

If you're a vegan nutritionista yourself and have always thought about running a blog with your vegan recipes, you should think about an SBI website. I would never have known how to start a website, let alone get Vegan Nutritionista to the successful place it is right now without Site Build It, and I can't recommend it enough. If you are passionate about anything, any hobby, lifestyle, food, drink, or culture, you can start a website about it. All you have to do is love it, research it, and learn to "talk" about it and SBI will guide you to making it financially successful.


I am an affiliate for these newsletter sponsors, so anytime someone buys something from these stores after using a link from our site, I make a small commission on it. But, I do promise that I would never recommend something that I don't use and love myself. So if you see a link on our site for something you like, you can support their company and the running of Vegan Nutritionista as well, or you can always choose to go directly to the company.

And don't forget, a percentage of all Vegan Nutritionista profits go to a rotating group of charities that benefit animals. This quarter we're giving money to the Louisiana ASPCA to help with animal victims of Hurricane Isaac.


That's all for this month!! I hope you enjoyed reading it. Have a great month!


Back to Back Issues Page