Living Vegan

Living Vegan

What veganism is, what it isn't, and why many people choose not to eat (or maybe even use) any animal products.

Non-vegans often frame a vegan diet in terms "going without" -- meaning vegans choose NOT to consume meat, milk, honey or any other animal products. But to Vegans, the experience is about celebrating the taste and versatility of nature's bounty, along with possible ethical, environmental, or health benefits of eating only plants and vegetables. We discuss what veganism is, what it isn't, and why it seems to be growing in popularity.


Emily Mainquist

Owner, Emily's Desserts & Author, Sweet Vegan

Joy DuBost, Ph.D., R.D.

Spokesperson, American Dietetic Association; Director of Nutrition and Healthy Living, National Restaurant Association

Colleen Holland

Associate Publisher, VegNews Magazine

Related Links


Courtesy Emily Mainquist

Peach Biscuits

Makes 10

My mom always made peach biscuits for summer barbecues when I was a kid. We picked peaches from a peach farm in Pennsylvania and, when we got home, I helped her cut the biscuits and dip them into the butter and cinnamon sugar. So delicious on a hot summer day, these biscuits are great served for brunch or dessert.


2 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter substitute
3/4 cup soy milk

Fruit Topping

4 large peaches
3 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 tablespoon water


1 cup evaporated cane juice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
11/2 cups butter substitute

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. First make the biscuits: Using a stand mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt on medium speed. With the motor still running, add the butter substitute 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting 5 seconds after each addition. Add the soy milk and beat the dough on medium speed until a soft dough has formed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly fl oured work surface, and roll
    to 1/2 inch thick. Cut with a 4-inch round cookie cutter. Take any remaining biscuit dough and roll out and cut until you can’t cut any more biscuits. Set aside.

  3. Wash and dry the peaches and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Set aside.

  4. To make the coating, mix the cane juice and cinnamon in a
    medium bowl. Melt the butter substitute in a microwave-safe
    bowl for 1 minute. Dip the biscuits into the melted butter, then in the cinnamon sugar, and place on a 10 x 15-inch cookie tray.

  5. Create a well in each biscuit. Arrange the sliced peaches, slightly overlapping, in each well. Sprinkle with any remaining cinnamon sugar.

  6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the apricot preserves with the water in a microwave-safe dish for 20 seconds, then spread onto the still-warm biscuits before serving.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Squares

When I was growing up, my Aunt Trisha would often make this sweet bread. Her secret was to add lots of chocolate chips. I've adapted her recipe to make it both vegan and gluten free. This bread is still as moist and delicious as my Aunt Trisha's and now everyone can enjoy it.

Serves 8

4 tablespoons butter substitute, at
room temperature
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup finely shredded zucchini,
1 and 1/2 teaspoons egg replacer, whisked
with 2 tablespoons warm water
1/2 cup gluten-free chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8 x 8-inch baking pan.

  2. In a stand mixer, beat the butter substitute with the brown sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes on medium speed. Stop and scrape down the sides of bowl then add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, walnuts, and zucchini.Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. Stop and scrape down the sides of bowl. Add the egg replacer mixture and chocolate chips and mix for another 30 seconds.

  3. Spread the batter onto the prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack at least 1 hour before cutting into squares.

Please familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct and Terms of Use before posting your comments.

The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.