Vegan Easter Treats

In Desserts, Recipes by the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl0 Comments

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Something about Easter just feels sort of… non-vegan. Let’s consider: a holiday where it’s traditional to paint chicken eggs and eat lamb just doesn’t seem very vegan friendly. But we say – adapt! Easter doesn’t have to be a skipped holiday. You can even enjoy a vegan Easter basket! We’ve got the fix for you right now!

First thing though – our own PSA – please, skip the live animals on Easter!  Most of the baby chicks, ducklings and rabbits bought as Easter gifts aren’t wanted two days later. These animals aren’t even legal to keep as pets in many residential areas (chickens and ducks, that is!). So please, don’t even buy them! Now, the PSA is done. Or – wait – Let’s move on to that crappy plastic Easter grass. Don’t buy that either. You can use pretty fabric in an Easter basket or find recycled/recyclable paper shreds instead. Feeling crafty? Make your own paper shreds from junk mail!

Now, what to put in your loved ones’ Easter baskets… traditionally, it’s candy. Lots of candy. I remember the sugar load of Easter rivaling any Halloween when I was a kid. But most candy at the super market isn’t vegan! No worries. There is a lot on the market that IS and we have a list for you below.

Why not try your hand at making some Easter candy, though? Last spring we posted Healthier Peanut Butter Eggs and folks really liked them. But while you’re in the kitchen we have more easy Easter candy you can make. Little ones can help, too!

Many families enjoy these simple sweets for Easter. If you’re inspired, you can even make them in shapes like eggs or bunnies. We always ate them as squares, though. Something about that sticky, marshmallow goodness always reminds me of Easter!

Crisp Rice Treats

1 10-oz bag vegan marshmallows (we used Dandies; Sweet & Sara also available – both are free of gelatin, which contains animal bones)

3 Tbl. vegan margarine (such as Melt or Earth Balance)

4 cups crisp rice cereal (we used One Degree Brown Rice Crisps)

1 tsp. vanilla

Spray an 8×8 casserole with non-stick spray (or grease with extra margarine) and set aside.

In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt the vegan margarine. Add the entire bag of marshmallows and stir constantly until melted and gooey. This takes about 8 to 10 minutes. Fold in the crisp rice cereal quickly.

Press into the prepared casserole dish and allow to cool about an hour before slicing. Makes 16 squares.

Want to make it festive for Easter? Just before pressing into the casserole stir in 1/2 cup vegan jellybeans. You have to move fast with these, otherwise, they will melt and the Crisp Rice Treats will have streaks of color instead of intact jellybeans.

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Chocolate Easter “Nests”

This recipe holds a special place in my heart. As a kid I used to LOVE making these with my mom. I placed the jellybeans. She melted the chocolate and stirred in the coconut – and food coloring. I’ve changed the recipe a little, omitting food color and adding granola to make it more “nest-like.” But your little ones will enjoy helping shape the nests and putting the jellybean eggs into place, I’m sure. It’s great fun!

8 oz. bag vegan white chocolate chips (such as King David Gourmet or Vegansweets; bars available from Premium Chocolatiers)

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (such as Swanson Organics, Let’s Do Organic or NOW Foods)

1/2 cup vegan granola, your favorite

30 to 36 vegan jelly beans (such as surf Sweets, SweetTarts or Starburst – all are gelatin-free!)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Over a double boiler on low heat, melt white chocolate chips. Stir often and do not allow water or steam to get into the melted chips. Once the chips are liquid, stir in coconut flakes and granola. Mix well to coat.

Place dollops of about 1 Tbl. to 1 1/2 Tbl of coconut mixture on the parchment in shapes of round nests. Top with two or three jellybeans each, nestled into the center. Makes 12 nests.

Allow to cool for two hours before eating. Will keep for a week in the fridge.

04_basket_SEBasket Fillers You Can Buy

After all that homemade fun, if you still aren’t sure about making homemade vegan Easter candy, we have some suggestions.

Annie’s Chocolate Bunny Grahams – cute crackers shaped like bunnies!

Sweet & Sara’srice crisp treats and vegan peeps

Charm School Chocolate – vegan bars and bite size toffee candies

Surf Sweetsjelly beans and gummy candies

Cocomels – soft, luscious vegan caramels in several flavors

Sjaak’s – dark chocolate Easter bunnies and foil-wrapped eggs

Mama Ganache – dark chocolate bunnies and foil-wrapped leaves/flowers

Premium Chocolatiers – bunny pops, bars, coated chocolates and more

Go Max Go – knock off bars of candy bar classics

Or try the Vegan Candy section of the Natural Candy Store online – they have pages of options!

This list isn’t everything, to be sure. We found a lot of options though in our local natural markets and Whole Foods. Even the nearby grocer had vegan jellybeans (Starburst and Sweet Tart jellybeans are vegan!) and some dark chocolate bars. All you need to do is read labels, looking out for dairy and gelatin. Sometimes gelatin is also listed as beef collagen, too, on candy labels.

Want to fill in the basket with some non-candy items? I always loved getting seeds for the garden, bubbles or small toys as well as hair barrettes. Thing about what small items your loved one would use and enjoy – then make sure to get those ideas to the Easter Bunny in time!

Happy Easter!

the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl

the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl

the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl are working artists based in Baltimore. They write an eco-aware, flower power, neo-hippie, vegan blog that features travel profiles, original recipes and candid book & product reviews. They are excited to join forces with Sister Eden!

To visit the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl's website, click their byline. To read the rest of their posts on Sister Eden, click their tag at the top of the post.
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