Tuesday 17 June 2014

Wholesome Vegan Oat Scones

Lets face it folks, you all know that I am not vegan, will not be a vegan and do not plan on being vegan anytime soon. Its a well known fact that while I may routinely torment myself with an overdose of academia and the occasional bout of physical exercise, I'm far from perfect and enjoy life with a hefty helping of epicureanism, one which sometimes traverses into the realm of nearly bacchanalian  hedonism. I take my toast and waffles buttered, my cheese on everything, and have trouble looking at a pig without seeing adorable bacon held up by ham. Lamb and foie gras are moral dilemmas which inexorably end in favour of my stomach and no bottle of wine should go uncorked.

Perhaps because of this, I view vegans and vegetarians with a mixture of incredulity and admiration. Admiration for their nearly monastic dedication to a clean, environmentally sensitive lifestyle, incredulity because I know that if you wanted to take my brie from me you'd have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
Having vegan and vegetarian friends has catered to what I can only describe as my Catholic guilt complex, on the one hand I long for the freedom and guilt free lifestyle that comes from “eating clean” on the other hand, I can’t help but think that I wouldn’t want to wake every morning to veganism as a bedfellow. In an attempt to bridge the gap I've tried to limit my consumption of meat and animal products. A close friendship with friends of cleaner dieting persuasion has led me to pursue vegan recipes with renewed fervor as an endeavor which I can only describe as both challenging and rewarding!

Now on to the scones.  Yesterday, I was invited to an interesting event: vegan high tea. This lovely experience, celebrating my dear friend Mitchell’s return from Africa was catered by his wife Kat who does an impressive job of making veganism bearable. Her cashew sour cream cucumber sandwiches are legitimately better than the real deal and veggie pate has delightful umami that fills an otherwise substantial void in the British tea experience. My contribution to this tasty meal was vegan scones with strawberry rhurbarb compote. The scone is a surprisingly mutable baked good, and reacts well to veganification. I had subbed butter for shortening or coconut oil before without breaking much of a sweat. What makes these scones actually innovative is the choice of flour. Upon returning home from the grocery, I found myself sadly lacking in white flour. This lack of nutrient free fluffy goodness led me to pursue other more wholesome options, with what I might say were rather tasty results! I grabbed some wholewheat flour and introduced some oatmeal to my coffee grinder and this recipe was the result. Flatter than the usual scone (something which could likely have been countered with a few more solids and colder fat, my shortening having been very warm) the scones remained a good vehicle for jammy goodness and held their own on the tea table.

Without further ado, here are nearly healthy vegan scones!
-1 1/4c oat flour (oatmeal, meat coffee grinder, coffee grinder meat oatmeal)
- 1 3/4c wholewheat flour
-nutmeg to taste
-5tsp baking powder
-2 tsp salt
-1/2c sugar+1tsbp
-½c vegetable shortening+1tbsp
-1.5c. soy milk

“La démarche” is simple enough:
Preheat oven to 400

Combine all dry ingredients, including the sugar into a large bowl, mix well

 Add the shortening

Incorporate into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry knife until somewhat pebbly in appearance with pea-sized lumps.

Add the soy milk, mix quickly until flour is just integrated, drop in dollops onto a cookie sheet
Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes

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