Vegan cookbooks, is there anything better? …Maybe the food from vegan cookbooks. Today I am excited to review the DIY Vegan by Nicole Axworthy & Lisa Pitman.
I reviewed The Homemade Vegan Pantry by Miyoko Schiner just a few months ago which is a similar cookbook. So first off, what’s the difference between these two?
The DIY Vegan has chapters on stocking your pantry, equipment and techniques, dairy-free staples, cereals and snacks, spreads and sauces, make your own mixes, and sweet treats.
The Homemade Vegan Pantry has the chapters condiments, dairy- and egg-free, soup, vegan meats, pastas, grains, and sweets.
So you can see while there are some similarities there are also differences. On top of that the methods to making similar recipes are pretty different. For example, the DIY Vegan, the yogurt recipe is made from coconut milk, probiotic powder, agave, lemon juice and sea salt. Where as The Homemade Vegan Pantry, the yogurt is made from almond milk, cashews, yogurt culture, arrowroot, agar, vanilla, and agave. I think it’s pretty cool to see that good old yogurt can be achieved in two completely different ways!
At first I thought I would end up saying one book is way better than the other, but in truth, they are just pretty different. There were recipes in both books that seemed super appealing to me, neither book seemed more challenging than the other, and both of them will help you make some vegan staples in their own unique way.
WHAT I LIKED
- There are some really fun recipes such as chocolate dipped ice-cream cones (hint: think Nestle Drumsticks), caramelized chai popcorn, white chocolate chips, and toaster pastries (think Poptarts).
- The dairy-free section looks so yummy!
- All of the recipes look very non-vegan friendly, no strange looking sprout-y looking recipes to be found in this book.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
- For the most part the ingredients are pretty easy to find, but there is the odd recipe that contain some more difficult to find ingredients such as vegan probiotic powder, maca powder, and agar flakes.
- Some of the recipes were for recipes that are generally already vegan such as hummus, muesli, pickles, ketchup, and pico de gallo.
- I found some of the instructions a little complicated to follow.
This book is a friendly approach to starting your DIY vegan pantry. Although some of the recipes require several steps, most are pretty simple with familiar ingredients. It’s a great addition to your cookbook shelf if you are interested in being a DIY vegan!
GET YOUR COPY OF DIY VEGAN!
Now to the recipe testing.
The first recipe I tested was the Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn. As soon as I read that title I had to make it ASAP!
This popcorn was ridiculous and I polished off the whole batch in a shameful amount of time. The chocolate drizzle was good, but seriously, the peanut butter was all that I needed to be happy in life. This would make a great little gift for someone special… very special… because I do NOT give up popcorn easily.
The second recipe I tried was the Buffalo Mozzarella. (Don’t worry, no buffalos were harmed in the making of this mozzarella).
The key ingredient is probiotic powder. This took me two trips to the store to figure out. When I first went to the health food store and asked for it, they pointed me to pill bottles in the fridge. Confused, I went back home, and read the explanation on probitic powder and that was indeed the stuff! Seemed a little funny to buy something in pill form to cook with, but whateves!
The real kicker about the probiotic powder is that it costs a small fortune. The first one the sales lady directed me to was $71!!! After some digging and careful label reading, I was able to find a bottle for $28 which was vegan probiotic powder for children, whatever that means, but sheesh, I didn’t want to pay more than that.
Now for the cheese. The process was a little fussy, a bunch of switching from a blender, to a bowl, to a blender again, to a pot, to a dish, and finally to plastic wrap. The result was these four cheese balls. They are very creamy in taste and texture. I think that mine came out softer than intended and I wasn’t blown away by these. I don’t think I would make this recipe again.
After spending a small fortune on probiotic powder, I wanted to get some more uses out of it so the last recipe I made was the cheddar cheese. A similar recipe to the buffalo mozzarella, with the many dishes, and the end result? Super delicious. Again, mine turned out much softer than intended, mine feels more like a whipped cream cheese texture than a firm cheddar. I am wondering if the agar I used was somehow different than the agar they tested with? Either way this was really tasty and I am going to plow through eating this. Oh hi cheese and crackers. Personally if it were my recipe I would have pumped up the colour with some paprika or tumeric, but that’s not essential.
I taste tested these recipes live on Snapchat! Make sure you follow me there so you can see all the fun things I am cooking up. Username: bonappetegan