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The Vegan Network Eric Mirbach Joan La New York

Joan La

is storyteller & blogger.
Photographed by Eric Mirbach.
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Any guilty pleasures?


I’m sure my answer to this question is quite cliché - vegan chocolate chip cookies. I have a huge sweet tooth and it is a problem - I will bake a batch of cookies at midnight to satisfy a sudden craving. It’s also not the healthiest thing to be eating at 1 in the morning, while a more frequent occurrence than people would expect. I am indeed a night owl so eating late happens every so often, but that’s a whole different story.

The vegan chocolate chip cookies have to be perfectly chewy, yet crispy on the edges, soft in the center with the chocolate chips melting in your mouth. For someone who also likes a variety of sweets, I’m particular when it comes to how I’d like for each to taste. Among my other favorites are: vegan carrot cake, all kinds of vegan pie and vegan ice cream.

Many people have this misconception that all vegan sweets taste like cardboard, but that is absolutely not the case. I’ve scoured countless vegan food blogs and cookbooks to discover that it’s actually quite straightforward and simple to make any vegan dessert taste the same as non-vegan treats, if not better. The only difference is you’re not adding anything unhealthy like eggs or dairy. It’s also easy to make sweets with nutritionally dense ingredients aka plants.

I am aware that it is out of control that I have midnight chocolate chip cookies more often than not, sometimes making the mistake of indulging in one too many, but that’s why it’s one of my top guilty pleasures. Also, I do think a vegan treat every once in a while is acceptable.

More photos by Eric Mirbach