Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Once upon a time I was vegan for a week…it was really more by default than by choice. (This adventurous meat-eater not only survived, but thrived!) Let me tell you the story of how it all happened and share with you a marvelous recipe for “Vegan Cinnamon Rolls.”
Keep reading to find out why I went vegan…
Earlier this summer I embarked on an adventure to Finland. My Dad’s side of the family is from there and I spent two weeks criss crossing the country visiting more cousins than I ever knew I had! (More on that in blogs later this week.)
While I was over there I also set aside a little bit of downtime and joined a yoga retreat deep in the Scandinavian wilderness.
We were on an island, miles away from the nearest town, and only accessible by a small ferry boat. Inside our rooms there was no running water, and our “facilities” were an eco-friendly compost outhouse down the path from the cabin. Oh yes, this Four Seasons loving carnivore was all of a sudden roughing it in the woods as a vegan. Huh?
Say hello to my little gnome friend. He stood watch outside our outhouse.
Then I took a moment to absorb the epic beauty surrounding me on all sides. Deer even peered into the window during morning practice at our yoga studio nestled in the woods. Maybe I could get used to this…
The property, Villa Solhaga, is run by a couple who created all our meals from the surrounding land. Anything they couldn’t grow themselves, they would pick up from neighboring farms. This was more than local and organic. This was eating from your backyard.
To tell you the truth, I never felt hungry. Which, honestly, came as a surprise. I didn’t feel deprived or have any late-night steak cravings. The food was delicious and my system felt very “balanced.” The proper state for a yoga retreat, I would say.
Want to know the only “side effect” of this week long life adjustment? My eyelashes grew incredibly long. Seriously! After I returned to Helsinki I looked in the mirror and it was like I had been using Latisse. I don’t know if it was the minerals in the clean Finnish water, the nutrients in the vegan cuisine, or the result of too many downward facing dogs. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant surprise! (By the way, since I have been back in the US and on my normal diet they are back to their regular length…weird.)
One of our instructors for the week, Aino, is a fabulous Finn currently living in New York City. She created this recipe for Vegan Cinnamon Rolls so she could still enjoy one of her favorite treats from back home.
These cinnamon rolls are called “Korvapuusti” and can be found in just about any bakery or coffee shop all around Finland. The word, korvapuusti, literally translates to “a slap on the ear.” Not something I like with my morning coffee! My guess is the name comes from the spiral shape on the side of the bun. These can certainly be made non-vegan as well. But, hey, give this version a try. You never know…they just might make your eyelashes grow!
Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup almond milk
3 1/2 cups organic unbleached white flour, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package dry yeast
1/3 cup raw cane sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) vegan butter, melted
2 Tablespoons raw cane sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
Pearl Sugar, for topping
Warm the milk over medium heat, but do not boil. In a separate bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour, cardamom, salt and dry yeast. Pour the warm milk over the dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Add the melted butter.
Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place, about 1 hour.
Divide the dough in half and roll into two large rectangles, about 14 inches by 10 inches. Use remaining flour to lightly dust the surface and your rolling pin.
Generously spread butter over the dough, sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar. Roll the dough starting at the long side of rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough on an angle, forming triangle shaped rolls. On a baking sheet, place the cut rolls with the narrow part of the triangle facing up. Gently press down and squeeze the middle of each roll. This will show off the spiral shapes on either side of the bun.
Brush each bun with a little vegan butter and sprinkle Pearl Sugar on top. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes.
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