Me six months ago: “No way. Nope. You can’t take my butter and cream. Not. Going. To. Happen.”
Well, guess what? It did. Happen. Yes, it did. See these scones? Moist, tender, rich, and yes, satisfying, they’re our new household favorite, and they’re vegan! I keep making them, one batch after another.
Just look at these tender, flavorful morsels!
If you know me well or read me regularly, you know I love butter and cheese, like these biscuits, hot from the oven and fairly dripping with the stuff. B&C make nearly every recipe better, right?
My buttery, cheesy whole wheat biscuits
Now that a family member is living with Diabetes II, I’m forced to give my rich dairy goodies a hard look.
Convinced that cutting dairy will help her manage her diabetes, she’s become a vegan-leaning vegetarian.
She is also one of the most important people in the world to me, so of course I look at our favorite recipes with a new eye.
Take my Cheesy Whole Wheat Biscuits you see here. How could I transform one of our best-loved breakfast treats into a vegan delight?
Turns out, I could and did transform those delicate morsels into equally tender–no, even more tender–scones with just a few twists.
Making a favorite treat better
Of course, no pastry deserves the name unless there’s fat, and there’s still plenty in these tender scones. Sorry dieters! In this case, it’s cold-pressed, raw, organic coconut oil.
According to some studies (pdf), even though coconut oil is highly saturated, it may be good for us.
Coconuts provide the liquid in these morsels as well. Where typically I use cream, whole milk or buttermilk in my scones, I used coconut milk in these. So good!
The day I took these pictures, I had store-bought coconut milk on hand needing to be used–the last one. Now that I know how to make coconut milk myself, I don’t buy this stuff, with its thickeners, additives and plastic-lined cans. Who needs all that when it’s easy to make your own!
Fresh spinach, red bell pepper and purple onion add color, moistness and healthy nutrients to our scones
For flavor, I added some of our favorite vegetables to the basic recipe. This is nothing new. I’ve made savory veggie scones for ages. Hot, sweet red onions. Colorful bell peppers. Even kale, spinach and asparagus!
Not all of those in every batch, of course. But just a few, in the right combinations? Delicious! And easy peasey.
For the cheese? In these scones, I substituted a quarter cup of nutritional yeast, which imparts a slightly cheesy taste.
Here’s the recipe, our new household favorite. Yes, that’s right. A vegan scone is our favorite! Who knew?
Vegan whole wheat veggie confetti scones
A hint of chipotle heat, a bite of savory onions, the crunch and color of sweet bell peppers, and a rich, cheesy undercurrent make these vegan scones as flavorful as any I’ve ever made with butter and cream or whole milk.
Can’t you just feel this scone crunching and flaking under your teeth, then practically melting on your tongue?
Dark green baby spinach bits help to moisten the pastry while bringing out the contrasting purples and red of the onion and peppers. Nutritional yeast lends enough cheesy flavor that I don’t miss the sharp cheddar I used to add to my southwest scones.
Time and such:
- 2 C Organic whole wheat flour
- 1/2 t Baking soda
- 1-1/2 t Baking powder
- 1/2 t Sea salt
- 2 t Turbinado (raw) sugar (optional)†
- 1/8 t Organic ground chipotle (optional)
- 1/4 C Nutritional yeast
- 1/2 C Cold pressed, raw, certified organic coconut oil
- 2/3 C Red onion, chopped medium fine‡
- 3/4 C Red, yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped medium fine‡
- 1 C Chopped baby spinach leaves, chopped fine‡
- 1 C Coconut milk, reserving 1 T to brush tops before baking
†A small amount of this larger-crystal sugar adds a slight sweetness to the pastry and helps the tops to caramelize a little more, since we can’t do an egg wash to get that golden brown bloom that makes pastries so appetizing.
‡To save time, chop these vegetables while the flour mixture chills. See #7 in directions below.
Washed and drained baby spinach leaves, ready to chop
Preheat oven to 450º F.
- Line a large baking pan with baker’s parchment.
- Spoon the flour into your dry measuring cups, then into your sifter. Sift.
- Dump the sifted flour back into the sifter and add the baking powder, salt, sugar and chipotle powder. Sift into a medium mixing bowl.
- Whisk in the nutritional yeast.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut the coconut oil into the flour mixture until it resembles corn meal in appearance and largest pieces are the size of small peas.
- Place flour mixture in refrigerator to chill while you chop the vegetables medium-fine.
- Add the vegetables all at once to the flour mixture and combine gently till distributed evenly.
- Make a well in the center and pour in the coconut milk, mixing quickly and gently with a rubber or silicone spatula until the mixture just holds together.
- Dump dough onto lightly floured board and pat into a round about 1″ tall.
- Using a large pizza cutter or dough scraper, score 12 triangles, then cut and lift them to the baking pan.
- Bake at 450º F for 25-30 minutes until golden and crusty on the outside, tender and moist on the inside.
- Remove to wire rack, let rest 5 minutes, and serve immediately.
Serve immediately with a light omelet or a crunchy green salad. Dip into a bowl of creamy potato and leek soup, or just eat them out of hand, as we do, with a cup of coffee or a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice.
Lucky enough to have leftovers? Store them in a Fido or other air-tight jar. They’ll last three to four days. If they turn a bit soft, heat in a toaster oven a minute or two to crisp the outsides right up. I use the “light” toast setting.
For a simple, easy breakfast, serve these scones with fresh fruit and a dollop of vegan yogurt
Butter and cream or vegan?
Are you a dairy fan like me and can’t imagine giving up your butter, eggs and cream? Or maybe you’ve been vegan a long time and found this page in a search for vegan pastries. Either way, I’d like to hear from you. How might this recipe work for you and your family?