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Vegan chocolate chip cookies are a dessert made entirely of plant-based ingredients. None of the truly vegan recipes for them call for even one ingredient that is derived from an animal, such as the dairy products milk and butter. This type of dessert also is free of whole eggs and egg whites. Various foods and food products that are derived entirely from fruits, vegetables or grains are used as substitutes for dairy products in vegan baking and cooking.
The practice of veganism is not the only motivation for choosing vegan chocolate chip cookies as a dessert. People with allergies such as those who are allergic to casein, a protein found in dairy products, might also choose this or any other vegan dessert. Doing this will help them avoid provoking uncomfortable or dangerous allergic reactions.
The other ingredients used to make vegan chocolate chip cookies are similar or the same as those used to make traditional chocolate chip cookies, including flour, sugar and baking powder. Instead of using an all-purpose flour that almost always is degerminated and enriched, many people opt to bake them with an heirloom, whole-grain flour such as spelt wheat. Spelt is significantly higher in vitamins and minerals than the modern, hybridized wheat widely sold in many grocery stores. An all-natural sugar is another ingredient often used to replace the refined, white sugar appearing on the typical list of ingredients for various kinds of desserts. Among the natural sugars typically used in baking vegan chocolate chip cookies are pasteurized or raw honey, stevia extract, light or dark brown sugar, date sugar, xylitol and agave extract, also called nectar.
Generally, dark brown sugar is the sweetener of choice to yield vegan chocolate chip cookies that are practically identical in taste and texture to those that contain dairy products. Many brands of baking powder contain aluminum, a substance that some people believe might play a role in raising one's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Aluminum-free baking powder, however, is widely available in many grocery stores and natural food stores. Although vegan chocolate chip cookies are baked and consumed by people who practice veganism and those who have allergies to casein, others prefer them for health reasons, such as the desire to reduce their intake of cholesterol by avoiding the use of eggs.
Environmentally conscious people such as those who would like to contribute to lowering the world's consumption of animals and animal-derived foods also enjoy vegan baking and cooking. This does not mean, however, that they regularly practice veganism. Those who are vegans often enjoy milk with cookies just as meat eaters do, and they are known to prepare a vegan milk from vegetable sources such as rice and almonds to enjoy with this dessert.