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Vegan Cheesecake and Other Birthday Treats

February 27, 2013

You know those moments when you realize that a friend or family member truly knows you well? Like when they read your mind, help you figure out something deep about yourself, or pick out the perfect gift?

I was blessed with several of those moments a couple of weeks ago, when my 32nd birthday rolled around.  Suddenly the mail brought things like cherry marzipan green tea, several new dark chocolates to try, snack bars made from beans, a birthday card featuring smiley-faced vegetables, a vegan cheesecake, and a cookbook all about quinoa. I know, I am a very lucky girl to have such thoughtful folks in my life! I may share other new discoveries via birthday gifts with you in the future, but here are a few if you happen to be looking for healthyish foodie gift ideas.

The “lettuce party” card above is from Sanctuary Spring, a socially conscious fair trade company. Isn’t it funny? I love it. Perfect birthday card for vegetarians, vegans, and healthnuts.

These organic, vegan Mama Ganache chocolate cups are also fair trade, and come in other flavors like Cranberry Ginger and Chili Orange Walnut. They were very good- thick, substantial, not overly sweet.

I think my sister found them at the company’s shop in San Luis Obispo (mental note: future road trip destination), and unfortunately it looks like the only way to buy the cups online may be wholesale? However, it looks like they do sell several varieties of truffles online for non-wholesale purchase, and some of them are vegan. If anyone out there is a better googler than I am and stumbles upon a way to buy the candy cups without intending to sell them, please let me know! Not that I wouldn’t want $40 worth of them in my cupboard, just that it looks like you actually have to be a retailer to order them legitimately.

Other gift inspirations for healthy foodies: stylish and refreshing boxes of unique flavors of Tea Forte teas, and The Good Bean’s snack bars made from roasted chickpeas and soynuts.

And finally, as if we needed any more proof that Etsy is wonderful, it turns out that you can order entire vegan cheesecakes to be delivered to your doorstep! My husband found this pumpkin-hazelnut-chocolate one among nearly 200 (!) sweet and savory baked goods in the Vegan Lotus shop. The really amazing things about it are a) it does not taste like tofu, b) it has that traditional cheesecake tang, c) it arrived with hardly a nut out of place, and d) it was not overly sweet and did not leave me feeling sugar-shocked or heavy. The people at Vegan Lotus are clearly super geniuses.

I emailed the shop owner to find out what main ingredients they use for their fillings, sweeteners, and crust, but haven’t heard back yet. So, I’m not exactly sure what is in their desserts, but I was pretty impressed with their understated, seemingly somewhat healthful goodness and ability to hold up in the mail.

What are your favorite gifts or treats to send or receive in the mail? A few of these gifters’ birthdays are coming up soon and I’d like to return their thoughtfulness with some equally touching packages!

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