Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheez Rolls

Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheez Rolls

Hey y’all!  I am SO EXCITED to share this recipe with you today because it’s part of a little collaboration I did with two of my favoritest ladies on the planet, Heather and Eryn at //The Practical Minimalists//.  I have been listening to their podcast since earlier this year and as you know, as I’ve mentioned here before, they are a big part of what has inspired me to live more intentionally.  I can honestly say they helped motivate me to finally get my barn unpacked and get rid of more than half the stuff that had been sitting in boxes for over a year!  As a result, my house is most definitely less cluttered, and now, if I even think a little pile of something starting to develop, I almost get some kind of itch to take care of it before it turns into anything crazy.  I find with each podcast I listen to, that I relate to them on practically every topic they cover – from their recent show about news consumption, to their episode on meal planning, and even, especially, all the way back to their series on “unbecoming”.  In fact, I have been wanting to go back and re-listen to those episodes, as well as the ones they did with //Jess Lively//, so I will have to do that soon!  I love their show so much, because as the name suggests, they approach minimalism in a practical way – and insist that it doesn’t have to look any one way: you don’t have to wear black all the time and have one chair in your living room; minimalism can look how you want it to look.  This way, there is no pressure to fit into some predetermined category or label; it can be whatever you want it to be.  So please, if you are feeling like you need some motivation or inspiration to de-clutter your life (in more ways than just the physical), //check out their podcast// and you can thank me later.  ?

Now!  Onto the food.

Eryn shared this recipe with me and I positively jumped at the chance to make it.  For one thing, if you’ve been following along with me recently, you know that I have been heading down a more vegetarian path.  I have also dabbled in vegan baking recently when I shared these //chocolate chip cookie bars// with you, which was a bit of a turning point for me because I think I had been in the camp of, “ew, vegan!” before.  And now here is the second vegan recipe I’ve made, and I am honestly realizing that there is really nothing “ew” at all about vegan food.  In fact – I am planning on trying a vegan queso in the very near future ? as the self-proclaimed #connoisseurofnachos, I will be SURE to report back on its worthiness!  But anyway.  These strawberry rolls were really, really tasty.  This was my first time trying vegan cream cheese – I swear it doesn’t even taste different to me than regular cream cheese.  And, bonus!, at my Whole Foods I found the //coconut milk yogurt// that my high school friend, Anita, has been working tirelessly on developing over recent years, and I was jazzed at the opportunity to use it here!

My sister and I baked these //strawberry cream cheez rolls// together – I was happy to have her help as I am more of a cook than a baker, and she is a pro biscuit maker, so she happily cut that cold vegan butter into the dry ingredients for me and rolled it out into the most perfect rectangle.  We refrigerated the roll for about twice as long before cutting, just to make really really sure it was properly chilled.  And, instead of using Eryn’s vegan red food dye recipe listed on her blog post, I cooked down the rest of the strawberries with a little bit of water, and made a strawberry syrup.  I then pressed it through a sieve and dyed the frosting pink that way.  And, uh, it.  was.  so.  delicious.  ?

Once I pulled these out of the oven, I was having a hard time waiting for them to cool to eat them (are you surprised?).  And then once the frosting started to melt all over the warm rolls I couldn’t contain myself.  So I did my due diligence with the photographs and promptly scarfed down my first roll.  And now, I kid you not, as I write this, I am scarfing down another.  ?  And my belly is happy.

Would you know that these are vegan?  No, not by taste.  They are quite tasty.  Maybe by texture?  But that could be the gluten-free-ness of this recipe.  This is not a fluffy, sugary, strawberry version of a Cinnabon (which, if you’ve ever had one, you may recall sits in your stomach like a boulder for the rest of the day.  Who wants that?  Not me!).  Here’s what I think, though.  It shouldn’t really matter what’s in them – it should only matter what your tongue thinks when you shovel a forkful into your mouth.  Is your tongue happy?  Yes?  Then eat more.  ?

(She says, as she digs into her second strawberry roll in 15 minutes…)