It takes some serious skill to make gluten-free desserts that are also vegan and delicious. I've sampled some xgfx vegan treats in my day that were just so-so and some that were just bad. But Memphian Brandon Thomas has mastered the art.
Brandon operates a pop-up storefront for his bakery — Guilt-Free Pastries — at 344 South Main, and he sells his stuff at Stone Soup Cafe and the Casbah Restaurant. I popped into the pop-up last weekend to grab a few treats to sample. Here's Brandon! He got his start baking healthy desserts because he weighed 300 pounds at one time and was trying to change his eating habits. After he made that change, he lost 125 pounds, and now he keeps it off by indulging in his guilt-free treats.
And here's his display case. Note that not everything here is vegan, but several items are.
I got one each of the vegan pastries to sample. I'd tried a few things before, but I needed to try them again, you know, for "research purposes." I got a Vegan Avocado Brownie.
You'd never guess this brownie was made with avocado. It had a fudgey brownie texture — all soft and chocolatey. The dark chocolate meant that it wasn't too sweet, and it had that sophisticated bitterness that cacao has. Fantastic! And only 52 calories! As a calorie counter, I really appreciate that Brandon's desserts truly are guilt-free.
I also got some bite-size Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies!
These are made with almond flour as opposed to wheat flour. But that soft cookie texture is still there! And they're so much fun to eat. Bite-sized is always better.
And finally, my very favorite item were the Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies!
These are also made with almond flour, and they have a similar soft texture to the chocolate chip cookies. But they're LOADED with cinnamon. I love anything with cinnamon. I really didn't want this package of cookies to end. They're only 60 calories a bag, and I could have easily eaten two bags if I'd had more.
If you're looking for delicious vegan, gluten-free baked goods in Memphis, Guilt-Free Pastries is THE place to go. The pop-up is open Fridays and Saturdays from 1 to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Or check out Stone Soup and the Casbah.