May I present the bff holding the perfect example of our topic this post. Cookies. Throughout this week, I have inhaled delicious wafts of baked, glutinous treats, drizzled with chocolate, sprinkled with bright crystals of sugar. I wanted some. So badly.
Lucky for me, I got my wish, but by complete surprise. How did my best friend manage to come across such a tantalizing cookie (and one which we both could eat)? Well, it started with an impromptu adventure Friday morning. I say adventure, because Jessica had no clue that the breakfast location I chose happened to be completely vegetarian, somewhat vegan, and partially raw vegan in its menu. If you have not already guessed, she eats meat.
Walking in, I noticed 24 Carrots‘ eclectic looks with clusters of tables, chairs, and comfy spots to lounge around. It took us a while, but we finally made up our minds and ordered off of the chalked up menu.
As we sat down near the glass windows to catch up on conversation, other guests filtered in, and picked up carry out orders. Eventually our choices arrived. I completely caved when I discovered gluten free, vegan french toast on the menu.
A yummy choice. My fork got a little cinnamony because I needed to scrape off the beautiful strawberries. Jessica unknowingly ordered a more exotic breakfast.
In-house made “eggs” and “bacon” along with kamut toast and real jam.
When the plate touched the table, everything was fine. We welcomed the arrival of brunch. However, she suddenly gave me and the “eggs” quizzical looks. Jessica could tell something was up. I explained, “it’s vegan…(another look)…no dairy, no meat.” The discovery of tofu “eggs” came at her complete surprise.
She eyed the “bacon” and tried to figure out the next mystery. “What is this then?” We believed it to be seasoned firm tofu, and I was shocked when she proclaimed it to taste just like meat. Success. She thought the Indian twist on the “eggs” tasted good and offered me a bite. A house specialty? Yes please!
I continued on, drowning my french toast treat in maple syrup while Jessica moved on to her toast. She pronounced the kamut delicious, especially with the jam. As for my french toast, I loved that it tasted just like a tangy sourdough: a strong bite of chewy flavor. Good beginnings. BUT we started this discussion with a focus on cookies, right? What about the cookies…?
Well, when I wrote to 24 Carrots, I actually mentioned my cookie craving. Yes, cookies can be a legitimate, consuming priority. To be fair, I did discover 24 Carrots searching for something healthy. I only realized after looking at the 24 Carrots website that the “raw” vegan options might actually be food allergy friendly… including ‘treats.’
So… cookies! Sasha, the owner, graciously wrote me back and offered to make something special. I was floored. It was not until I arrived with my best friend Jessica that I realized how much consideration for food allergies 24 Carrots has to offer… as well as how delicious their cookies are!
You might guess that this is a special kind of cookie, and it is. Both Jessica and I could enjoy it, because it contains no dairy, no gluten, no corn, soy, or peanuts. Dark chocolate, raw cocoa, and freshly ground almonds combine into a blissful brownie-like cookie. Noms to the delicious!
Sasha’s specially made cookie reflects more than just a kind gesture, however. It shows how she treats all her customers, including those with literal lists of allergies. Making confectioner’s sugar from scratch, corn-free, is just how far Sasha will go. Her dedication comes from personal experience.
Sasha grew up vegetarian, and in the state of Kentucky, this was no small feat. One particular school field trip left Sasha eating a bowl of tomatoes for lunch because no alternatives could be found. From that point on, Sasha decided that no one else should go through her experience, including those with food allergies. This experience and personal compassion certainly shape 24 Carrots today.
A little history: 24 Carrots opened as a juice bar, but customer demands led Sasha to offer a rotating menu. Her devotion to fresh, local food and the customers still keep her working well into late nights. Rising bread does not pound itself, you know. But that is the farm to table atmosphere and quality Sasha has served from day one and I must agree that the taste proves it. The competition for certain treats on twitter and facebook is quite amazing. Apparently, I am not the only one who has found this diamond.
I will let you know there are rumors that Sasha is working on a dark chocolate orange granola this winter. When I come back with Jessica, it’s on. Sasha focuses on making nutrition dense recipes, lower in fats, using healthy sources, with as little sugar as possible. Even more reason to take the granola and run! …but maybe back to grab a cookie first.
For more about 24 Carrots’ whereabouts or their vegan granola or story, click the blue words!
Q: What kind of breakfast do YOU like to eat? Would you ever try tofu eggs or bacon?
granola image sources: dark chocolate, pumpkin pie spice