April is one of my favorite months, for myriad reasons: spring is officially in full swing, the days are longer and sunnier, and sundresses are back in wardrobe rotation. It also happens to be my birthday month, so I know to expect that other seasonal inevitability, the “What would you like for your birthday?” question from my family. And this year, like always, I’ll have my standard (honest) reply ready: more time together!
Whether that’s us having a celebratory glass of champagne at our favorite ocean-view restaurant, enjoying nature together on a long hike, or having a picnic on the beach (with extra sandcastle-building time with my nephew), the end result—joy at getting to spend quality time with those I love most—is the same.
But if there’s something I know for certain about Team Holland, it’s that they’ll want to mark my big day with something tangible, too. If they’re insistent, I’ll confess that I’d be delighted to receive a special delivery of my favorite vegan treats. Because if you can’t enjoy a sweet indulgence on your special day, when can you?!
From truffles and cheeses to pralines and butters, healthy treats actually do exist, and my favorites are made with high-quality vegan ingredients derived primarily from whole plant foods. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or thinking of gifting someone else a special edible treat that just happens to be vegan, these confections are the best of the best, and beloved by this birthday girl.
Colleen’s Top 12 Healthy Vegan Treats (That Deliver!)
- Peanut Butter Caramel Bars from Daydream Dessert
Dates, maple syrup, and peanut butter weave their magic to transform the mundane into something marvelous. Each bar is enrobed in rich cacao and topped with crunchy almonds. Pure heaven!
- Darkest Cacao Truffles from Living Raw
These bite-size morsels of chocolatey goodness get their slight crunch from cacao nibs, which, like every ingredient in these raw truffles, are organic. The PowerMint Patties are equally delicious.
- Tiramisu Cake from Rawsome Treats
Last year, my family sent me one of these cakes, and it made my birthday extra-super special! Think fluffy cappuccino cream layered atop a sinfully scrumptious nut crust, dusted with a fine layer of cocoa powder. So indulgent!
- Berkeley Bar by Coracao
This is dessert with benefits: besides cashew butter caramel, almonds, and dark chocolate, these bars boast a layer of nougat made with superfoods maca and lucuma. Think Snickers, only reimagined as vegan!
- Aged Cashew Cheese from Dr-Cow
This sophisticated fromage was my first introduction to aged vegan cheese more than a decade ago. It’s rich, indulgent, and tastes better than anything made from cow’s milk. Their artisanal coconut yogurts, sprouted cashew butters, and hazelnut cacao butters are amazing, too!
- Coconut-Covered Sprouted Macadamia Nuts by Healthy Truth
Macadamia nuts are a great source of magnesium and iron, and sprouting introduces enzymes that support digestion, which makes these a treat that’s truly good for you. I love them sprinkled over açai bowls or straight out of the bag.
- Peanut Butter Delight Bar by JOJO’s
These taste like dessert, but the addition of hemp protein makes you feel sated long after you’ve polished one off. No sugar crash, either! I keep one of these tucked in my day bag in case I need an on-the-go snack.
- Raw Chocolate Sprouted Pecan Clusters by Hnina
I like giving these as gifts as much as I enjoy receiving them. The ingredients are simple and clean, but they taste like they were made by an experienced French chocolatier—which might be because they were!
- Chocolate Truffle Gift Box from Fine & Raw
True luxury is rooted in quality, and these beautiful truffles fit the category. The chocolate is ethically sourced (and the cacao farmers earn higher-than-fair-trade wages), and each ingredient is 100-percent organic.
- Black Truffle Goatless Cheese + Superfood Crackers from Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen
Food is an important part of creating a memorable celebration, and these soirée-ready cheese and crackers make it easier than ever. Created by the queen of vegan cakes herself, you can also have a gorgeous, customized cake delivered while you're at it!
- Pecan Butter by Sunday Provisions
I love treating myself to a jar of this decadent and utterly delicious small-batch nut butter, which I spoon over smoothie bowls or use as a dip for fresh strawberries. They might be high in fat, but pecans are nutritional powerhouses—so there’s absolutely no guilt here!
- Chocolate-Dipped Marzipan Pralines by Casse/Cou
Marzipan is a love-it-or-hate-it taste, and I am definitely in the love-it camp, and never more so than when it’s enrobed in dark chocolate. Celebrity chef Matthew Kenney is the mastermind behind these pralines, and I love his addition of amaretto to kick up the almond flavor.