BuddingVeg.com Features: Pure Sweets
We found Philadelphia based Pure Sweets an all-natural, gluten-free, organic, vegan, kosher and social-good (5% of profits go to charity) bakery that helps bridge the gap between achieving a healthy DNA and decadent taste for its menu. The brand is designed to help hardcore health nuts, and “cheesesteak and pretzel” lovers alike to open their arms to consuming all-natural, preservative and refined sugar-free products.
Founder and CEO Andrea Kyan has been die-hard vegetarian (and now vegan) since she visited a slaughterhouse in 1993. Yet, she has tips on how to ease into a plant-based lifestyle through an understanding of good nutrition, and using that knowledge in all her recipes. Her brand caters to everyone from food lovers, to heath nuts, and to those with gluten and egg allergies—vegans are actually the minorities.
For Kyan, there are no route sets of rules to ease into a vegetarian/healthier lifestyle, just a commitment that your body deserves only the best whole ingredients: things you find hanging from trees or planted from the group. That doesn’t mean fake meat or a reliance on starches! “Base your transition on incorporating more leafy greens, salads, beans and whole fruits, instead of meat and dairy substitutes,” Kyan told BuddingVeg.com. “Meat substitutes are full of processed soy protein isolates, gums, starches and sodium, which all together is worse on the body than animal protein.” What about settling for a life without meat, cheese and potatoes—sweet potato fries included?
“Try for at least one week to go without your cravings—they dissipate over time,” she said.
Rest assured, you can get plenty of plant-based whole ingredients through Pure Sweets’ lineup. Perhaps most famous is the “mini macaroons”—a dense, delicious clump of coconut shreds infused with exotic, high quality ingredients, ranging from organic rosewater and cardamom, in The Sphinx, to a lethal chocolate and cayenne pepper combo in The Bat. From the macaroons came flourless cookies, crisp bars, and heavenly spreads such as The Lupo, an organic chocolate hazelnut bar that puts Nutella to shame.
Kyan is most inspired to create new products through her travels, but admits, that making certain signature deserts have been challenging with the limited nature of ingredients she has to work with. It’s all about experimentation and getting proportions right…and coconut. Lots of coconut. According to Kyan., the discovery of fresh coconut meat add body for a creamy filling, while coconut oil adds the smooth texture appealing to the palate.
“All the recipes out there do not work well. They give you something decent, but not tasty enough to pass the test of a non-vegan,” Kyan said. “I had to play around with cookie batters to make a cookie that would not fall apart without eggs or gluten—the binding agent for most batters. Instead, I use nut butters to bind and coconut oil and cold, hard butter to firm up my treats.”
As if figuring out how to keep her sweets organic, gluten-free, kosher, vegan and refined sugar-free wasn’t hard enough, Kyan newest creation is a line of cold-pressed tonics. Cold-pressed by a Norwalk juicer, which is based on the raw food principle that heats (molecular modification) kills nutrition, Pure Tonics keeps a higher concentrate of phytonutrients in each drop. Fresh raw veggie and fruit juices are great for breakfast, and unpasteurized nut milks are perfect for a post-workout recovery.
Kyan’s vision for Pure Sweets over the next year will continue to refine her menu, and challenge the laws of traditional baking for the healthy, greater good, but, she also has her eye on kitchen expansion.
“I’m working on moving into a larger production kitchen with foot traffic. I’m not ready for retail, but would love for customers to be able to pick up, take out, and visit for tastings. Whether that location is in Philly or elsewhere, only time will tell!”