Levine's vegan concoctions are in fact healthier than the treats found in many bakeries and stores, which are riddled with preservatives and high fructose corn syrup.
In a small kitchen in West Oakland, a batch of freshly glazed doughnuts cools on a baking rack. The rows of ring-shaped pastries glisten under coats of chocolate, cinnamon, and blueberry. It's a tantalizing scene for any junk food lover, but there's something missing from these doughnuts — and it's not just their centers.
The cake-style doughnuts made by Pepple's Donuts lack some of the quintessential ingredients of the traditional fried dessert. They're largely organic and totally vegan, meaning they're made without butter, egg, milk, or lard. While the term "vegan" may conjure images of a sparse diet of nuts and berries, Pepple's doughnuts are part of a growing number of non-dairy options that dispel that minimalist image.
"Vegans want junk food, but so much junk food isn't vegan — and the stuff that is, is just — junk," said owner Josh Levine. "I wouldn't even say that my doughnuts are junk food, because there's nothing junky inside them."
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