Vegan comfort food: How make indulgent recipes without animal products

(CNN)Have you ever felt a powerful feeling of relaxation wash over you as you took a bite of a fresh-baked cookie or your mother's biscuits and gravy?

If you've adopted a vegan diet, you might miss those experiences.
You'd think it would be hard to make "veganized" versions of traditional comfort foods taste just as good as those food items that are now but distant memories.
    But the developments in the vegan food industry, growing acceptance of the diet and proliferation of talented vegan food bloggers in the last several years make indulgent vegan comfort food an achievable feat.
      Comfort food is usually high in calories, from sugar and/or carbohydrates, according to a 2017 review in the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science.
        The dish reminds us of childhood, home cooking, loved ones or holidays. The food is soft and warm. It's sweet, salty or umami. It addresses senses such as smell, taste and touch, or what it feels like in our mouths.
        "I think, for most people, comfort food is nostalgic," said Dee Pernell, a naturopathic physician and founder and CEO of First Batch Artisan Foods, an ice cream parlor in Atlanta. "It's heavy; it's warm; it's comforting and it feels like a big hug.
          "It can trigger pleasure sensors when we eat certain foods, and especially when [we] taste foods from times where we had no bills or responsibility or no Covid-19."