In case you didn’t know, it’s national donut day!...Kill me! My love affair with donuts began in college where there was a Krispy Kreme bakery a few miles away from campus. Regular late night runs to the KK drive-thru, crossing our fingers in hopes of the “hot sign” being on, sure helped to pack on the freshman 15! Those fluffy sugary morsels were worth every delectable bite. Fast forward 10 years (…or so) to present day, living in West Hollywood as a gay man with career aspirations in the entertainment business, and you probably get why the taste of a donut is a fond but distant memory. Add to that my new health and fitness goal of staying away from inflammatory foods (sugar, grains and dairy—blog post coming soon) and donuts might as well be coated in kryptonite with caution tape for packaging! It also seems like lately 4 out of 5 people in LA are “gluten free” and not because they’ve been living all these years with undiagnosed celiac disease. Granted, a gluten-free diet is amazing for the skin and the waistline, but on a day like this, I’m reminded of the bad-rap donuts get all the other days of the year. So how do the health-conscious celebrate national donut day?
Enter pastry chef Waylynn Lucas and gluten-free baking genius Nancy Truman, co-owners of Fonuts Bakery. Located on 3rd street in Los Angeles since 2011, Fonuts offers a variety of gluten-free/vegan donut alternatives. These delicious donut imposters are made from almond flour that’s baked and/or steamed and never fried. Some of their featured flavors are peanut butter chocolate, vanilla latte, banana cinnamon, lemon (LOVE), coconut passion fruit, chocolate coconut, pumpkin, and raspberry vanilla, which happens to be the one I devoured earlier this morning. For those looking for a more traditional donut experience, Fonuts offers some unusual but incredibly tasty flavors for the NON-gluten-free/vegan customer who still wants a “non-fried” healthier option like: maple bacon, rosemary olive oil, red velvet, strawberry buttermilk and chorizo cheddar!
Now I know what some of you must be thinking, the words gluten-free and vegan might as well be synonyms’ for “cardboard” and “yuck,” but trust me, these babies are light and moist, and extremely flavorful. Given the popularity of the “gluten-free movement,” the demand for more palatable options has been on the rise. The exceptional quality of the ingredients in fonuts is very apparent. Their creative flavor profiles can’t be found in any other Los Angeles donut shop. The bakery itself is also charming with a large neon “fresh&hot” sign in yellow and a classic 1950s stove serving as the help-yourself coffee station. It’s not uncommon to see Waylynn or Nancy up at the front working the cash register or boxing up their lovely creations with a yellow piece of ribbon.
Finally! A delicious treat for the health conscious! Go celebrate national donut day without the guilt, and let’s see if we can convince Waylynn and Nancy to open up more locations!