If you were a foodie before going vegan, chances are you have some pretty awesome recipes that you're now living without. I'm happy to share that you no longer need to shun those delicious recipes. Don't erase, replace!
You can make most of your old favorites at home by using a few key substitutions. You can also purchase substitutions, too. I ususally prefer making my own substitutions though because they're fresher and I know all the ingredients! So, without further ado, here's my 5 favorite vegan substitutions.
Do It Yourself (DIY):
To replace butter in a recipe, you can use the same amount of olive oil with a little splash of sea salt. Butter has a nice salty taste. Olive oil gives you the creaminess, and the salt gives you the saltiness.
There are many vegan butters you can purchase. If your recipe calls for butter in its solid state, look for a soy-free option. Or if soy is your thing- no worries. Just make sure it's organic!
This one's pretty easy. You can make your own nut or seed milk at home in a flash. Simply...
1. Grab a handful of your favorite nuts or seeds and toss it into a blender with just enough water to cover the seeds/nuts.
2. Blend until well combined.
3. Add about 4 cups of water to the mixture and continue to blend for about 1 minute.
4. Separate the milk from the nut meat by pouring the milk through a strainer/cheesecloth/nutmilk strainer. After this your milk is good! You can add extras if you'd like- a couple of dates, a splash of vanilla extract, a shake of salt (milk has a slightly salty flavor), whatever you're digging. My family loves adding cacao powder and mint extract to theirs for a mint chocolate milk. It's pretty tasty!
I don't have a favorite store-bought milk. I always make mine at home. Coconut milk, almond milk, and rice milk would be my go-to's if I did decide to purchase vegan milk from the store. There are many products on the market, though. My best advice is to start trying them out and see what jives with you.
The best egg substitution? Flax meal! 1 tbsp of flax = 1 flax egg.
1. Combine 3 parts water to 1 part flax.
2. Let sit until a gelatinous substance forms (a few minutes).
3. Use in your recipe the same way you would use a real egg.
I don't purchase any of the traditional egg replacer products. There's no need with a substitution this good! Flax is super versatile and super good for you. Not only is it protein-dense, but it also has a good amount of omega 3's. Who could ask for more?
This one's a little bit trickier than milk. Coming up with a cream replacement took me awhile, but I've found a home-made solution. You can make a pretty tasty coconut cream by following this recipe:
1. boil 1/2 c water
2. add 4 oz (weight, not volume) of freshly grated coconut
3. let sit for 1 hour
4. blend for apps 1 minute to combine well
This recipe is complements of the show Good Eats (Recipe at 9:40).
If I need cream, I go with coconut cream because I love the taste of coconuts, plus the health benefits are amazing. You can purchase coconut cream in pretty much any grocery store.
There are many yummy raw cheese recipes. Raw cheeses are great for so many reasons! I shared a few of my favorites here on Flaming Vegan.
If you need a cheese that melts and stretches, you might want to go with a store-bought cheese. There are many brands out there. However, if you have an awesome homemade cheese recipe that melts and stretches, please share with me asap!
There you have it!
That's my 5 favorite baking substitutions. You can use them in your favorite recipes. Also, when you're searching for new recipes on the Internet, don't restrict yourself to including "vegan" in your search. With these substitutions, you can easily vegan-ize almost any recipe!
Are there any other substitutions that you love? If so, please share with me below!