Many people think vegan cooking and baking difficult because of the omission of eggs, dairy and meat, but it’s not! There are so many amazing products on the market right now that you can literally swap out with! Does the recipe call for milk? Cool! Use soy or almond milk instead, cheese? GREAT! Pick one of my favourite cheese below… and on and on and on… Keep reading to find out what my favourite vegan substitutions are, and how to use them in your favourite recipes. And if you’re interested in making your own vegan meats ad cheeses don’t forget to pick up our new cookbook!
Flax egg: Flax eggs are used in baking for structure and texture. For each egg, combine 1 tbsp of ground flax with 3 tbsp of water. Mix with a fork, and place in the fridge to set for 15 mins. This works great in loaves, breads, muffins and cookies.
Ener-G Egg Replacer: This is a premixed combination of potato, tapioca starch,and leavening agents. It can be used in all baked goods and many dishes that call for eggs as a binding agent. Mix 1 ½ tsp Ener-G with 2 tbsp water. Use this in baking, in batters, and as a binder when breading food and frying.
The Vegg Vegan Egg Yolk: This powder simulates the taste and texture of egg yolks. Use it in any dish that calls for eggs or egg yolks. Or just dip your bread slices in it, yum! For 2-3 yolks blend 1 tsp Vegg powder with 1/4 cup water for 15 seconds in a blender. They even have really cool tutorials on their website for how to create a spherical egg yolk.
Aquafaba: Aqua means water, and faba means beans. So, what I’m talking about is that liquid in your can of chickpeas! It can be whipped like egg whites into meringue or replace eggs entirely in baking and icings. Three tbsp aquafaba is equivalent to one whole egg, and two tbsp is equivalent to about one egg white. If you’re using it as a binder: lightly whip the liquid until foamy. If you’re looking for meringue: whip for 15 mins until peaks form.
Tofu: Use tofu to thicken and bind recipes, or use it to make tofu scramble.
Seitan: A vegan meat substitute also known as “wheat meat”. Is a vegan meat substitute made using vital wheat gluten. It’s a staple in China and other parts of Asia, dating back thousands of years. It easily mocks the texture and taste of beef or chicken with just a few recipe switch ups, and a couple key, flavourful ingredients. Check out my favourite seitan recipes for chicken burgers, nuggets and beefy steaks.
Tofu: Tofu is a versatile low calorie protein that will easily take on the flavour of any dressing, marinade or sauce- making it a perfect meat substitute that’s readily available. You can fry it, bake it, and blend it to suit your protein needs.
Tvp: Texturized vegetable protein is made of dehydrated soy and comes in granules or chunks. It’s a great meat replacement for any meat including ground or chunked beef, pork, chicken and more – all you need is a marinade.
Soy Curls: Soy Curls are a gluten free meat substitute made from whole soybeans that have been cooked, texturized, and dehydrated. They are like TVP but on a whole other level. Before you can cook with them, they need to be rehydrated with season water or bouillon for about 10 mins. Then sauté them in a little oil and the curls ready to go. They make an amazing chicken substitute.
Favorite Store Bought Brands
While it’s easy to make vegan cheeses and sauces at home, sometimes you need the flavour of american cheddar or mozzarella. Here are our favorites…
- Nutritional yeast: I used this ingredient A LOT. It has a cheesy and nutty flavour that is perfect for making homemade cheese with, while also being able to sprinkle it on salads, pastas and more. Find nutritional yeast in most health food stores, and in well-stocked grocery stores.
- American slices: Follow Your Heart American Slices & Tomato Cayenne Chao Slices
- Cheddar Block: Miyoko’s Creamery Aged English Sharp Farmhouse
- Provolone: Follow Your Heart Provolone Slices
- Mozzarella Shreds: Follow Your Heart Mozzarella Shreds
- Parmesan grated: Follow Your Heart Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Parmesan shredded: Follow Your Heart Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- Cream cheese: Tofutti’s Better Than Cream Cheese Is readily available in most health food stores. Kite Hill is our artisanal pick, but is tougher to get your hands on.
Soy Milk: Soy milk has the most protein of all the non-dairy milks out there. It’s rich and creamy, but also has a strong nutty flavour. Great for cooking and baking! We love these brands.
Almond Milk: Almond milk is the most popular non-dairy milk of choice due to its mild flavour. It can be used in place of milk in all recipes but is less creamy than soy. We love these brands.
Canned coconut milk: Coconut milk in the can is much thicker and creamier than coconut milk from a carton. It is great for cooking things like soup, curry and sauces, and is thick enough to whip into whipped cream or use it to make ice cream. We love the brands below.
Coconut from a carton: Coconut milk from a carton is ideal for drinking straight from the glass, adding to coffee or smoothies or pouring over cereal. It works well in cooking and baking. We love the brands below.
You can use any dairy free non-hydrogenated margarine, but there are some awesome vegan-specific brands that we love.
There is a wide variety of nut, soy and coconut based yogurts available. Our favorite brands are listed below.
There are some delicious and inexpensive brands available in many grocery stores and most health food stores. These are our favourites.
- Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo
- Follow Your Heart’s Veganaise
- Sir Kensington’s Fabanaise
- Wildwood’s Spreads
There are so many new vegan ice cream options made with bases like coconut milk, almond milk, cashews and even beans. Many are so decadent and creamy, they taste just like the real thing. Try our faves…
- So Delicious Cashew Milk Very Vanilla
- So Delicious Cashew Milk Salted Caramel Cluster
- Coconut Bliss Ginger Cookie Caramel
- Tofutti Cuties (ice cream sandwiches)
- Ben & Jerry’s PB & Cookies