If you’re new to plant-based cooking and are looking for vegan substitutes to animal-based ingredients, read on for some easy swaps.
Finding substitutes for animal products in your cooking can sometime be a challenge and your first attempts might have ended in crumbly cakes that fall apart or aren’t sweet enough. Perhaps you’re concerned about your protein intake on a plant-based diet, or just really missing your Sunday morning scrambled eggs…Here we have complied a list of easy and accessible swaps to help you navigate plant-based cooking better, get creative in the kitchen and actually enjoy the end results:
How to replace protein
One of the main concerns when switching to a plant-based diet is sourcing enough protein. In truth beans, lentils soya based products like tofu and tempeh, grains like quinoa and buckwheat contain high amounts of protein. Mixed with protein-rich vegetables like spinach and broccoli it is unlikely you will go into a protein deficit.
How to replace egg
If you like baking but don’t want to use eggs, try one of the below replacements:
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 1/3 cup water and left to sit for 10 minutes
- 1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water
- When baking sweets egg can also be replaced by half a mashed banana or 1/3 cup of applesauce
A plant-based version of scrambled eggs can be made using tofu, turmeric and spices. Try Deliciously Ella’s version with sweet potatoes, mushrooms and tomatoes.
How to replace milk
The environmental impact of cattle caused by high levels of CO2 and Methane emissions, coupled with concerns over the mistreatment of animals in commercial dairy farming and questions of the benefits of animal milk for humans, might make you consider moving away from drinking cow or goat’s milk.
The good news is that milk can easily be substituted with dairy-free alternatives such as oat milk, hemp milk and rice milk, which work perfectly as a substitute and are often readily available in coffee shops and supermarkets or you can try making it yourself at home.
How to replace cheese
More and more brands have started stocking dairy-free cheese alternatives backed by years of R&D to get the texture, taste and colour as close to the real thing as possible. One surprising ingredient cheese can be made from? Cashew nuts. When soaked and grinded the nut transform into a really paste that can be worked into all kinds of flavours and textures. Try thus vegan mozzarella recipe made from cashews from The Minimalist Baker – the perfect pizza topping.
How to replace honey
Bees need the nectar from about five million flowers to create one pound of honey, which they need to feed their hive in the winter. In commercial honey farming the honey is replaced with sugar water which doesn’t have the same nutrients the bees need and rely on. Due to pesticides, parasites and habitat loss caused by humans, bees are declining in significant numbers – as risk for humans too as we rely on these pollinators for most of our crop and even fabrics like cotton.
Swap honey for plant-based alternatives like rice, maple, agave or date syrups.