Vegan alternatives for baking and cooking
As many people think more about sustainability and animal welfare, a vegan lifestyle has slowly gone more mainstream.
While giving up meat is fairly straightforward, eliminating animal products like milk and cheese from your diet can be more complicated, particularly when it comes to cooking and baking and finding alternatives to kitchen staples.
The good news is, today there are brilliant alternatives out there that mean you needn’t sacrifice taste.
Here are a few popular vegan swaps you can use if you’re thinking about trying to eat vegan.
In recent years dozens of new plant-based milks have been developed that are tasty and vegan. Oat milk, almond milk and soy milk are all popular and can be found in most supermarkets and used for everything from cooking to adding a splash of milk to your tea. Find out more about the alternatives to milk here.
There are so many great vegan cheese options on the market you could hardly notice you’re not eating real cheese. There are almond milk cream cheeses that are great for spreads and cheesecakes, while Violife’s Prosociano Wedge is a great alternative to parmesan.
With baking, vinegar makes a great substitute. When mixed with bicarbonate soda, it acts as a binding agent and helps cakes stay moist, too. Apple sauce and mashed bananas can also work when you’re baking things there a rise isn’t as important or where you’re ok with a denser texture, such as muffins and pancakes.
If you need savoury cream for dishes such as cream pasta sauces, cashews can step in and do the job. Pureed with water they will provide a good alternative. If you need something creamy for sweet cooking, try coconut milk instead. You can use it for mousse, ganache and even whipped cream.
Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate. Not only is it richer, and usually requires less added sugar for recipes, but it’s also naturally dairy-free.
Agar flakes are a speciality ingredient but can be used instead of gelatin for recipes that call for it. There are also a number of fruit gelatins available on the market, that work exactly the same way as traditional gelatin.
Honey is a great natural sweetener which can easily be replaced with maple syrup, agave syrup or molasses.
For most recipes, you can substitute butter for an oil like sunflower oil with little to no difference in taste. If you like butter for melting over toast, there are a number of great vegan butters and margarines out there, though these tend to be highly processed, so are best in moderation.
Do you know any great vegan alternatives for cooking and baking? Share your wisdom in the comments below!
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
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