Choosing a vegan diet is an exciting move. For many it’s food and lifestyle choice and for others it’s a necessity because of multiple intolerance’s. Either way, here at Honest Eats we recognise all kinds of lifestyles. We’ve put together some of our favourite vegan substitutes that you can store in your cupboard and fridge:
Egg is a binding ingredient in many recipes and also a key source of protein, however there are many substitutes that give you the same effect and taste great! Using mashed bananas when baking or making pancakes provides a lot of potassium as well as holding everything together. Just add some ground flaxseed to give an unsuspecting source of protein, as well as providing your body with essential omega-3 fats and fiber.
If you’re looking for a good breakfast food, a serving of soft or silken tofu has more protein than a large egg. Don’t believe the hype that tofu is bland, it soaks up whatever flavour you give it! Blend it with hummus, nutritional yeast and some spices and seasoning, add a whole load of veggies and you’ve got yourself an omelette. No one will be able to tell the difference.
Tofu is not only a great substitute for eggs, but also for meat. Season firm tofu with spices and pepper and cook it in a variety of ways. Try making a lasagna, pan frying for a veggie saute or grilled.
Whilst tofu is the most well known, there are many other substitutes out there. Seitan is made from wheat and gluten so is very high in protein and low in fat. It has a meaty texture and is a good substitute for chicken or beef based dishes. Lastly, our Honest Eats team love to substitute meat with chickpeas. They’re a rich protein source and completely plant-based. You can use chickpeas to make falafel to act as ‘meatballs’ or roast them with herbs, nuts and spices. Chickpeas are very versatile!
Whether you’d usually use butter to cook or as a spread, there are some good alternatives that have a whole host of benefits. Coconut butter has absolutely no cholesterol and is a good source of fibre, potassium, iron and magnesium, plus a pretty tasty spread! Use it’s counterpart coconut oil for cooking as this works better at high temperatures.
Some other good options include hummus, mashed avocado, fruit spreads and soya butter.
Let’s face it, cheese is used in a lot of cooking. But don’t fret! There are actually some great alternatives on the market. Nutritional yeast for example. It sounds strange, but is actually very tasty and has a good source of protein. You can use it as a cheese sauce or sprinkle some over your dishes for extra flavour! Alternatively, there are many different soy cheeses out there from Emmentaler to Mascarpone. If you love the taste of cheese you don’t need to miss out!
There are a lot of options available for milk substitutes that vegans can enjoy, all made from plant-bases:
- Hemp milk
- Oat milk
- Coconut milk
- Rice milk
- Soy milk
Some people may have an allergy to soy, so it’s best to check food labels if you do and steer away from soy milk.
It may not have crossed your mind before, but honey is actually not vegan. It’s the animal bi-product of bees like milk is the bi-product of cows. If honey is named in a recipe you can easily replace it with agave nectar/syrup or maple syrup. Agave can be filled with fructose so make sure to use it sparingly, but it adds a fab sweet taste to tea or drizzled over a dessert. Maple syrup tastes great and is full of antioxidants and nutrients that help boost the immune system. Who knew!?