Monday, October 14, 2019

Easy Plant Based Replacements: Vegan Replacement Foods

These replacements are from this book. Click to browse.
It is pretty easy to eat a plant based diet with all of the replacements that are now available in stores and online. Here are the most simple ways to make your favorite recipe, plant based and healthier.

Milk: Milk is probably the easiest to replace. There are so many options available that it is really about finding the one that works for you. Personally, I prefer unsweetened almond milk. The vanilla flavor is too sweet and the sweetened one is like drinking a pack of sugar to me.

Other options are soy milk, cashew milk, rice milk, coconut milk and some will be refrigerated while others require no refrigeration until after you open and use it. This is a fun testing period when you get to find out what you really like. You may find that you like a couple different ones for different purposes. Or, you may even prefer to make it yourself with a blender! It is super easy and certainly worth the effort of avoiding added chemicals and preservatives.

Creamer: There are many plant based, vegan creamers available for your coffee or your cream sauces. Look online and find the options you think you’ll be interested in before you go to your store. If they don’t have a good option available, you’ll know what to ask for.

Cheese: Finding a cheese replacement or substitution is something that will be important to some people and not important at all to others.

For cream cheese, I love the Go Veggie brand. I cannot taste any difference between regular cream cheese and this one. Tofutti has a great one that is readily available in the tiniest supermarkets.

Shredded Cheese can be a bit more difficult if you are trying for the same pizza taste. Daiya brands are available and some people love the product. Go Veggie brand is available but there is some confusion as to whether or not it is even plant based, so make sure to read the label and know that lactose free does not mean vegan.

Cheese slices now have a tasty replacement, finally! Chao cheese by Field Roast is soy based and melts to perfection. The consistency, the flavor is all there. It is a bit expensive but when you are craving a grilled cheese with a fury, this will satisfy that craving without the dairy.

Cheese sauces are readily available online in recipe groups. I’ll give you my favorite cheese sauce for mac and cheese (without the dairy) in one of my comfort food recipes coming up. I use this sauce in many dishes, not just mac and cheese. It is great on baked potatoes and broccoli.

Eggs: Substituting eggs is one of the easiest replacements to make. Instead of making an egg scramble, try a tofu scramble. My favorite recipe is coming up. With the right seasonings, you’ll never miss an egg scramble again.

For baking, eggs serve as a binder. Here are some of my favorite replacements.

Good substitutions for eggs include applesauce, pureed soft tofu, Ener-G egg replacer, a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seeds plus 2 tablespoons water or other liquid, blended), or mashed bananas. You’ll have to experiment with your recipe to see what works best for you.

In meatloaf you can use oat or soy flour, rolled oats, cooked oatmeal, bread crumbs, instant potato flakes, nut butters, tomato paste, or cornstarch.

Chickpea flour can make a great omelet, and aquafaba is an easy choice for making recipes that originally call for egg whites, like mousse and meringue.

Butter: Many people replace their table butter with Earth Balance. There is a soy free option as well as other oil based solutions to meet the most discerning need.

In baking, many choose to use coconut oil as a replacement in a one to one ratio. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, you’d use 1 cup of coconut oil.

Yogurt: There are many options available for plant based yogurts, including coconut, soy, and almond.

Sour Cream: I like to use a plain, unsweetened coconut yogurt as a replacement for sour cream. I cannot taste the difference.

Mayonnaise: There are quite a few vegan mayonnaise choices on the market or you can make your own with aquafaba.

Gelatin: If you have a recipe that calls for gelatin, you can replace it with agar flakes. There are some vegan brands of gelatin available in bigger markets or look online.

Honey: Plant based choices to replace honey include maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup, and concentrated fruit syrups.

Sugar: Unfortunately not even sugar is vegan because of how it is processed. White sugar is processed using bone char from animals. Other great alternatives include: beet sugar, fructose, natural organic sugar, unbleached cane sugar, turbinado sugar, date sugar, maple crystals, and granulated FruitSource.

Chocolate: There are many options to choose from for vegan chocolate! Thank goodness, or this one would hang me up. I’ve been experimenting with making my own cacao chocolates and I’m happily satisfied.

Meat: Some great alternatives to meat that are now available are veggie deli slices (bologna, ham, turkey, and other flavors), veggie burgers, veggie meatballs, veggie sausage links and patties, veggie bacon, veggie ground “beef,” soy chicken patties and nuggets, veggie meatloaf and Salisbury steak, veggie jerky, and whole turkeys.

Recipes for seitan, eggplant bacon, and lentil loaves are readily available and make a great solution for people who want the texture of meat without the meat consumption.

Ice Cream: Solutions are everywhere for your ice cream habit. There are great coconut ice creams and treats, soy ice cream, rice milk ice creams, almond milk ice creams, and don’t forget about sorbets. My favorite ice cream recipe is included in a later section and I promise you will not be missing this comfort food.

Buttermilk Replacer Recipe:

1 cup of nut or soy milk (unsweetened)
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

Whisk until blended

Sweetened Condensed Milk Replacer:

2 ½ cups of nut or soy milk
6 Tablespoons vegan margarine
½ cup of sugar
Sprinkle of salt

In 1 pot boil the milk.
In 2nd pot, melt the margarine and then add the sugar and salt.

When both are done, combine and bring to gentle boil, stirring continuously for 5 minutes.

Evaporated Milk:

Bring your choice of nut or soy milk to a boil and let gently simmer for 35 to 40 minutes.

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