As a vegan, finding recipes to suit your diet can be so challenging when there are just so many things that are out of bounds. Thankfully, we’ve come up with a number of substitutions you can implement so that you can still enjoy the foods you like.
Tofu is the classic vegan substitution. It’s an amazing source of protein and can be so versatile if you know how to use it. There are two types of tofu: soft and firm. Firm tofu is great for grilling or stir-frying, because it holds its shape. Soft tofu is amazing in soups and desserts if you want to add another punch of protein.
To be honest though, tofu is best when eaten like tofu, and not as a pretend meat, like in a patty or something. It’s a substitution for meat protein, not a substitution for steak.
Tempeh for Bacon
Tempeh is made from soy protein and has a bumpy, meaty texture to it. It’s very firm and a lot of the times it’s used as a vegan substitution for bacon. Because it’s able to hold its shape, it can be sliced thinly (like bacon) and absorbs flavours really well. It’s usually found in the prepackaged meats section of the supermarket.
Portobello mushrooms are king sized mushrooms and the perfect shape to put in between two burger buns. Mushrooms, while they don’t provide protein, are a vegan substitution for the feeling of meatiness. The texture is deceptively heavy, like real meat, chewy and substantial.
Mashed Bananas for Eggs
Eggs are used for binding in baking. They’re what hold all the different ingredients together. Mashed bananas do the same thing. It’s like magic. One downside though is that sometimes you can taste the banana flavour, whereas eggs have a pretty neutral flavour. If you pair it with other strong flavours though, it shouldn’t be a problem! Try this substitution in these muffins or these brownies.
Flaxseed Meal for Eggs
Flaxseed meal also is a great binding agent and a great vegan substitution for eggs. For every egg, what you do is add 1 tablespoon of flaxseed to 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit. When it’s gooey, you know it’s ready.
Agave Nectar for Honey
Some recipes call for honey for its viscosity because it adds a certain chew factor. Agave nectar is a similarly viscous and sweet. What makes it a great vegan substitution for honey is that it’s made from a plant, and not a by-product of bees. Besides baking though, it’s also great for salad dressings, marinades, and any other places you’d find honey.
Agar Agar for Gelatin
If a recipe calls for gelatin to set something, like a tart filling or cheesecake, you can substitute agar agar for it. It’s used just as gelatin is — heated with water and then cooled to set. It’s wobbly like gelatin, smooth and clear like gelatin — in fact, I guarantee you won’t notice the difference. As opposed to pigs feet, it’s made from seaweed extract. A perfect vegan substitution!
Nutritional Yeast for Cheese
Who doesn’t love cheese? Nobody (doesn’t love cheese). Well thank God for nutritional yeast, because guess what? It tastes just like cheese. Sure, you won’t get that ooey gooey meltiness, but you still get the salty, cheesy flavour. Despite the unattractive name, it can be a star vegan substitution; like in this mac and cheese.
[quote_center]What vegan substitutions have you tried?[/quote_center]
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