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Alternative Ingredients for Vegan Baking

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Veganism is becoming increasing popular and there is no doubt that it is better lifestyle choice for the environment.  It can however be a little duanting from a baking point of view, but there is no reason why vegans shouldn’t be able to bake delicious goodies.  Whilst there are lots of great vegan specific recipes out there, often you can just subsitute regular ingredients for vegan alternatives.  So if you have a vegan friend, popping over for a cup of tea, there is no reason you cannot bake some delicious sweet treats.

To make life easier, we’ve put together a list of some common vegan ingredient substitutes that you can use in your baking.

Cow’s Milk Substitutes:

  • Unsweetened almond milk or soy milk – Almond, oat or soy milk will be your best options as a substitute for cow’s milk.  They can be substituted 1-for-1 in most recipes. If making pancakes or muffins, we recommend soy milk because it curdles the best. Almond milk will often curdle but not as well.

Butter Substitutes:

  • Butter substitute: Coconut oil or vegetable oil – What about substituting oil for butter? Depending on the type of oil, it can add complex flavour and welcome moisture to your baked goods. A good rule of thumb is to replace about 3/4 of the butter in a recipe with olive, canola, or vegetable oil (if the recipe calls for 1 cup butter, use ¾ cup oil)
  • Nut butter (such as almond or peanut butter) – Nut butter, such as almond butter or peanut butter, is often used in vegan baking as a replacement for butter or other fats. It can be used in a variety of baked goods, including cookies, cakes, and breads, to add moisture and flavour. Additionally, nut butter can be used as a base for vegan frosting, as well as a spread for sandwiches and toast.

Egg substitutes:

  • Silken tofu – Silken tofu is often used as an egg replacement in vegan baking. It can be blended and added to recipes such as cakes, brownies, and cheesecake for added moisture and protein, and it also helps to bind the ingredients together. Additionally, Silken Tofu is a good source of calcium, iron, and other minerals and a good way to add more protein to vegan recipes. Due to its texture, it can also be used in recipes like smoothies, dips, and dressings.
  • Aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) – Aquafaba is a liquid from cans of chickpeas or other legumes that can be used as a substitute for egg whites in many recipes. It can be whipped to form a foam that can be used in meringues, mousse, and other desserts, as well as in savoury dishes like omelettes and mayonnaise. It can also be used as a binder in baking recipes, such as in vegan cakes and cookies.
  • Ground flaxseed or chia seeds – Flaxseed can be a great addition to vegan baking as it is a plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids and can act as a binding agent in recipes. To use flaxseed as a replacement for eggs in baking, you can make a “flax egg” by mixing 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to thicken, and then add it to your recipe in place of one egg. Flaxseed meal can also be used as a replacement for some of the flour in a recipe. Substituting 1/4 to 1/3 cup of flaxseed meal for every cup of flour can add a nutty flavour and a boost of nutrition to your baked goods. Keep in mind that flaxseed can add a slightly nutty or earthy flavour to baked goods, so it may not be appropriate for all recipes. Experiment with using flaxseed in small amounts at first and adjust to taste as necessary.
  • Unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana – In vegan baking, bananas can be used as a substitute for eggs. They can be mashed and used to bind ingredients together in the same way that eggs do. Bananas can also be used as a replacement for butter or oil in some recipes, such as in cakes or muffins. This can add moisture to the final product, and give a subtle banana flavour.
  • Shop Bought Egg Replacer: There are a number of off the shelf egg free egg replacers on the market, we particularly like the Orgran No Egg Egg Replacer which is available at many supermarkets or health food shops.

Buttermilk Substitute:

  • Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice – Lemon juice can be used as a substitute for eggs, dairy, or other acidic ingredients in a recipe. Lemon juice or cider vinegar can be used to sour plant based milks to create a a vegan substitute for buttermilk in baking recipes.  This is partifularly useful when making pancakes or muffins.

Honey Substitutes:

  • Agave Syrup/Nectar: This is a great alternative to honey particularly because it has a lower glycemic index (GI) meaning it doesn’t cause the blood sugar spikes that honey can cause.  In recipes using honey, Agave syrup can be used in equal measure, ie one cup agave = one cup honey.You can also swap in agave for sugar in baked goods. Use slightly less — 2/3  cup agave for every cup of sugar — and decrease the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup. You’ll also want to reduce the baking temperature by 25 degrees since agave is more sensitive to heat and burns easier than sugar.

We hope you will find this useful and If you fancy doing a bit of vegan baking, why not check out this easy and delicious Vegan Blueberry Muffin Recipe.