Vegan Survival Tip: Know your substitutions

Most people think that turning to a plant based lifestyle means missing out on all their favorite dishes. I thought the same thing until I discovered some of these simple substitutions. Once you know your substitutions, you can tackle any recipe you wish and have it turn out the way you remember, or better!

plant based substitutions

Substitutions List:

For eggs:

  • Use 1 heaping Tbsp Chia seeds and mix with 3 Tbsp water. Let mixture sit for about five minutes and it will begin to absorb the water and make an egg like texture. This is my “go to” egg replacement.
  • Use 1 heaping Tbsp of ground Flax seed or Flax meal with 3 Tbsp water. Let mixture sit for about five minutes while it thickens. This substitute is great for finer baking.
  • Please note that these egg substitutions work best when the recipe calls for 3 eggs or less. I have not tried with a recipe that requires more than 3 but if you do, let me know in the comments how it turned out.

For Butter or Shortening:

  • Coconut Oil can be used in equal measures as a substitute for either butter or shortening.
  • Grape seed Oil can also be used in equal measures and has less of a taste to it. Please note that this oil works best if the recipe calls for melted butter. I have successfully used it in all types of baking and cooking though.

For Milk:

  • Any type of nut milk would do great! I personally prefer to use Coconut Milk or Cream. It has a really nice texture to it and if you add some cider vinegar you have a Butter Milk replacement.
  • If you refrigerate Coconut Cream you end up with a whip cream type texture which is great for pies and crisps etc.

For Meat:

  • Chickpeas are incredibly versatile! When semi-mashed they make a flaky texture which is great for mocking the texture of chicken or fish.
  • Dark beans are great for mocking ground beef dishes or most stews.
  • Lentils work great for “meat-balls” and loafs. Check out this great Lentil Loaf recipe!
  • Tofu works great and can be made in a variety of ways. Smoked tofu can be sliced thin and fried in some oil and you are left with a great bacon substitute. Chick out my “TLT” recipe!

For Flour:

  • Chickpea flour can be used not only as a baking substitution but for a thickening agent as well. The texture it leaves when using as a thickening agent is perfect. Great for “Gluten-free” cooking! Just sprinkle about a Tbsp at a time over the dish until you reach a desired thickness or consistency.

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