Vegan Swaps for Baking + Cooking
Preparing plant-based food can be intimidating if you aren’t familiar with it. But did you know that there are plant-based substitutes for pretty much every animal-based ingredient? Today, I’m sharing my top vegan swaps for baking and cooking!
VEGAN SWAPS FOR EGGS
SWAP EGGS FOR A CHIA OR FLAX “EGG”
Chia and flax seeds make the perfect swap for an egg when baking, due to their gooey, egg-like texture when combined with water. To make a chia or flax egg, combine 1 tablespoon of either chia or ground flaxseed with 2 tablespoons of water. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and you’ll have your vegan egg!
These are some of my favorite recipes that call for chia or flax eggs. >>
Chia and flax “eggs” work best for baking – keep scrolling to see the best swap for eggs as the main component of a recipe.
SWAP EGGS OR CHICKEN FOR TOFU
You didn’t think I would leave tofu out of this post, did you?! Tofu is one of my favorite vegan swaps – not only because it’s so nutritious, but also because it’s so versatile. When cooking tofu, it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it in, and you can also give it a fluffy, egg-like texture or make it dense and chewy like chicken.
Here are some traditionally egg and chicken-based recipes that feature tofu instead! >>
VEGAN SWAPS FOR DAIRY
SWAP BUTTER FOR OIL
Whether you’re baking, sauteeing, or greasing a pan, butter can easily be substituted with oil. Due to their smoke points, cooking uses, and other qualities, I like to use different oils for different purposes. When baking, I like to use coconut oil for its texture and nutty taste – like in my Vegan Black Bean Brownies. And when cooking, I use different oils depending on what I’m using it for – check out my video on oils to learn more about different oils, their nutritional values, and how to use them!
SWAP DAIRY MILK FOR PLANT MILK
Dairy milk can easily be swapped for non-dairy milk, using a 1:1 ratio. Like oils, there are many different types of plant milks, and each has different nutritional value. Other than canned coconut milk, which is high in saturated fat and has a stronger taste, most non-dairy milks can be directly substituted for any recipe that calls for dairy milk.
My favorite plant milks are soy milk and pea milk, but there are many other options including almond milk, oat milk, hemp milk, and cashew milk, just to name a few. Oat milk is particularly good in baked goods because it browns, giving muffins or cookies a nice golden color. Canned coconut milk is best in curries, soups, or creamy desserts.
SWAP CHEESE FOR CASHEW CHEESE
And of course – vegan cheese! If you’re familiar with plant-based ingredients, you may have heard of cashew cheese. Cashews are commonly used in vegan cheese recipes since they become super creamy when blended with water. But instead of being high in saturated fat and void of fiber (like dairy cheese), cashew cheese provides healthy, unsaturated fat, along with fiber and plant protein.
These recipes feature some of my favorite cashew cheeses like ricotta, parmesan, and nacho cheese! >>
VEGAN SWAPS FOR MEAT
SWAP BEEF FOR GROUND LENTILS + WALNUTS
It might sound weird, but when you pulverize lentils (or other types of beans) in a food processoer with walnuts and spices, you get a delicious mixture that has a similar taste and texture to ground beef. My Vegan Tostadas feature a recipe for black bean “meat”, and in my Vegan Nachos recipe, I show you how to make lentil “ground beef”!
SWAP BACON FOR TEMPEH BACON
If you haven’t heard of tempeh, it’s like tofu’s edgy cousin. Like tofu, tempeh takes on the flavor of whatever it’s cooked with, but while tofu is soft and squishy, tempeh is tougher and can be sliced very thin – making it perfect for vegan bacon. If you want to make tempeh bacon, try my Tempeh, Lettuce & Tomato (TLT) sandwich!
PIN the post! >>
Weigh-in: Have you heard of these vegan swaps? What’s your favorite swap for vegan cooking and baking?
Shaari Unger says:
Hi,. This whole rundown of swaps and exactly Where to use these “new” ingredients like chia and tempeh make this particular composition informative and fun. Thanks for bringing solutions to the table.