As Veganuary is coming to an end… are you ready to take on the rest of the year with more vegan cooking and baking? From cookies and cake to tacos and pasta, whipping up a vegan storm in the kitchen is a breeze.
Although, we get it… swapping out your go-to non-vegan items for plant-based substitutions can be daunting, but believe us when we say — it’s easier than you think!
With the following vegan alternatives, you’ll be cooking and baking like a plant-based pro in no time.
Meat → Mushrooms
Have you ever thought to put mushrooms in a dish instead of meat? With a ridiculously “meaty” texture and the ability to soak up flavors like a sponge when marinating, mushrooms are a perfect addition to recipes like tacos, stroganoff, and bolognese.
Not to mention, they add a hefty dose of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals — without any of the unnecessary cholesterol and animal fat found in regular meat!
Cow Milk → Plant Milk
Did you know there are over 10 different types of plant milk? From cashew and almond to hemp and hazelnut, you can find your favorite for various dishes and baked goods.
Our recommendations? In savory dishes, go for an unflavored, unsweetened cashew milk or soy milk. Both are rich, creamy, and have a neutral taste — perfect for things like mashed potatoes, creamy pasta sauce, or vegan potato soup.
In sweet treats, try vanilla almond milk for a nice vanilla punch in cookies and cake, or luscious coconut milk (from a can) in rich vegan cheesecake.
(Psst, it’s super easy to make your own plant milk at home! If you have a high-powered blender, all you do is blend water with your choice of nut or grain. And don’t forget — grab your ingredients in bulk to reduce your environmental impact!)
Butter → Miyoko’s Butter
One of the easiest swaps, opting for Miyoko’s “butter” instead of regular butter will have you shaking your head in disbelief. With its spot-on butter flavor and luxurious texture, Miyoko’s is the perfect butter substitute in both savory and sweet items.
Although, if you have trouble finding Miyoko’s where you live, try vegetable shortening or coconut oil instead! Both are solid at room temperature (like butter) and add just the right amount of fat to a recipe. Great for vegan chocolate cookies!
Eggs → Ground Flaxseed
Easily found at grocery stores, ground flax works perfectly as a substitute for eggs in baking recipes.
With two very simple ingredients — just a mixture of ground flax and water — you’ll find yourself with a binder that surprisingly has the same gel-like texture and consistency as a regular egg!
Although, not only is using a ground flax “egg” in baking an effective swap, but flaxseed is also a superfood! You’ll find just one tablespoon of flax provides ample amounts of fiber, omega-3s, healthy protein, and good-for-you carbs. Win!
Honey → Agave
Love drizzling some sweet honey into your tea or onto your toast? You’re not alone!
Though many are surprised to find out that honey isn’t vegan, as it still involves the exploitation of a living being, there are a plethora of vegan substitutions that taste just as good!
Agave nectar is likely the most popular honey substitution, due to it having the same texture and sweetness, but other great options include brown rice syrup, molasses, maple syrup, coconut nectar (a personal favorite!), or even vegan bee-free honey made from apples!
Mayo → Hummus
Made from ground chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and any other ingredients for additional flavor, hummus is a great vegan substitution for mayo. (Not to mention, it’s a heck of a lot healthier!)
Spread it on your sandwiches and bagels, make yummy salad dressings with it, use it as a creamy dip… the possibilities are endless!
In fact, we just added hummus on our list of guilt-free snacks to much on this year, due to it being a low-calorie, flavorful alternative packed with protein and healthy fats. If you’re looking for a great hummus recipe, make sure to check out our vegan avocado hummus!
Sophie Anderson is a vegan and sustainable travel blogger over at The Wanderful Me. Most days, you can find her in a weird corner of the world, munching on mouthwatering vegan food, or simply cooking away in the kitchen.