Veganism is something that has boomed in popularity in recent years. This is primarily due to many of us wanting to be kinder to the environment and more compassionate towards animals. Vegan’s make the conscious decision not to consume any animal based products. This includes meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. It can be an incredibly rewarding lifestyle change. But it can take some getting used to in the beginning. Especially if you enjoy baking. Many people think that because vegans are not able to eat eggs or dairy, they are unable to enjoy the pleasure of baking. But this is a very incorrect misconception. While eggs, milk and butter are all crucial elements in baking, there are ways to bake without them. This might sound tricky, but it’s a lot easier than you probably realise. You just need to know what to replace them with. So if you’ve recently become a vegan and love to bake, this vegan baking guide is for you.
Eggs are used in baking to bind the ingredients together and to help them rise. You can also add more eggs to change the density of the mixture depending on what you are making. As you are unable to eat eggs, it can be tempting to just leave them out and remove them from your recipe. But this can leave you with a dessert that falls apart easily or looks flat when it comes out of the oven. To avoid this from happening, you need to use an egg alternative to get a better outcome. Here are some of the most popular options.
Surprisingly, bananas are one of the most frequently used egg alternatives. They create the same effect as the eggs and help to bind your ingredients. They can also provide additional moisture to stop your bakes being too dry. You need to keep in mind that as well as binding, the bananas will also provide additional flavour. So make sure you are able to mask the flavour or use it to your advantage. Add one mashed banana for every egg needed in the recipe.
Baking soda has an extensive range of uses and replacing eggs is one of them. This is a particularly effective method if you want your bakes to have a light and fluffy texture. Plus it’s something you probably already have in your kitchen. For each egg, you need to use, add one teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of vinegar. Another option is to add two teaspoons of baking soda to two tablespoons of warm water per egg.
Pea Protein is a plant-based ingredient that acts as a binding agent and is a great egg substitute. You can buy it in powdered form, in both flavoured and unflavored varieties. You can then add it straight into your recipe. Another option you have is to use a product that has pea protein included. For example, food brand Hampton Creek recommends using their Just Mayo product to bake chocolate cakes. This egg-free mayonnaise is created with pea protein, and you only need 1 and a quarter cups. To find out more about the pea protein used by Hampton Creek, visit their website.
Now you know how to replace the eggs in your baking recipes, it’s time to learn how to replace your dairy-based ingredients. To start off with, let’s take a closer look at how to replace butter, a key baking ingredient. Butter is used to add a rich flavour and moisture to your baked goods. IT can also improve the texture and look of your culinary creations. But even though it is important, it can easily be replaced. Here are some butter substitutes you might want to try.
The simplest way of replacing butter when baking is by using a vegan margarine. All you need to do is add the same amount of vegan margarine as you would butter. There are plenty of options to choose from, and you can find them in most wholefood stores. You may have to experiment to see which ones works best. Just remember that not all of them will be suitable for baking purposes so you will need to check this before you buy. Earth Balance Buttery Spread is one of the most widely used butter replacement options.
Another option you have when replacing butter is using coconut oil. This can give your bake a creamy texture and flavour, and it’s also cholesterol free. So make sure your recipe compliments this before using it. Otherwise, your outcome might not be as successful as you would like. For every cup of butter, you require, add three-quarters of coconut oil to one-quarter water. You can find coconut oil at most supermarkets and wholefood stores. For more information on cooking with coconut oil, visit the Lucybee website.
Milk, like eggs, is primarily used as a binding agent to help your ingredients mix and rise correctly. But it is also used as a means of adding moistures and creaminess to a dessert or cake. IT can also alter the density of your mixtures, depending on what you are making. It’s a vital item that you cannot do without when baking. But thankfully there are plenty of fantastic milk substitutes available for you to use. Take a look at the following examples to find out more.
Soy milk is the favourite milk substitute used by vegans as it can often produce the best results. It has a thicker texture which is ideal for any rich desserts you intend on making. It is also said to be the closest thing to cow’s milk, which can help make your transition easier. Use one cup of soy milk for every cup of milk that is recommended in your recipe. Add this straight in with your other ingredients, like you would normal milk. This can then be used to create sponge, fillings and toppings of your choosing. Another option you have for heavier and richer desserts is coconut milk. Both of these can be found at most supermarkets and organic food stores.
Almond milk is another excellent milk alternative that you can use in your baking. It’s creamy texture, and nutty flavouring makes it ideal for baking. As it names suggests, it is created using ground up almonds. It also has a lower calorie content that most other milk options. So if you want a sweet treat and want to lose weight, this is the option for you. Follow the same ratio as the soy milk, using one cup of almond milk for every cup of milk.
With all of these milk substitutes, it’s important that you opt for unflavoured options. Many vegan-friendly kinds of milk have flavourings added to them to improve the flavour. But this could disrupt the intended flavours of your other ingredients. You should also look for unsweetened as this can also alter the sugar content of your bakes. The last thing you want is for your cakes and bakes to be too sweet to eat.
Whether it’s for fillings, decoration or flavour, chocolate and baking have always gone hand in hand. There are many different types you can use in both bar and powder form. But not all of them are vegan-friendly. You might be surprised to find out that some dark and cacao chocolates contain traces of dairy products. So unlike when you have used chocolate in the past, you need to be more careful now you are a vegan. Get clued up on vegan chocolate brands such as Green & Blacks and look for useful guides on the PETA website. This can help put your mind at ease and make shopping for suitable chocolate products much easier.
One final thing
Even though these products are all suitable for vegan baking, you need to get into the habit of always checking the labels. The majority of products that are suitable for vegans to consume will have the vegan symbol on their packaging. Some will also have ‘suitable for vegans’ printed onto them too. But not all of them will so you need to be vigilant. Take the time to triple check the ingredients used. That way you know that everything you create has no eggs or dairy used at all. Go online and visit vegan websites to get advice and guidance on where you should shop for baking supplies. This will be a valuable insight that can make the process more enjoyable and less challenging.
As you can see, being a vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up baking or to enjoy your baked creations. It won’t take long to discover that your desserts and cakes taste just as delicious without the use of milk or eggs. Granted, you will need to experiment and find the substitutes that work successfully for you. But that is all part of the fun. Start looking online for new vegan-friendly desserts, cakes and bakes you can try using your new-found knowledge.