Before you adopted a vegan meal plan, you probably had a set of kitchen tricks you mastered after a lot of trial and error. Like being able to soften butter just enough to whip it into your favorite cake mix, sear a tuna steak to perfection, and separate an egg with ease. Now that you’ve made the switch to a plant-based diet, many of the techniques you spent years perfecting are about as useful as a meat thermometer. Not to worry! There are plenty of new vegan cooking hacks to incorporate into your arsenal of skills that will give you that same feeling of superiority in the kitchen.
1. Coconut milk as whipped cream
Vegan brownies are delicious on their own, but they’re even better when smothered in whipped cream. Luckily, it’s super easy to make your own dairy-free topping. Simply refrigerate a can of full-fat coconut milk overnight and use a hand mixer to whip the white stuff until it’s fluffy. Get the full tutorial on OhSheGlows.com.
2. Egg substitutions
There are so many ways to replace eggs in baking! You can easily turn your favorite recipes into vegan masterpieces by using any of the following substitutions. All substitutions listed below are equal to one egg.
- ½ banana, mashed
- 1 T flaxseed + 3-4 T water (puree in blender 1-2 minutes)
- 1 T chia seed + ⅓ cup water (mix and let it sit for 15 minutes)
- 2 T arrowroot + 3 T water, combined
- 3 T peanut butter
- 1 T soy protein powder + 3 T water, combined
- 2 T cornstarch + 3 T water, combined
- ¼ cup applesauce
- 3 T chickpea flower + 3 T water
- ¼ cup silken tofu
- 2 T baking powder + 2 T water + 1 T oil
3. Vegan buttermilk
You can get the same flavor and consistency of buttermilk without the use of dairy by combining one cup of very cold almond milk or soy milk with one teaspoon of vinegar. Stir the mixture and let it sit until it curdles. Then whip up a batch of these Vegan “Buttermilk” Biscuits to serve alongside a hearty soup or stew. Yum.
4. Vegan heavy cream
If there’s any one type of nut that you should always have in your cupboard, it’s cashews. Seriously, you can make so many vegan “dairy” products with them! If you’re following a recipe that calls for heavy cream, make it vegan it by tossing cashews, almond milk, and water into a food processor. Get the full recipe and instructions from Living My Pinterest Life.
5. Butter substitutions
This may sound crazy, but avocado is a really good substitute for butter. Mash it up and spread it on sprouted grain toast and you have a tasty breakfast full of protein and healthy fats. You can also use mashed avocado in baking. However, you will be able to taste the avocado, so make sure it’s a good flavor match for your recipe.
6. Nutritional yeast as cheese flavoring
Not only is nutritional yeast a great source of vitamin B12, it’s also an amazingly yummy way to add cheese flavoring to your favorite foods. Personally, I love sprinkling it on popcorn with a bit of dried dill for a savory snack. I also like mixing into plain hummus to make a “cheesy” dip (Oh She Glows has a great “cheezy hummus” recipe).
7. Vegan honey
Most vegans have their own personal philosophies on honey. Some eat it, some don’t. Technically, honey is an animal product, so it isn’t truly vegan. If you elect to omit honey from your diet, you can make your own sweetener by mixing 1¼ cups of sugar with ⅓ cup of water. Simply replace the honey with an equal amount of your homemade concoction in any recipe.
8. Vegan mayonnaise
Ran out of Vegenaise? No problem. You can make your very own savory sandwich spread with silken tofu, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and a few seasonings you already have in your kitchen. You can get the full recipe and instructions for making vegan mayonnaise from Food Well Said.