Skip to main content

Eating & drinking   |   Plant-based   |   Veganism

Veganuary swaps and staples

Veganuary is just around the corner, and for those of us that are new to a plant-based diet, here are some store-cupboard staples and easy substitutes to help you create a vegan diet.

Baking without eggs 

There are numerous egg replacements for baking, all of which help to bind ingredients together, like eggs do. One of these is ripe banana, or plantain. Use one ripe mashed banana for every egg in recipes like brownies and cakes.

A ripe banana works as an egg substitute. 

Apple sauce is another alternative: one tablespoon can replace one egg in most baking recipes. Alternatively, try a flax seed or chia seed egg: mix 1 tablespoon of flax or chia seed with 2.5 tablespoons of water to make one 'flax/chia egg'. Aquafaba is another option, made from chickpea water, and contains natural proteins. 

Creamy and cheesy flavours 

A good way to replicate rich, creamy flavours is with nuts. Search online and you'll easily find creamy pasta sauce recipes made with cashew nuts and similar (The Happy Pear have some great ones). Vegan cheese can be questionable, but a lot of vegan recipes use nutritional yeast to add a cheesy flavour to the dish; it's worth buying if you plan to up your plant-based cooking. Avocados are also great for making creamy sauces and salad dressings. 

Nuts are useful to make creamy sauces.

Meaty flavours 

To replicate rich, meaty, umami flavours, add ingredients like soy sauce, mushroom powder (watch Riverford's recent Veg Hack for this one) or miso paste. For a smoky flavour, like you would get from bacon, add smoked paprika. 

Mushroom powder
Mushroom powder can replicate a meaty flavour.




1 Year 4 Months

Very useful and fun info

1 Reply

view replies


4 Months 2 Weeks

Great ideas, I’m just conscious that if going vegan is for environmental reasons, we should stay away from avocados that have a huge water footprint or bananas that have extremely high food miles and therefore significant carbon footprint.

0 Reply


4 Months 3 Weeks

Useful? It's from Riverford so the usefulness goes without saying. Just one small [?] problem - the first things mentioned are bananas and plantains. Strange when you consider that whilst they supply bananas Riverford do not supply plaintains! The strange thing is they grow in the same sort of places and even look like each other (they are not of course). Ah well maybe one day . . . . . .

the Walrus

0 Reply

Wicked Leeks Issue 9: Out now

We explore seasonality and hear from cover star Poppy Okotcha on the secret power of gardens.

Read now

Ecological farming can feed UK if diets change

New report outlines how diets can support an ecological farming system in the UK to cut carbon, restore nature and preserve farming livelihoods.

Read now
veg box

Ethical organic veg. Delivered.

Set up by Guy Singh-Watson, Riverford now delivers across the country with a full range of fresh produce, meat, dairy and more.

Shop now
Spread the word

The twin crises of climate change and biodiversity losses will be the defining stories of our future, but it is not too late to change direction. 

Here at Wicked Leeks, our mission is to help inform and inspire positive change. Our journalism is free to all because of this, but we want to reach as many people as possible who share our desire for a better world. We know our readers are some of the biggest advocates of sustainable living, and you can help us grow this movement by sharing this article widely, with your friends and on social media. Now is the time to act.