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.
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.
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.