Veganuary swaps and staples

Ahead of Veganuary, we round up the store-cupboard staples and easy substitutes to help you create a vegan diet.

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.

Bananas
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
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.

 

3 Comments

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    1. 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.

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  1. 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

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