Transitioning to veganism can be complex, which is why we want to help you figure it out and give you as many tips and tricks as we can. One of the best tips our founder, Tifany, gave us was… veganize your favorite recipes! Instead of going crazy trying to change your entire meal plan, you can just find ways to replace animal products with vegan alternatives.
Here are some of the most popular replacements for eggs, dairy products, and meat:
- Two of the best vegan egg substitutes are flaxseeds and chia seeds. Mix one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds or chia seeds with three tablespoons of water and leave for 15 minutes in the refrigerator to form the egg mixture. These egg substitutes will be thick and sticky like real eggs, helping your recipes stick together.
- Aquafaba is also a great egg replacement. The cloudy liquid you drain from a can of chickpeas is perfect for baking – you can use it to make meringues, mousses, and lots of bakes like macarons, sponges, and brownies. It also allows you to use every bit of what you buy, making it a win-win situation.
- Bananas can also be substituted for eggs in most baked recipes —just use one banana for each egg. Of course, this might add a slight banana taste, but there’s nothing wrong with that!
- There are also a lot of packaged egg replacements. These powdered products are available at most grocery stores and can be added to recipes as desired. Follow the package instructions to mix with water and enjoy! Some of the other options we mentioned can be more unpredictable, so these are a reliable and effective option.
- There are several vegan alternatives to parmesan cheese. Some good options include nutritional yeast, which doesn’t require refrigeration, are easy to store, and can be used in a variety of recipes! Even better, as its name suggests, nutritional yeast is nutritious. This product is packed with nutrients and is great to use on everything.
- You can find vegan cheese at grocery stores across the country, made from a variety of ingredients. Some vegan cheeses are made from soybeans, others are made from nuts, and some are made from coconut oil. You can also make your own with cashews and nutritional yeast.
To make vegan cheese, you will need:
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- Water to blend all ingredients together into a smooth sauce that resembles the consistency of hummus or ricotta.
Our favorite fortified nutritional yeast!
It can be used as a spread, or for your favorite mac and cheese recipes. The best part about this recipe is that it can be altered to suit your taste buds by adding different spices or flavors like garlic or onion powder!
Other dairy alternatives
- There are plenty of plant-based milk on the market (as you’re probably aware). Soy milk is the most popular choice, but almond milk is another great option. If you want something different, there are a number of other options as well: hazelnut milk, flaxseed milk, hemp seed milk, coconut milk, etc. You can use these products in any recipe that calls for dairy products—from mashed potatoes to lasagna to grilled cheese sandwiches!
- There are many types of plant-based yogurts, perfect for adding to foods or just eaten on their own. It can also be used for baking and cooking. Like other vegan “dairy” products, it is fortified with vitamins and filled with probiotic bacteria. In short, vegans can get the same health benefits as a regular dairy yogurt.
Some coconut-based creams and yogurt are great for Indian and Asian curries. For other recipes and toppings, it might be better to choose a less tasty, more neutral alternative, such as soy or almond yogurts. It is also worth experimenting with different brands and ingredients!
- You can easily find vegan substitutes for chicken or beef burgers and vegan ground beef! They are great to use for lasagna, stir fry recipes, or pasta sauces. However, we don’t recommend using these as your main protein source for every meal; they are more expensive and processed than other protein substitutes.
- Tofu is made from soybeans, which are a complete source of protein. It is a less-processed substitute for meat, and is a popular choice for vegetarians and vegans. Tempeh is also made from soybeans, but this time they have been fermented. It has a firmer texture than other soy products. It is a great substitute for protein in Asian recipes, but it can also be used as “bacon” if you thinly slice and fry it. Both tofu and tempeh are tasty and go well with many dishes.
- A meat replacement that is gaining popularity is jackfruit! It is a versatile and surprisingly cheap ingredient, often found canned, meaning you can have a supply on hand in the cupboard. It’s especially popular as a replacement for pulled pork in Asian cuisine, but it can also be used in all types of dishes.
We hope you found this article useful! We’re more than happy to help you out in your journey, and we even have a section on our blog dedicated just to vegan beginners like you. You can also reach out on social media if you need extra help, we’re @not.to.die.for in most places.
Also, if you’re looking for some lifestyle changes, our shop is a curated marketplace, so you can find the perfect self-care items without having to read labels. Check out our shop!