Who doesn’t love delicious cakes and wonderful freshly baked bread? There is a problem however; traditional baking methods and ingredients don’t really cater for anyone leading a vegan lifestyle. Thankfully there are easy ways to get around these problems and enjoy good old home baking without compromising on taste.
When you first start out with becoming a vegan there can be quite a steep learning curve. There are so many things to consider which were part of your previous lifestyle and yet they are no longer acceptable to a serious vegan. Sometimes the problems are less obvious and need some thought.
It is pretty obvious that some main food items are off the menu such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and milk. Then you need to start looking at things made using any of these ingredients.
Most traditionally baked products like cakes, pastries, cookies and bread are made using dairy products – milk eggs and butter. This is the problem for a vegan. Now you need to learn how to get around these problems if you still want to enjoy these foods.
Buy Vegan Baked Products
Yeah, sure there are loads of specialist vegan delicacies you can go out and buy now. It is great to see that many companies are now catering for the growing vegan market but sometimes you need to do it yourself.
Buying vegan bread may be part of your weekly shopping but what about something for a little fun and a personal touch?
Baking can be so much fun especially with kids around. You may not want to bake all your own products but it is good to at least know how. First things first – you need to replace those dairy items with something a little more vegan friendly.
Alternative to Using Eggs
Eggs are normally used in baking for either:
- Binding ingredients together – in more dense, thick items such as cookies and shortbread.
- Leavening – where the finished item is more light and fluffy, with things like cakes and pastries.
Here are a couple of ways to substitute eggs in a binding type recipe:
- Mix 2 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp water (equivalent to 1 egg) – form into a paste and add to the recipe. For a slightly different taste try using potato starch instead of cornstarch.
- Another way is to add 2tbsp instant mashed potato mix – works great for cookies!
- To replace eggs for making custard and quiches you can use pureed soft tofu – works a treat.
You just need to experiment a little to get your quantities right, the above measurements are equivalent to one egg.
Here at least we have several ready replacements. You want to think about the finished item and how the chosen type of milk is going to affect the taste.
- Soy milk – for a less pronounced taste
- Coconut milk – added flavor for sweet stuff
- Almond milk
- Rice milk
Some milk replacements like almond and coconut milk can really add to certain recipes giving them a sweet lift.
Butter for Vegan Baking
I wouldn’t really recommend trying to make your own butter – you can just substitute your favorite brand of vegan margarine. Another alternative great for baking sweet products and puddings is Coconut butter. Try it in your cookies for a sweet rich flavor.
These few tips are enough to get anyone started with vegan style baking. Just because you have made a lifestyle choice doesn’t mean you have to miss out on some of life’s little luxuries. The great news is that you will also be having the healthy versions without compromising on taste.