Knowing a few main cooking substitutions can be very useful. This is a handy list for newbies transitioning into more vegan cooking, as well as those who are cooking for someone with specific allergies, or are out of a key ingredient, and you just HAVE to bake that cake today…lol.
Whatever your reasons are, having a few tricks up your sleeve always makes cooking easier. Here are some excellent cooking substitutions you can try in your own kitchen. Unless otherwise noted use the same amount of the substitute as the ingredient you’re replacing.
Eggs (per egg): Choose based on the flavors you are trying to create
• 1/4 Cup Silken Tofu
• 1 TBSP Ground Flax Seed plus 3 Tablespoons Water
• 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
• 1 1/2 tsp Unflavored Vegan Jel by Natural Desserts (made of vegetable gum (no idea what kind), adipic acid, tapioca dextrin, calcium phosphate, and potassium citrate)
• 3 1/2 Tablespoons Agar (derived from seaweed and tasteless)
• 1/2 Cup Mashed Banana
Salt (per teaspoon):
• 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
• Dulse Seaweed Flakes (to taste)
• Dried Celery Flakes or Powder
Oil (per cup): Choose based on whether you want a sweet or savory dish
• Fruit Puree (applesauce, usually)
• Vega Sour Cream (see below)
• Vegan Yogurt (see below)
• Coconut Oil
White Flour (per cup): When substituting something for white flour it often works better to mix different types of substitutes together to get the right flavor and texture. Try at least two or three substitutions together
• Coconut Flour
• Almond Flour
• Rice Flour
• Rolled Oats
• Soy Flour
There are many, many others as well, such as kamut, spelt (a personal favorite that I’ve been using for over 15 years). Go ahead, experiment!
White Sugar (per cup): Causes sooo many health problems. Eliminate this first!
• 2/3 Cup Agave Nectar*(one of my personal favorites)
• 3/4 Cup Honey* (vegetarian option)
• 1 Cup Chopped Dates (puree with 1 Cup of liquid after soaking for 1 hour)
• 1 Cup Mashed Ripe Banana
• 1 Teaspoon Stevia
*You will need to reduce the liquid in the overall recipe for both of these substitutions.
• Almond Milk
• Coconut Milk
• Soy Milk
• Oat Milk
• Rice Milk
Buttermilk (per cup):
• 1 cup Vegan Sour Cream
• 1 cup Vegan Yogurt + 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda + 2 Tablespoons oil
• 1 cup of any milk substitute such as Almond Milk + 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice + 2 Tablespoons oil
• Vegetable Shortening
• Earth Balance Spread
• Coconut Oil
• Double Acting Baking Powder
• Equal Parts Baking Soda + Lemon Juice, Vinegar or Buttermilk Substitute
Sour Cream (per cup):
• 1 cup Vegan Yogurt + 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
• 1 cup Soft Silken Tofu + 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice Blended
Cocoa Powder: Although I still personally use cocoa, as I don’t like the taste of carob
• Carob Powder
Baking can often be a very finicky operation and not all recipes will come out the exact same texture when you make substitutions, depending on what you use.
It’s definitely worth it to practice and perfect your favorite recipes with these easy vegan substitutions. One more step towards a heart healthy diet, and a lower cholesterol count.