Substitute ingredients for vegan baking

veganism is a ‘go green’ dietary initiative that is scientifically proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve kidney function and lower blood sugar levels.

Being vegan, it’s unethical to eat any produce of an animal, this includes milk and eggs.

And since these two ingredients are usually the backbone of most baked goods I’ve compiled an easy list of substitute ingredients for all your baking needs.

  1. Egg substitute- chia seeds or flaxseeds

Eggs are a key component in many baked goods, be it brownies, cakes or cookies, and of course creating the effect is not easy.

However, a good technique is to combine chia seeds or flaxseeds with (warm!) water to create a mucilage that has the same binding effect as an egg.

You would have to put 1 part of (ground) chia or flaxseed with 3 parts warm water and wait 15-30 minutes for the mucilage to form.

  1. Egg white substitute- aquafaba

Imagine my disbelief when I found out that the left-over water from a can of chickpeas can be used to make brownies!

In the baking world, the whites of eggs can be used on their own to froth up, creating the perfect texture for souffles or meringues.

Aquafaba is the viscous water in which chickpeas are cooked, its possible to make your own by cooking the chickpeas and refrigerating them in the water, allowing them to sit. Alternatively, you could simply use the liquid out of the can.

Either way you’d want to substitute three tablespoons of un-whipped aquafaba for one whole egg, two tablespoons for one egg white.

  1. Gelatin substitute- Xanthan gum

When omitting meat produce from your diet, it’s common to avoid cooking some recipes all together. Its likely that you’d avoid gelatin in your diet, and rightly as it’s a substance derived from collagen taken from various animal parts.

Xanthan gum is a flavorless thickener produced by natural fermentation of bacteria. It acts similarly to gelatin in terms of stabilizing suspensions but is completely vegan.

To use xanthan gum in recipes you’d incorporate 1/8th of a teaspoon with 1 cup of liquid, combine these in a blender, for the mixture to “gum” and form clumps.

  1. Butter substitute- coconut oil

Like eggs and milk, butter is on the top of the list of essentials for baking. Even though its simple enough to get a vegan butter, for the purpose of this list, I’m attempting to avoid the most obvious solutions, to not only be inclusive but demonstrate how creative vegans have to get with their dietary approach.

Coconut oil comes closest to butter in terms of texture and can be used in pretty much any recipes that use butter in a 1:1 ratio.

  1. Sweeteners substitute- agave syrup

Sugar is vegan, don’t worry! But if you’re looking for a healthier alternative, opt for organic raw agave. With almost the same consistency as honey, if not slightly runnier, Its 30% sweeter than sugar; so less is more!

word: Namra Tahir subeditor: Salma Ahmed

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