Healthy & Vegan Substitutions

1. Eggs

Tofu: Tofu scramble is a great alternative to scrambled eggs, especially with the addition of black salt, which has a sulfurous, eggy flavor. Tofu can also be used to make “egg” benedict, quiche, fritatta, or an omelette.

Chickpea Flour: Chickpea flour can also be used to make vegan scrambled eggs, quiche, fritatta, or an omelette.

Aquafaba: Aquafaba is the viscous liquid in which beans have been cooked. This liquid can come from a can of beans or the liquid from home cooked beans, chickpeas being the most popular and reliable choice of beans. 3 tablespoons aquafaba is equivalent to one large egg, and is an egg substitute generally used for baking or pancakes/waffles/french toast rather than dishes like scrambled eggs or omelettes.

→Ground Flaxseed: Flax eggs are another substitute ideal for baking or pancakes/waffles/french toast, and is made by combining 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water. After a few minutes, the flax-water mixture becomes thick and goopy like the texture of an egg.

→ Chia Seeds: Chia eggs are another substitute ideal for baking or pancakes/waffles/french toast, and is made by combining 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water. After a few minutes, the chia-water mixture becomes thick and goopy like the texture of an egg.

→Mashed Banana, Pumpkin/Sweet Potato Puree, Applesauce: All three of these are great for replacing eggs in baking recipes in which eggs are primarily used as a binder, such as cookies. 1/4 cup mashed banana, pumpkin/sweet potato puree, or applesauce is equivalent to one egg.

2. Meat→Tofu, Tempeh, Legumes, Jackfruit, Nuts, Quinoa

Depending on the taste and texture of the specific meat you are wanting to substitute, a variety of plant-based proteins, nuts, and grains can be used to imitate the same sensation.

3.Sugar→Dates, Maple Syrup, Coconut Sugar, Raw Honey*

Depending on the application and your taste preferences, you may choose any of these as sugar substitutes, although many, though not all, vegans do not consider honey to be vegan. For dates, you can have them whole or chop them up, blend them into a date paste, or use date syrup or date sugar to sweeten a dish. When replacing table sugar in a recipe, it is best to use a granulated sweetener like coconut sugar or date sugar, and use maple syrup, date paste/date syrup, or raw honey in a recipe that calls for a liquid sweetener.

Date syrup

Date sugar

Coconut sugar

4. Refined Grains→Whole Grains

Simply substitute white rice for brown rice, white bread to whole grain bread, white flour to whole grain flour, and white pasta to whole grain or legume pasta. Whole grains are more satiating and contain more of certain nutrients like protein and fiber. Legume pasta in particular contains much more satiating protein than white pasta. For bread, which consists of multiple ingredients, the only ingredients should be flour, water, yeast, and salt, and should not include added oils or refined sugars. Sourdough is also a great substitute, as studies have shown that it allows for improved nutrient absorbtion and digestion due to the fermentation process.

5. Oil/Butter

→ Vegetable Broth, Water: Vegetable broth or water can be used to keep food from sticking to the pan without the need for oil or butter, which are processed fats stripped from their whole food source.

→Mashed Banana, Pumpkin/Sweet Potato Puree, Applesauce: All three of these can be substituted for oil in baking recipes, which significantly cuts calories and refined fats.

6. CheeseNut-based Cheese

Nuts can be blended to make a variety of cheeses, from ricotta to mozzarella to nacho cheese to parmesan. Cashews are one of the most popular and versatile nuts for this application.

7. MilkNondairy Milk

There is a plethora of nondairy milks available on the market, from almond to coconut to oat to cashew to soy to hemp milk. Choose based on taste preferences and the desired application, as some milks tend to be richer, thicker, and stronger in taste than others. In addition, make sure there are no added oils, refined sugars, or emulsifiers such as carageenan and lecithin.

8. CandyDried Fruit

While not an exact replica of candy, dried fruit can be a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while getting in important vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Make sure to get dried fruit without added sugars. Dates, while technically not dried, are packed with natural sugars and are a great caramel replacement because of their taste and gooey, chewy texture. For a healthy version of snickers, you can stuff dates with peanut butter and coat with refined-sugar free dark chocolate and a sprinkle of sea salt. Other options include dried mango, dried strawberries, dried apples, prunes, dried apricots, and raisins.

9. Ice Cream→Banana Nice Cream

Once again, banana nice cream may not taste exactly like traditional ice cream, but is a delicious treat regardless!

10. Milkshake→Smoothie

With the addition of frozen bananas, dates, rich nondairy milks, and/or nuts, you can create a decadent, creamy smoothie reminiscent of a milkshake.

11. Fries→Air Fryer Fries

With the use of an air fryer, there is no need for any oil to make fries! Simply cut potatoes or sweet potatoes into fry shape, season, and cook in the air fryer for 10 minutes, then shake and cook for another 10 minutes, If not golden brown and crispy by that point, repeat the process.

12. Soy Sauce→Liquid Aminos, Coconut Aminos, Low Sodium Soy Sauce

If you are looking to reduce your sodium intake, All three of these are preferable to traditional soy sauce. Liquid aminos and coconut aminos are also gluten-free, while traditional soy sauce is not.

Liquid Aminos

Coconut Aminos

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