Category Archives: Baking

Vegan Baking Hacks 101

Baking without eggs or milk by-products sounds crazy. Like, skydiving-without-a-parachute crazy. But, is it really? Every time I offer a vegan dessert, especially cake, and I say it has no milk nor eggs people start losing it. “Really? No way! How?”-is an instant response to my egg-free offerings. Then I start to explain the supposedly complex science experiment of cooking without eggs. Heads start to nod, “ooh’s” and “aah’s” arise and this crazy suggestion begins to feel more tangible. That’s why I would like to share with you 9 Easy Vegan Baking Hacks that will substitute eggs, milk and its by-products. This way you can impress your friends cooking a beautifully risen cake without eggs and more.

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vegan buttermilk 1. Vegan Buttermilk You can also use instead of the lemon juice apple cider vinegar, white vinegar or lime juice. This recipe can also be used with regular cow’s milk.

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2. Vegan Whipped Cream You can put a can of coconut milk in the freezer overnight and it will solidify. With a dash of vanilla, this creamy goodness can be turned into a vegan whipped cream. You can also add cocoa powder and powdered sugar to make a chocolate flavored alternative.

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3. Milk Alternatives There are too many to name them all. Remember to match the flavor profile of the non-dairy milk to the final product. Texture, aroma and flavor are very different depending of the source of the milk. Soy and nut based milks have a strong flavor while rice and oat milk are more subtle and sweet.

P.S.: Most non-dairy milks are easy to make at home. You basically boil rice, almonds, cashews, or any other ingredient with vanilla, blend and voila! From All Sorts of PrettyHERE is a way to do almond milk and almond flour at the same time, saving food, money and time. Super awesome!

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~And now for the egg substitutes~

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4. Baking Soda / Baking Powder The most common and commercially used alternative is the chemical leavening agent, alias Baking Soda and Baking Powder. Most recipes use this alternative even if it’s not vegan so it’s pretty easy to make the switch. I prefer baking soda because it doesn’t leave a tart, bitter aftertaste. It’s really subtle but I can detect it on the first bite… or is it just me? Correct me if I’m wrong in the comments. Now, the never-ending question: “What’s the difference between baking soda and baking powder?” Essentially they’re both the same. They only differ slightly in taste and how they rise. Baking soda expands to the sides while baking powder expands upwards.

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5. Egg Replacer (Ener-G) This is not a paid advertisement, I REALLY LOVE this product. Made from potato and tapioca starch this substitute is free of: gluten, wheat, casein, dairy, yeast, egg, soy, nut and it’s also low in sodium. It’s a powder that you mix with water and beat until foamy and it’s super versatile, doesn’t have a strong flavor and it’s pretty cheap.

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6. Flax Seeds These tiny seeds have HUGE benefits. Flaxseeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, better known as omega-3. Flaxseed is a source of healthy fat, antioxidants, and fiber; modern research has found evidence to suggest that flaxseed can also help lower the risk of diabetescancer, and heart disease.

Combine 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed (referred to as flax meal) with 2 tbsp of water, mix and let it sit for 1 minute and you have your 1 egg substitute. Although the seed is ground it’s still pretty coarse, especially the skin or shell which is dark in color. This makes for this substitute a bit selective, you decide depending on your final result if you want to use it or not. I don’t recommend it for light, delicate cakes but I do love it in banana cake or muffins.

*Fun Fact: King Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great, of the Kingdom of the Franks in the 8th century believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseeds that he demanded his loyal subjects to eat the seeds and passed laws to make sure of it.

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7. Apple Sauce This one is like the “jack of all trades” because it can substitute butter, eggs and sugar. You can also use apple butter but this one is a bit more difficult to find even though it’s pretty inexpensive. Most of the times you can substitute on a 1:1 ratio but it depends on how much it is. For example, when substituting for butter, the applesauce (or apple butter) won’t give that much structure as butter does. So it can substitute butter in cakes and other loose mixtures but I don’t recommend it for cookies. Applesauce provides moisture, sweetness (even if it is unsweetened) and it also helps as a leavening agent as most fruit purees do. Did you know that apples can give you a brighter, healthier smile? Eating apples regularly also helps protect your body against neurological diseases.1

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8. Pumpkin Oh! Sweet luscious pumpkin! One of my favorite vegetables. Pureed can act as a leavening agent and it also provides moisture to the final product. When using pumpkin it adds color to your mixture and it’s a bit heavy, so I don’t recommend it for light and fluffy cakes. It goes really well for quick breads and muffins. It’s very delicious flan flavor… even though flan is… not that healthy… *COUGH* just eat it on the weekends and on special occasions*COUGH*. A cool fact about pumpkins is that one cup of cubed pumpkin contains twice the amount of the Vitamin A that you need daily.2

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9. Chia seeds No, it’s not the small green leaf that grows in strange pots called Chia Pets(~Ch-ch-chia!~♩ ♪ ♫ ♬). I’m talking about these powerful, awesome and insanely nutritional seeds. Pulse some seeds(about 2 tbsp) in the food processor or blender/mixer with a bit of water(aprox 6 tbsp) and then let it rest it for 1-3 minutes. The mixture will turn into a consistency similar to that of an egg white and with this you can substitute 2 eggs. I discovered a vegan brownie recipe from Peachy Palate that uses chia seeds instead of eggs and it’s out of this world. It’s made with almond butter, coconut oil, dates and plenty more goodness. If you want to try it HERE IT IS. You’re welcome. Something new I discovered is that ch-ch-chia seeds (oh dear, I can’t get that infomercial out my head), they’re being studied as a potential natural treatment for type 2 diabetes. Because of its ability to slow down digestion and prevent sugar spikes.3 One ounce of seeds is packed with 4 grams of protein. Talk about powerful.4

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10. BONUS Bananas are VERY  versatile. You can use 1/2 banana, mashed to substitute 1 egg. Another cool trick that even kids will love is this: freeze a banana and put in the food processor or mixer. To change the flavor you can add coconut milk, frozen pineapple chunks, peanut butter or even chocolate syrup. The options are endless. You will end up with a soft serve-like delicious vegan ice cream. Enjoy!

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After all these easy tricks to level up your vegan baked goods, who wants to go to the kitchen? I know I do. Soon you’ll see some of these tricks in action. Would you like to see a video tutorial on a vegan recipe? Leave a comment and include what would you like to see in the tutorial. Thanks for your time and until next post.

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