Veganism is a great idea, if you are concerned about the cruel treatment of animals in farming. However, many of us are put off by the idea because we would have to replace convenient, common ingredients like milk and eggs with a non-animal substitute. In this Top Ten, we’ll have a look at some of the most popular solutions to the problem, and also some info about where you can find them.
1. Almond milk is the most popular substitute for milk, and is readily available from most supermarkets. It’s lower fat than milk, and has a slightly nutty taste. Not for those who are allergic to nuts, obviously!
2. Soya milk is another popular milk replacement, also readily available from your local supermarket. It has the same amount of protein as cow’s milk, for those who are interested! However, it probably doesn’t taste as nice as almond or coconut milk, but it’s better for those who may be allergic.
3. Coconut milk is super unhealthy, and is full of fat, but it probably tastes good too. Think of it as a sort of replacement for full fat milk! You may already have had it in curries, particularly Thai curries, and you can buy it in cans from your local supermarket.
4. Vegan cheese. Did you know such a thing existed? Granted, it’s a bit more specialist than the ingredients listed so far, but Waitrose apparently sells Violife. Violife is the most popular, widely available, and apparently the tastiest vegan cheese out there. You might also find it in health food shops, like Holland and Barrett.
5. Almond butter is a bit like peanut butter, and you can use it in cakes, cookies, brownies etc.
6. Vinegar and baking powder. Apparently if you mix these two together it makes a good substitute for egg white, but you’d have to use white vinegar and not malt vinegar!
7. Chickpea brine (i.e. when you buy a can of chickpeas and drain it, the water is what’s left) is also good for replacing egg white, and can be put to excellent use in a vegan chocolate mousse.
8. Vegetable oil is one of the simplest, easiest, and cheapest vegan alternatives to butter. You can’t always use it, for instance in buttercream, but it can be used a lot of the time for frying and baking. It can be used for batter, cakes and bread.
9. Margarine - vegetable spread, olive oil spread etc. can also be vegan, but make sure you check! However, it is often made with palm oil, something which causes considerable environmental damage and can destroy the habitats of many animals, so have a think about what your priorities are before you buy it!
10. Peanut butter – a classic that seems to be very, very popular! Lots of vegan recipes feature the unique taste of peanut butter, including peanut butter brownies, peanut butter cookie dough, even peanut butter ice cream. That said, lots of people are allergic to peanuts, so be careful who you feed this to.
If you want more information, you can always visit the Vegetarian and the Vegan society websites, as they have lots of fantastic recipes and information on where to buy these ingredients.
Image from: http://www.chooseveg.com/bakingwithouteggs