I'm a huge fan of baking, but one of my roommates decided to go vegan this summer (for environmental reasons) and what fun is baking if you can't share the goodies with everyone who you know? Consequently, I've started experimenting with some vegan substitutes and they've actually worked out pretty well! If any of you have always wondered if you could go vegan, but haven't wanted to give up your sweet treats, this article is for you! Read on to see which various things can be used to replace all the non-vegan ingredients in your favorite baked recipe.
Applesauce for Eggs
This is the one that I've done the most and I actually discovered it by accident. A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to send my friend who was away from school for the quarter a care package, which meant that I had to bake her something. Unfortunately for me, I realized halfway into the baking that I didn't have any eggs in my apartment and all of the grocery stores were long closed. I think that it was about 2 am at this point. Luckily, my roommate heard my predicament and told me that applesauce can be used as a replacement for eggs in most recipes, as long as the flavor of the baked good will go along with an apple-y flavor (although, truth be told, I don't taste it at all). Five minutes later, I had emptied my one single-serving cups of applesauce that I randomly happened to have in the apartment into the mixing bowl and a new type of cake was made. It was a huge success and I've even repeated the experiment since! The last time that I told somebody that the cake was vegan, they begged me for my vegan recipe until I told them that it was just a box mix with applesauce instead of eggs! Just use about 1/3 cup of applesauce for each egg that's called for by the instructions.
Bananas for Eggs
I've never tried this one, but my roommate (and the internet) have told me that bananas also really work really well as an egg substitute. Just pop one into your usual recipe (I've heard that it's about half a banana per egg) and enjoy! Just like the applesauce, this may add a little bit of a fruity flavor to your food. It's a good thing that bananas always go with sweets!
Vinegar for Eggs
I'm not quite sure how this works, but some recipes use apple cider vinegar or plain white vinegar instead of eggs and they seem to work out great! This usually requires either baking soda or baking powder to help the baked good rise, just like it would with eggs. I made this recipe on Friday afternoon and everybody loved it so much that I came home on Saturday night with an empty pan! Don't worry, I made another one on Saturday night. It has since been consumed as well. (Basically, this cake is the bomb.)
Bananas as Ice Cream
This is both a health trick and a vegan trick. Have you ever wanted ice cream, but not had any on hand, not wanted the calories, or have not been able to eat dairy? Never fear, banana ice cream is here! Seriously, just freeze the bananas, pop them into the blender, and mix (then freeze again, if necessary). They create a great banana ice cream, just like that! You can also add other flavors (chocolate syrup) to the banana puree to make other kinds of ice cream, although the banana flavoring sticks around no matter what you do. The ice cream is super easy to make and super tasty. Just don't try to use it to make homemade mochi, like I did. It was a disaster.
Almond Milk for Milk
This one is pretty obvious. When possible, substitute in almond (or soy) milk into your recipe instead of milk! Your recipe is suddenly vegan! (Or, at least, it's more vegan.) The recipe that I linked a little while ago uses unsweetened almond milk and we love it.
Margarine for Butter
Again, this is really obvious. When a recipe calls for butter, just use margarine instead! These two can almost always be substituted for the other.
Vegan baking isn't that hard! Now, go out and try it for yourself!