Wednesday, September 8, 2010

VEGANIZE your baking!

A friend of the Vegan Era Crew asked us recently about substituting animal products with vegan alternatives. The free Veg Starter Kit on our home page has a few ideas to get you started but we thought we'd go into more detail with our favourite meal time....DESSERT!

It's certainly becoming easier to find vegan desserts, especially if you have access to a good health food store. However, there is

nothing like baking up your own delights and giving vegan life to old favourites! "Veganizing" your desserts can often mean making these desserts much healthier too so that you can enjoy them guilt-free. Hooray!

In particular, cookies, brownies and muffins are quite easy to adjust, but cake recipes can be a little trickier. It is better to go with a vegan cake recipe unless you are already experienced with vegan baking techniques.

Some general guidelines:

To replace one egg:
a) Packaged Egg Replacer (1 1/2 t. egg replacer + 2 T. water for each egg)
b) 1 T. soy powder mixed with 2 T. water
c) 1 1/2 T.
ground flax seeds soaked in 3 T. boiling water for 15 minutes. Pour off excess water and use the gelled flax seeds.
d) Half a mashed banana
e) 3 T. apple sauce
f) 1 T. arrowroot powder

To replace milk or cream:
a) Store-bought non-dairy milk (such as a thick, rich soy/rice/oat or nut milk) or non-dairy cream
b) Home-made tofu milk (made by blending tofu with water). To prepare: Rinse and drain 8 oz. (one cup) of tofu. Using a blender, blend tofu with one cup water. Puree until smooth. Add one more cup of water and blend. This will yield 2 1/2 – 3 cups of tofu milk.
c) Silken tofu, pureed in the food processor, makes a great base for a “cream filling.”

To replace white refined sugar
(White sugar is not only very bad for your overall health, but it is often refined through animal bone char, especially in the US.)
a) Evaporated cane juice or other unrefined cane sugar such as Rapadura
b) Date sugar
c) Xylitol (birch sugar)

To replace honey
a) agave nectar
b) rice syrup
c) maple syrup*
d) barley malt extract
e) sorghum molasses

For some awesome vegan cookie recipes, check out The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur.

For any non-vegans who are just a little scared off eggs right now due to the massive recall in the US recently, here is a yummy egg free breakfast idea...

Vegan Breakfast Frittata
serves 8 (I got this recipe from
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 package extra firm tofu
3 Tbsp grated vegan mozzarella
3 Tbsp soy sauce
6 tomatoes, sliced
fresh or dried herbs and spring onions such as parsley and basil.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F or 190 degrees C. Coat a 10 inch casserole dish or 24 cup muffin tin wiht cooking spray if you would prefer to make mini frittatas.
2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and saute red onion for 3-4 minutes. Add carrots and zucchini and saute for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add herbs and then remove from heat.
3. Puree tofu, mozzarella and soy sauce for 2 minutes in a food processor until smooth and thick. Stir tofu mixture into vegetable mixture and spoon into casserole dish. Arrange tomato slices on top and bake for 40-45 minutes (until the top is firm to touch) or 25-30 minutes if making mini frittatas. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

For more information on eggs and the differences between free range eggs, caged eggs, etc check out Renata's earlier post here.

Be Love, Be Peace, Be Vegan; Save Our Home.