This list of animal product substitutions is a work in progress but has been the basis for a lot of the substitutions I’ve made to animal-based ingredients in my family recipes.
|Animal-Based Ingredient||Vegan Alternative|
|Buttermilk||Sour Soy Milk: add one to two tablespoons lemon juice to a plant-based milk alternative, preferably soy, to make 1 cup total.|
|Milk||Soy Milk: best substitution for not having an overpowering flavor Oat Milk: I’ve heard rave reviews about oat milk but I haven’t loved it as a substitute. However, it would be my second choice if there is a soy allergy. Almond and Other Nut Milks: lower calorie alternative but lower fat and may not hold up as well in baking. Also remember it is nut-based and would not be appropriate for anyone with a nut allergy. Coconut Milk: great in baking where a coconut flavor is desired. Full fat coconut milk is great is puddings.|
|Butter||Earth balance or other equivalent vegan alternative butters (Melt, Becel, and other brands are emerging with fairly competitive and reliable products) – some plant based butter substitutes have a higher water content than others so amount may need to be adjusted depending on the fat needed in the recipe.|
|Lard||Vegetable shortening (they are both 100% fat)|
|Buttermilk||For one cup buttermilk substitute with 1 cup of soy milk less 2 tbsp + 2tbsp apple cider vinegar. Mix and let sit for 5-10 minutes before using.|
|Heavy cream||Coconut cream (put can of full fat can of coconut milk in the fridge upside down for a few hours, then scoop out the solids (the coconut cream). Use the same amount of coconut cream as the recipe calls for heavy cream.|
|Evaporated milk||Water that remains in a can of coconut milk after the cream is removed|
Eggs get their own sub-section because they play so many different roles in cooking (leavening, thickening, binding). I’ve adapted this from My Darling Vegan. At the time of writing our family was/are eating eggs (but typically only those sourced from small family farms where the hens live fairly natural lives).
|Egg substitute||Works well in…|
|Chickpea flour Mix 3 tbsp with 3 tbsp water until thick and creamy to replace each egg||Works well as a binder and leavener so use it in: Scones, cookies, biscotti, flourless cake. |
Because of its high protein content, it works well for coagulation when few eggs are required so use it in: French Toast or Bread Pudding.
Also works well to replace eggs in egg based dishes such as: Omelettes, quiches.
|Applesauce Add 3 tbsp for each egg plus 1/8th tsp baking soda||Works well as a binder and thickener in moist, dense baked goods so use it in: Muffins, doughnuts, quick bread.|
|Non-dairy yogurt & silken tofu Add ¼ cup for each egg plus 1/8th tsp baking soda||Works well as a tasteless binder and thickener, also great in dense baked goods like: Muffins, quick bread.|
|Flax seeds Blend 1 tbsp ground flax seed with 3 tbsp of water until thick and creamy for each egg||Works well as a binder so use it in: Muffins, bread, cookies.|
|Coconut milk Substitute based on weight||Works decently well to replace whipped egg yolks so use it in: Ice cream, whipped cream.|
|Cashews Substitute based on weight||Soaked raw cashews are a dream in so many recipes – use it to replace cream, for example in sauces, soups, pasta sauces.|
They also work well to replace whipped egg yolks so use in: Pot de crème.
|Agar Powder||Use where eggs would otherwise needed to “set” an egg-based dessert like a custard. Also works well in” Pastry cream, Bavarian cream.|
|Aquafaba (liquid from canned beans, usually chickpeas)||Can be used in place of heavy whipping cream to make whipped cream.|
Use in place of whipped egg whites – works well in: Mousses, meringues.
|Tofu (usually regular firm tofu) ¼ cup of tofu = approx. 1 egg||Works well to replace entirely in an egg-based dish, so use it in: Scrambles, quiches, egg salads.|
|White beans & chickpeas||Whipped beans are high in protein and can create similar texture to eggs when baked so use it in: Frittata, quiche or even a scramble.|
Oh No! I’m Out of…
I’m still working on this, but here is the start of a list of ingredients commonly used in plant-based cooking and baking that you might run out of but may have an otherwise adequate substitute on hand.
|Vegetable shortening||Use Earth Balance but adjust for fat level because Earth Balance has less fat. I tend to add ¼ cup for every cup called for in the recipe – so if it calls for 1 cup of vegetable shortening, I use 1 ¼ cups of Earth Balance.|
|Earth balance||Depending on what the Earth Balance is doing in the recipe, you can often substitute 1:1 of canola, vegetable, olive or even coconut oil.|
|Vegan sour cream||Vegan yogurt|
|Vegan Yogurt||Sour supreme, vegan buttermilk (soy milk + apple cider vinegar)|
|Cashews||Well-blended tofu will take on any flavour and can be used instead of cashews in puddings, pudding cakes and cream pies.|