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Vegan food swaps that aren’t weird

I really enjoy cooking and baking and I try to eat healthily which has lead me to experiment with vegan baking, although I myself am not vegan or even vegetarian.  However, eating vegan can be incredibly tedious not to mention expensive at times and I don’t always have the special vegan staples in my pantry or can I get them at my local supermarket.

More and more of us are becoming interested in what is really in our food and some are looking towards eating simply or even eating vegan once in a while.  That’s why I’ve done all the hard work for you, and put together a list of food swaps that I absolutely love.  So much so that ‘swap’ doesn’t quite do them justice. As far as these gems are concerned, they’re bona fide improvements!

pexels-photo-93022Lemon juice, olive oil and balsamic for Caesar dressing

Love a deliciously creamy Caesar dressing? So do I, but it turns out a blend of lemon juice, olive oil and balsamic is just as velvety. Whisk these three ingredients up with a fork, and drizzle over salads for a deliciously sweet and smooth dressing that’s 100% vegan-friendly.

Chia and flax for eggs

Baking is a wonderful pastime, but for vegans, it can be a bit of a soggy nightmare. How are you supposed to bake a cake or batch of cookies without an egg? Cue chia and flax, Mother Nature’s fabulous binding agents. Simply grind up a teaspoon of flaxseed or add the chia seeds in whole, then whisk together with three teaspoons of water.

1 egg = 1 tsp chia or flax seeds and 3 tsps of water.

Avocado for butter

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-5-47-51-pmWho doesn’t love smashed avo on toast with a poached egg on top? But did you know that as well as being a scrumptious brunch ingredient, the healthy fats in avocado also make a fantastic butter substitute? You can use it as an alternative to butter in cooking. When baking, substitute half the amount of butter in your recipe for mashed avocado. If you substitute the whole amount, you’ll end up with flatter results.

100g butter = 50g avocado

Check out the NZ Avocado site for some baking and cooking inspiration and recipes.

Coconut milk for cream

If you loved whipped cream but want to stay away from dairy, you need a little coconut in your life. Simply decant a tin of coconut milk into a bowl and leave to set in the fridge overnight. Once it’s hardened up, use a whisk or electric beater to whip it into peaks. Dollop on top of scones and enjoy the same luscious texture as whipped cream, minus the dairy. Give our no-bake cheesecake a go, you won’t be disappointed.

1 cup cream = 1 cup coconut cream

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-5-59-37-pmTofu for scrambled eggs

Just because you’re off eggs, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a deliciously rich Sunday morning scramble. I love this fiery south-west inspired take, beefed up with kale, red capsicum, onion and of course, plenty of spices.

1 egg = 1/4 cup silken tofu

Cashews for cheese

When it comes to irresistible foods that throw vegans off the bandwagon, cheese is one of the hardest things to give up. If you’re craving a little cheesy goodness in your kitchen, stock up on cashews next time you’re at the supermarket. All you really need is nuts, lemon juice and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, and vegan cheese recipes like this one spruce things up a little.  For an even simpler cheese fix, just sprinkle nutritional yeast over a dish for instant flavour.

Whether you’re exploring an animal-free diet or are simply trying to cater to the needs of your recently converted daughter, these vegan food swaps are guaranteed to please.