Following a vegan diet is pretty easy these days. Whether you aim to eat more plant-based food for your health, the environment or the animals, supermarkets have more vegan products than ever, from veggie burgers that bleed to many types of plant-based milk. That said, having a few vegan food hacks up your sleeve never hurts.
If you’re out of butter and eggs or forgoing them altogether, these 19 vegan substitutes and tricks will help any savvy cook.
Refrigerate a can of coconut cream overnight for whipped cream
Mix refrigerated coconut cream (or in a pinch, full-fat coconut milk) with some vanilla extract and powdered sugar for a quick, easy and delicious whipped cream.
Use aquafaba instead of egg whites
Aquafaba—the gooey liquid in a can of garbanzos—is magic for baking. Whip it up with an electric mixer and you have a healthy substitute for egg whites.
Blend frozen bananas for a healthy ice cream
Keep peeled ripe bananas in the freezer. Blend them and you’ve got instant banana soft serve. You can also add cocoa powder, peanut butter or fruit for endless varieties of this healthy treat.
Heat dairy-free milk before adding it to coffee
Sometimes dairy-free milk curdles in coffee. To prevent this, heat the milk before you add it. If you’re having a hard time adjusting to the taste of dairy-free creamer, look for plant-based milk without fillers or added vitamins, which can leave a slight aftertaste.
Use flax, chia, banana, applesauce or nut butter instead of eggs in baking
Vegan egg substitutes are easy to find, but you can replace one egg with one tablespoon of ground flax and three tablespoons of water. Banana, applesauce and nut butter also make tasty and healthy egg alternatives.
Add vinegar or lemon to dairy-free milk to make buttermilk
Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of your favorite dairy-free milk, whisk, and let the mixture sit for five to 10 minutes for a buttermilk baking substitute.
Chickpeas, sunflower seeds, onion, and vegan mayo make a great “tuna” salad
Need a quick lunch, minus the mercury? Mash up a can of chickpeas with a quarter cup of sunflower seeds (or nuts). Chop some onion, and mix it all together with vegan mayo for a delicious tuna substitute. For extra flavor, add dill, salt, pepper, hot sauce, celery and carrots.
Make vegan mayo with soy milk, oil, vinegar, and salt
Want mayo for that chickpea tuna? Just blend soy milk, oil, vinegar and salt for an instant vegan mayo.
Bake with avocado instead of butter
Miyoko’s VeganButter (available at Trader Joe’s) is the gold standard, but companies like Earth Balance offer tasty vegan butter spreads. If you want something even healthier and creamier, try substituting avocado for butter in a 1:1 ratio next time you bake. Yes, it really is delicious, especially in vegan chocolate pudding and cake recipes. No, it doesn’t make your dessert taste like avocado.
Blend nutritional yeast, walnuts, salt, and garlic powder for instant parmesan
The somewhat unfortunately named nutritional yeast is extremely delicious and packed with B vitamins, fiber, and protein. It adds a cheesy flavor to sauces, popcorn, pasta and soup. But for something even tastier, blend nutritional yeast with nuts, garlic powder and salt to make a perfect parmesan substitute.
Make yogurt with a vegan probiotic and coconut milk
While buying a yogurt maker is a sound investment, you can make vegan yogurt by mixing two vegan probiotic capsules into a can of coconut milk. Cover it and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Blend silken tofu and herbs for an instant dip
Use black salt for an egg-like taste
Use liquid smoke for bacon flavor
Put liquid smoke on coconut chips, eggplant strips, or tempeh for a much healthier version of bacon.
Blend cashew nuts and salsa for a quick queso
Soak chia seeds or oats overnight in dairy-free milk
Replace egg with soda water in cake mix
You can use oil instead of eggs in most cake mixes, but did you know you can also use seltzer or soda water? Yes, really!