Vegan & Vegetarian Food Alternatives
There are so many simple ways to improve your diet and eat healthier and so many healthy substitutes available to replace a variety of the animal products in your diet. Here’s a partial list to try:
- almond milk
- coconut milk
- hazelnut milk
- rice milk
- soy milk
- hemp milk
Need to replace buttermilk in a recipe try using 1 cup soymilk plus 1 tablespoon of vinegar for each cup of buttermilk required.
Applesauce may be substituted for yogurt although substituting the entire amount may change the texture of the item you’re baking, so, you may also want to decrease the amount of sweetener used in the recipe.
To make your own “soy yogurt” try pureeing medium firm silken tofu and using it cup-for-cup for dairy yogurt.
There are also many store-bought soy yogurts include Cremso, Nancy’s Organic Cultured Soy Yogurt, Trader Joe’s Soy Yogurt, Silk Cultured Soy Yogurt, WholeSoy Creamy Cultured Soy Yogurt, and Wildwood Probiotic SOYogurt.
Sour Cream Alternatives:
As a binder in a recipe, substitute for each egg:
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) soft tofu blended with the liquid ingredients of the recipe, or
- 1 small banana, mashed, or
- 1/4 cup applesauce, or
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot starch, or Ener-G Egg Replacer or another commercial mix found in health food stores. (Make sure to mix the Ener-G Egg Replacer with the recommended amount of water before adding to your recipe)
- Soy cheeses are available in health food stores. (Be aware that many soy cheeses contain casein, which is a dairy product.) One shredded soy cheese I love is found at Trader Joe’s. For “meltable” cheese, I love Daiya and use it in many recipes like vegan mac&cheese.
- Crumbled tofu can be substituted for cottage cheese or ricotta cheese in lasagna and similar dishes.
- Nutritional yeast can also be used as a “parmesan”-like topping – in fact, I like it better.
- Several brands of nondairy cream cheese are available in some supermarkets and kosher stores. My favorite brand is Tofutti.
There are also many veggie meat items that can be used in your favorite recipes. One of my favorite crumbled veggie meat options is from Yves Veggie Cuisine. I use this meatless ground in almost all my recipes, from vegetarian lasagna, to shepard’s pie, burritos and stir-frys.
Without being too extreme, you can choose to eat healthier alternatives without making a lot of effort or sacrificing taste. By sharing these tips and options I hope to help raise your awareness to what tasty alternatives are available for your “meatless” recipes.
Here’s a link I’ve found to share for further information on vegan protein:
Let me know if you have any favorite substitutes, veggie products or recipes. I’d love to hear about them and share your ideas with others.
I’ll also be sharing new products I’ve tried and love on this blog. Here’s a link to those I’ve tried so far:
Be happy, healthy and well!