There are many things you can do to make your favorite recipes healthier! I’ve listed quite a few of my suggestions below, based on what works well in my kitchen. There are so many more substitutions you can make, but these are just the ones I use most often. All of them are healthier options, regardless of whether you identify as vegan/vegetarian. Enjoy! =)
What you can make: flax seed eggs
- Buy whole flax seeds (don’t buy them pre-ground otherwise they may become stale very quickly).
- Grind them into a powder with a coffee grinder or a very good food processor.
- Add 1 tbsp ground flax seeds to a bowl, then add 3 tbsp water and mix thoroughly. This will make one egg.
- Keep the extra ground flax seeds in your fridge for up to one year.
What you can buy: Ener-G Egg Replacer
What you can make: 3/4 cup olive oil = 1 cup butter
What you can buy: Earth Balance
What you can make: homemade almond milk (recipe adapted from Whole New Mom)
- Blend almonds with water in a 1:4 ratio. Blend until smooth, this may take several minutes.
- Add flavoring if desired (e.g. vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, chocolate).
What you can make: coconut milk cheese (recipe adapted from Sweet Roots)
- Boil 2 cans coconut milk until no longer separated. Add 3 tsp agar agar flakes, 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice, and 2 tsp salt. Boil gently for 15 minutes.
- Mix cornstarch with a small amount of water to create a paste. Add 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and cornstarch paste, one at a time while whisking. Cook another 5-10 minutes.
- Remove from pan and put in greased glass dish. Let cool two hours in fridge.
What you can buy: Daiya brand cheeses
What you can make: cashew cream cheese (recipe adapted from Eating Rules)
- Blend 2 cups raw cashews with 1/2 cup water, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast, and 1 tsp salt.
- Add more water and salt as needed.
What you can buy: Tofutti cream cheese
What you can make: 1 cup milk of choice plus 2 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar mixed in
What you can make: tofu sour cream (recipe adapted from food.com)
- Blend 1 package silken tofu with 1 tbsp olive oil, 4 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt.
- Keep in fridge to thicken before using.
What you can buy: Tofutti sour cream
Heavy whipping cream
What you can make: 3:1 ratio of milk (see above) to butter/olive oil
Other great resources for healthy & (mostly) vegan substitutions:
- Greatist healthy recipe substitutions
- Vegan Wolf recipe substitutions
- Wikibooks vegan recipe subsitituions