Healthier vegan substitutions

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

  1. Buy whole flax seeds (don’t buy them pre-ground otherwise they may become stale very quickly).
  2. Grind them into a powder with a coffee grinder or a very good food processor.
  3. Add 1 tbsp ground flax seeds to a bowl, then add 3 tbsp water and mix thoroughly. This will make one egg.
  4. 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)

  1. Blend almonds with water in a 1:4 ratio. Blend until smooth, this may take several minutes.
  2. Add flavoring if desired (e.g. vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, chocolate).

What you can buy: soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc.


What you can make: coconut milk cheese (recipe adapted from Sweet Roots)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Remove from pan and put in greased glass dish. Let cool two hours in fridge.

What you can buy: Daiya brand cheeses

Cream cheese

What you can make: cashew cream cheese (recipe adapted from Eating Rules)

  1. Blend 2 cups raw cashews with 1/2 cup water, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast, and 1 tsp salt.
  2. 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

Sour cream

What you can make: tofu sour cream (recipe adapted from

  1. 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.
  2. 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:


One thought on “Healthier vegan substitutions

  1. Pingback: New page – healthier vegan substitutions! | Once Upon a Veggie

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