Easy & Healthy Food Substitutes

I hate labeling. I know my blog would probably do better if I labeled everything vegan, dairy-free or gluten-free, but I truly feel that 90% of my recipes can be made into whatever you need them to be with a simple substitution. Here's the substitutes that I use most and find very effective in both cooking and baking. I would love to hear if you have some good ones too that I can add to the list! Happy substituting.

Breadcrumbs

Many people us tortilla chips or even rice crispies. I have found, in cooking, the best substitute is Lundberg Sea Salt Rice Chips. They hold their crunch and add a great flavor. I have even done whole rolled oats with good luck.


Butter

  • Vegan Earth Balance Buttery Spread: Equal Substitute
  • Coconut Oil: Equal Substitute
  • Applesauce: For 8 T butter (1 stick), substitute 6 T applesauce + 2 T vegetable or coconut oil
  • Avocado Purée: 1 cup for 1 cup but increase other liquids because the avocado won't melt like butter.

Dairy

  • Heavy Cream: Use canned coconut milk. Don't worry, you won't get the sweet coconut taste!
  • Mayonnaise: Use avocado purée or veganaise.
  • Milk: I will use just about any milk alternative for cooking but for baking I like using coconut milk (not the canned but the milk alternative found in the milk aisle. It mixes well, has a great consistency and won't separate like other milks may tend to do.
  • Cheese: Nutritional Yeast makes great cheese sauces (try the sauce in my Vegan Mac n Cheese for almost anything) I like using cashews nut for most other cheese mixtures. creamy and powdered (Vegan Parmesan Cheese).

Eggs

  • Egg Replacer: Follow directions on box
  • Chickpea Flour Egg (my favorite): ¼ cup of chickpea flour + ¼ cup water or non-dairy milk = 1 egg
  • Flax Egg: 1 T flax meal + 3 T water = 1 egg
  • Chia Seed Egg: 1 T chia seeds + 3 T water = 1 egg.
*Let all egg mixtures sit for 10-15 minutes before adding to your other ingredients.
*Once you replace more than one egg per recipe, you may have to play with your baking times since eggs add moisture.



Flour

  • Bob’s Red Mill AP Flour – Equal Substitute
  • Make your own: 40/60 ratio: 40% whole grain and 60% white flours/starches
When using xanthan gum and guar guar:
  • Cakes, cookies, bars, quick breads and muffins: add 1/2 t per cup of flour blend
  • Yeast bread or pizza dough: add 1 t per cup of flour blend


Salt

Smy-Salt! You can't go wrong with this easy salt substitute recipe!


Sugar

  • Applesauce: Use equal amounts for baking. Decrease other liquids by 1/4 c per 1 cup of applesauce. Add applesauce to wet ingredients.
  • Honey: Use 2/3 amount of honey. For every 1 cup of honey, decrease the other liquids in the recipe by 1/4 c.
  • Maple Syrup: Use 2/3 amount of honey. For every 1 cup of honey, decrease the other liquids in the recipe by 1/4 c.
*For honey and maple syrup, lessen the oven temperature by 25º because the liquids will caramelize or burn faster.
*I used to use agave nectar a lot as a vegan sugar substitute but I just can't determine if this is actually a healthy substitute or not ... Agave is still in its youth and there is a lot of 'research' that shows both the good and the bad so I just stay away and stick to the tried and true Pure Wisconsin Maple Syrup for my vegan needs!

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