Whenever I talk to people about veganism and a plant-based diet, someone always ends up telling me that they could never go vegan because they love baking too much. Did you know that vegan baking actually allows you to be even more creative with your ingredients?
The first piece of advice I always give people who are new to this lifestyle is to think of their favorite vegan recipe and to “veganize” it. To “veganize” something means to look at the list of ingredients and to think of alternatives for every non vegan item. The best way to demonstrate this is to share one of my own recipes with you and to tell you how I veganized it step by step.
Today’s chocolate brownie recipe would normally call for eggs, butter and milk. Here are the alternatives I used, as well as suggestions for other options.
Eggs: Instead of 4 eggs, I used 3/4 cup natural unsweetened apple sauce and 1 ripe, mashed banana. Eggs are used to bind the ingredients in the dough, so in order to replace them, you just need to look for plant-based options that’ll have the same or at least a similar effect.
Other alternatives (each equals 1 egg):
1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water
1 tbsp chia seed + 1/3 cup water
1 tbsp soy protein powder + 3 tbsp water
1 tbsp agar agar + 1 tbsp water
1/2 – 1 ripe, mashed banana
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3 tbsp peanut butter
Butter: Instead of 1 cup butter, I simply used 1 cup vegan butter.
Unrefined coconut oil
Olive oil (has a less neutral taste than coconut oil)
Ripe, mashed avocado
Unsweetened apple sauce (if you want a version that’s low fat, just make sure you line your baking tray with parchment paper)
Milk: Instead of 1/2 cup cow’s milk, I used 1/2 cup walnut almond milk
Water, coconut milk, oat milk, hemp milk, rice milk, soy milk, cashew milk, hazelnut milk, almond milk, brazil nut milk….
3/4 cup natural unsweetened apple sauce
1 large super ripe banana, mashed
3/4 organic brown sugar
1 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup walnut almond milk
1 3/4 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
1tsp baking powder (aluminum free)
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Pinch of salt
Optional: vegan chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/ 180 degrees Celsius.
Melt the vegan butter in a small pot at low to medium heat and remove from the stove as soon as it’s completely melted.
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients and add the melted butter, apple sauce, almond milk, banana and banana one by one.
Mix well until the batter is smooth and even.
Add the chocolate chips (optional).
Either line a 8.5 x 6.5in/21 x 16cm baking tray (with parchment paper or grease it with a little bit of oil or vegan butter and add the batter.
Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes.
Tastes best when enjoyed hot straight out of the oven with a scoop of vegan ice cream.
If you choose to use chocolate chips, simply look for “dairy free” or even “vegan” on the package and then double check the ingredients list. Most dark chocolates are vegan, but there are always exceptions, so I like to make sure it really doesn’t contain any animal products. One thing that confused me in the beginning was the “may contain traces of…” mention. That means that the product was made in a facility that also processes animal products and the mention is added for legal reasons. That does not mean that it contains animal products, however, and most vegans I know (including myself) choose to consume foods with that mention as long as the ingredient list is 100% vegan.
I hope that you enjoyed this post! I tried to keep it short, but I’ll definitely write a few more posts on vegan baking in the near future. If you’re passionate about baking, I’d highly recommend my one of my absolute favorite vegan blogs: Chocolate Covered Katie (you can also read my interview with Katie by clicking here).