With over 600,000 vegans living in Britain, veganism has become one of the fastest growing lifestyle movements. In fact, according to The Vegan Society, the number of vegans in the UK quadrupled between 2014 and 2018, resulting in a spike in the demand for vegan food.
As you can imagine, this meteoric rise in popularity has led to many bakeries diversifying their products. However, creating tasty vegan recipes can prove tricky for those new to the practice. To help you get to grips with vegan baking, we’ve compiled a list of savvy swaps so you can create the perfect free-from bake.
Mashed-up banana, baking powder or crushed flax seeds mixed with water. Eggs are usually a staple in non-vegan baking as they act as a leavening agent, provide structure and add moisture. So, unfortunately just one egg substitute won’t usually provide all the baking benefits of an egg. However, depending on the egg’s role in a recipe, you’ll be able to find a substitute that acts in the same way. Here’s how our three egg substitutes work best:
- Mashed-up banana: great for adding moisture
- Baking powder: a good leavening agent
- Crushed flax seeds mixed with water: ideal for providing structure and binding ingredients
2. Swap milk for…
Unsweetened, non-dairy milk. More of a simple swap, non-dairy milk alternatives are usually a good substitute. Soya milk is closest in consistency to cows’ milk, whereas almond milk can be a bit thin for certain recipes. Just keep an eye out for added sweeteners and flavours when making your selection.
3. Swap cream for…
Coconut milk or avocado. While both are great swaps, these ingredients have different benefits. Coconut milk acts in a similar way to regular cream, making it an easy trade and ideal for chilling and recreating whipped cream. It does however have a high saturated fat content, just like dairy cream. For a healthier option, avocado can add a creaminess to your bakes but contains mainly unsaturated fat, making it a slightly healthier alternative.
4. Swap butter for…
Non-dairy margarine or coconut oil. Although margarine isn’t strictly a dairy product (it’s usually made from soya bean oil or an oil blend), a lot of margarines will contain traces of dairy. However, there are a few margarine brands which are completely dairy-free, such as Smart Balance Light Margarine. If you can’t find one, coconut oil also makes a great one-to-one swap.
5. Swap honey for…
Maple syrup. An ingredient that is often forgotten to be replaced in vegan baking, honey also doesn’t fit within the vegan diet. Instead, use an equal amount of maple syrup to add sweetness to a recipe.
With veganism becoming increasingly popular, we’re likely to see even more vegan treats on our shelves in future.
Do you know of any savvy swaps for vegan bakers? Let us know your top tips via Twitter!