There are a number of reasons to be vegan. Whether you have food allergies/intolerances or just want to eat healthier in general, there are plenty of ways you can maintain a vegan diet without sacrificing certain textures or flavors. Let’s take a look at some easy vegan food swaps.
This is the third installment in a multi-part series of food swap ideas. The topic we will cover in this part of the series is Vegan food swaps. Here is a list of simple vegan suggestions for common foods and food items.
Vegan Food Swaps
- Unsweetened applesauce for butter
- This swap keeps the correct consistency with added sweetness and none of the dairy. To make the substitution in a recipe requiring 1 cup of butter, use 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce.
- Avocado puree for butter
- Both have healthy fats, so if you’re looking for a dairy-free alternative, try avocado puree. While it may take some slight experimentation, usually 1 cup of avocado puree per cup of butter will work.
- Almond milk for dairy milk
- This is a great swap if you’re looking for a dairy-free alternative to cow’s milk.
- Banana “ice cream” for ice cream
- To make this swap, freeze the bananas, throw them in a blender or food processor to puree and enjoy. There is no dairy or added sugar included.
- Coconut milk for cream
- With its mild flavor and healthy fats, coconut milk provides the silky texture of cream without the calories.
- Nutritional yeast for cheese
- Nutritional yeast has a cheesy flavor and a texture similar to Parmesan. This is a great dairy-free choice for those avoiding dairy.
- Mashed bananas for baking fat
- To make this swap, substitute one cup of mashed ripe bananas for one cup of fat. This will still provide the creaminess and thickness of fat without the calories.
- Prune puree for butter
- This may only work in dark baked goods such as brownies due to its dark color. To try it out, boil 3/4 cup prunes in 1/4 water and puree. It can be substituted for equal amounts in baked goods.
- Chia seeds for butter
- You can cut down the fat by half of what the recipe calls for and add in 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds soaked in 9 Tablespoons of water. The consistency is a jelly that is a close stand in for fat in baking recipes.
- Chia seeds for eggs
- Try soaking 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds in 1 cup of water to create a healthy substitution for eggs. This can be used in a 1:1 ratio for baking recipes.
- Flax meal for eggs
- To make this swap, mix 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseeds (flax meal) in 3 Tablespoons warm water. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes before using in a 1:1 ratio in a baking recipe.
If you have any additional questions about these swaps or need ideas for more foods, come see me for a free nutrition consultation at any of the clubs!Schedule a Nutrition Consultation
Written by Sarah Brunner, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Registered Dietitian
Sarah is certified in food allergies/intolerances and nutritional counseling, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; has a certificate in Dietetics from Mount Mary University; and a BA in Education and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.