There are many reasons to mix up your diet including numerous health and ethical reasons. In an age when more and more people seem to be going vegan or paleo, it can be important to know where there is room for improvement in your diet! These plant-based substitutes for everyday foods are a great way to start, and they all taste great!
- Non-Dairy Milk - This is one of the most common and easiest switches to make. There are countless dairy-free milks out there, ranging from well known products like soy and almond milk, to more obscure varieties such as hemp milk. In fact, many products made from milk have dairy free substitutes, such as cheese made from curdled cashews!
- Egg Replacers - Egg replacers, as the name would suggest, are substances that can replace eggs in baking. These fill the role of the egg for moisture/textural reasons in baking, and will add a unique flavor, depending on what you use. Some common egg replacers include potato starch, canned pumpkin, bananas, and ground flax seed. These won’t replace eggs in omelets or scrambled eggs, but seasoned, crumbled tofu is a common replacement for scrambled eggs.
- Cooking Fats - if you want to eliminate butter and other common fats from your cooking, there are a number of plant based solutions that work great in everyday recipes! Vegetable stock, water, and even wine are great options for sautéing, while prune paste makes an excellent substitute for fats and oils in baking, as it holds in moisture well. Coconut oil is also a favorite for all sorts of culinary uses.
- Salt - Many diets require major cuts to salt/sodium intake. To spice up your food with plant based substitutes, consider using ground/granulated parsley, onion, or garlic. Lemon juice and fresh salsas can also make great, low sodium seasonings!
- Meats - To replace meat altogether, beans can make a great substitute. Most famous for their appearance in the veggie burger, beans are an excellent replacement for meats in your diet since they are filling, full of protein, and extremely nutritious. Texturally, they are very different from meat, but are full of awesome flavor that will keep you satisfied.