The Ultimate Guide To Vegan Substitutes
Welcome to the ultimate guide to vegan substitutes for cheese, eggs and meat galore. Vegan Substitutes such as almond milk, dairy free cheese, meat substitutes and vegan ice cream have been a LIFE SAVER while being on a plant based diet. As much as I try to center my vegan diet around whole foods such as fruits and veggies, vegan substitutes have a lot to offer. Many of the vegan substitutes are fortified with nutrients and have good amounts of protein and if you are ever craving ice cream, a burger, or chicken its good to have something similar in flavor. Obviously, vegan substitutes do not taste exactly like their original non vegan counterparts but if you find the key staples you like it's all worth while. Here's a list of the best vegan substitutes that you should try NOW.
1. Almond Milk and Cashew Milk
When it comes to dairy free milk my favorites are Almond Milk and Cashew Milk. I never liked cow's milk to begin with so it was pretty easy for me to choose any plant milk over dairy milk. In my opinion, almond milk and cashew milk have the least invasive flavor and are perfect for baking, cooking or just putting in cereal. Almond Milk and Cashew milk also have protein and you can find varieties that are fortified with extra protein.
2. Earth Balance Butter
Earth Balance is a popular brand of vegan butter. Earth Balance is more similar to margarine but it is great for sauteing or even just slathering on a piece of toast. There are different versions now that include soy free and you can buy Earth Balance in sticks or in a tub. The flavor is almost identical to traditional butter.
3. Follow Your Heart Dairy Free Cheese
Follow Your Heart is one of my favorite vegan substitutes brands. I love how realistic their dairy free cheeses taste. They offer a variety of cheesy vegan substitutes like cheese shreds or cheese slices. The flavor options are stunning as well with flavors like mozzarella, provolone, Gouda, cheddar and more. Vegan cheese is the hardest substitute to get right in my opinion but if you want a vegan cheese without the weird aftertaste, you need to check out Follow Your Heart Cheese. My favorite recipe is simply a grilled cheese using their vegan Gouda slices.
4. Silk Yogurt
The Silk Brand is known for it's non dairy options and vegan substitutions. One of my favorites is their vegan yogurt which includes flavors like vanilla and strawberry. This dairy free yogurt is delicious and also packed with probiotics which help with gut health
5. Go Veggie Cream Cheese
I love bagels... better yet I love bagels layered in cream cheese. However, when I stopped consuming dairy I was afraid I'd have to give up my beloved bagel and cream cheese combination. To my delight, Go Veggie has the best vegan cream cheese on the market. The flavor is identical to dairy cream cheese and the texture is perfectly creamy and smooth. I love to put it on an everything bagel or even use it in a vegan cheesecake recipe (coming soon).
6. Vegan Ice Cream
Vegan ice cream is becoming more and more popular as brands like Ben & Jerry's and Breyer's expand to include vegan flavors. Before this many vegans stuck to the classic banana nice cream fad, but I prefer my ice cream to not have a banana aftertaste. Some of my favorite Vegan Ice Cream's include So Delicious, Almond Dream, Ben & Jerry's Vegan flavors and Halo Top's vegan flavors. My all time favorite is Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter and Cookies. Vegan Ice Cream is pretty much the easiest vegan substitute to find and any grocery store is likely to carry a variety of delicious flavors.
7. Gardein Chicken Strips, Burgers, and Mock Meats
Gardein is one of my favorite brands of meat substitutes. When it comes to meat substitutes, Gardein comes the closest in flavor and texture. Their orange chicken is freakishly similar to actual orange chicken. They have one of the best veggie burgers that almost rivals the beyond meat burger. Gardein also has products like pulled pork stuffed buns and chicken sliders. I've been able to find Gardein at most grocery stores even if they are not a health foods store and I guarantee that if paired with the right meal you'd never consider meat again.
8. Field Roast Sausages, Deli Slices and Burger
Another one of my favorite meat substitutes are Field Roast Sausages, Deli Slices and Burger. I love the flavor packed in Field Roast Sausages Deli Slices and Burgers. They're smoked apple sage sausages are perfect to put in any rice or pasta dish and can even be eaten as a hot dog. They also have a great range of flavors for deli slices including lentil sage, smoked tomato and wild mushroom. The only downfall is field roast can be a bit expensive but if you have the extra cash, field roast should definitely be a staple in your vegan substitutes repertoire .
9. Sweet Earth Benevolent Bacon and Veggie Burgers
2 of my favorite meat substitutes are the Sweet Earth veggie burgers and their Benevolent Bacon. Their veggie burgers come in different flavors such as Fresh Santa Fe, Fresh Teriyaki and Fresh Mediterranean. They cook nicely on a grill or sauteed in a pan. The Benevolent Bacon is the only vegan bacon substitute I will indulge in. All other vegan bacon substitutes taste like cardboard to be honest. The Benevolent Bacon has a smoky barbecue flavor that fits perfectly on breakfast sandwiches or in breakfast wraps.
10. Beyond Meat Sausages, Crumbles and Burger
Beyond Meat is known for it's innovative meat like substitutes. All of their products are packed with protein and come super close to tasting like the real thing. This brand can be on the pricier side but their sausages and burgers are perfect to put on the grill. If you pair the beyond burger with a sesame bun, vegan cheese, lettuce, tomato and ketchup you won't even be able to tell the difference.
11. Vegan Egg Substitutes
The egg has been one of the hardest to replicate vegan products of ALL TIME. Follow your heart has a vegan egg that has blown up on the internet. I tried it and personally, it has an egg flavor if prepared right but I wouldn't say I'd buy it again. If you really are an egg connoisseur and want to make an omelette like meal, definitely check out the Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg. If you want a more scrambled approach, I suggest a simple tofu scramble. Put plainly, it's crumbled tofu with seasoning and nutritional yeast that mimics the flavor of scrambled egg. I personally opt for the tofu scramble and love to pair it with potatoes or put it in a breakfast burrito.
12. Vegan Egg Substitutes (Baking)
When it comes to baking, one of the most important ingredients is usually eggs. Eggs are the glue of baked dishes. However, there are many egg substitutes you can use to imitate the sticky nature of eggs in baking. On the more natural side, you can use mashed bananas, applesauce, baking soda mixed with water or ground flax seed mixed with water. On the more processed side, there are tons of egg alternatives on the market. My personal favorite is Bob Red Mill's egg replacement powder. All you do is mix it with water and let it sit and it works perfect in cakes, cookies, pies, brownies and more.
CONDIMENTS AND SAUCES
12. Follow Your Heart's Vegenaise and Salad Dressings
Follow Your Heart has some of the best vegan substitutes out there right now. Vegenaise tastes like real mayonnaise and the Follow Your Heart ranch tastes like real ranch. These substitutes are the closest to the real thing on the market and I've been able to find most of the Follow Your Heart condiments and dressings at regular grocery stores.
13. Just Mayo
Just mayo is a delicious brand of vegan mayonnaise that has fun flavors like chipotle mayo and more. This brand can be found in practically any grocery store and is relatively inexpensive.
14. Victoria Vegan Pasta Sauce
Victoria Vegan Pasta Sauce is one of my pasta staples. With flavors like arugula pesto alfredo, alfredo red pepper and original alfredo, your creamy pasta cravings are sure to be satisfied. I have been able to find Victoria's brand in health food stores as well as traditional grocery stores. However, these amazing sauces can be pricey but well worth the splurge if you're too lazy to make your own.
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