Keys to Successful Vegan Pastry & Baking

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VEGAN PASTRY & BAKING

With the shift of a few simple ingredients you can take traditional recipes and recreate them using plant-based alternative ingredients and literally have it all again… but even better because no animal products are required.  Most vegan baked goods and desserts are so good no one can tell the difference.

Common Substitutes:

Non-Dairy Milk

There are so many options you’ll want to try them all.  When comparing cow’s milk to non-diary milks you’ll find the non-dairy plant-based milks win in all three categories; health, environment, and animal welfare. Cow’s milk is also the top offender in use of natural resources to produce. Why grow soy to feed cows to make milk when you can grow soy and make milk? And…there’s no environmentally destructive poopy mess left behind in producing soy milk. Non-dairy milks can also be made fresh at home in a good high speed blender.

Vegan Butter

Non-dairy butters are readily available at most grocery stores.  Some of the most popular brands include Earth Balance, I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter, Miyoko’s Kitchen, Melt Organic, and ask your grocer for  Way Fare non-dairy products. Way Fare is a new brand that was founded by a Vermont dairy farmer who has mastered the art of using butter beans and oats to produce beautiful vegan butter, cheeses, and non-dairy desserts. You can have it all again, no cows required.

Egg Substitutes

Eggs provide structure and leavening  in baked goods. My favorite substitute for eggs in vegan baking is 1/4 cup of firm tofu for each egg.  I use tofu as and egg substitute in cookies, brownies, pancakes, muffins, waffles, french toast and more!  My second favorite egg substitute is ground flax seed.  One tablespoon of ground flax combined with three tablespoons of water will equal one egg. Flax blends in well in whole wheat pancakes and darker toned baked goods like carrot cake, banana bread, or gingerbread. Other alternatives to eggs include apple sauce, mashed banana, and a mixture of baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

Vegan Heavy Cream

One of the surprising winners in heavy creams substitutes is made from yellow peas.  They can’t call it pea milk so they’ve named it Ripple and it is a rich and creamy plant-based version of heavy cream.  There are also many other popular and convenient available brands made from soy, coconut, and almonds.  Canned coconut cream makes a beautiful non-dairy whipped cream topping when chilled and combined with a little sweetener of your choice and some vanilla extract.  Non-diary dessert whipped creams can also be found in the frozen and refrigerator sections of many grocers.

Mexican Pastries & Lard

In many traditional recipes for Mexican pastries pork lard or manteca de puerco is a common ingredient (along with additional eggs and dairy).  Manteca de puerco is easily replaced with vegetable shortening or coconut oil and the resulting flavor and texture are just about identical.  Working with Northgate Gonzalez markets we’ve recently tested the recipes and customers may be seeing new vegan options soon.

SAMPLE RECIPES:

 

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cream vegan butter, tofu, and cane sugar until creamy. Add vanilla, flour, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips and there you have it, vegan chocolate chip cookies.

 

Banana Nut Pancakes
Blend tofu, non-dairy milk, a little oil, and sugar until smooth.  Add flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt and you have the base for amazing pancakes.  Chill coconut cream and whip it up with a little powdered sugar or maple syrup for a rich and creamy non-dairy whipped topping.

 

 

Maple Nut Scones
These decadent breakfast pastries are so delicious no one would ever guess they’ve been veganized! 

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