Vegan Food Substitutes

beginner vegan tips substitutes

Replacing Eggs, Milk and Cheese – A short introduction.

This post is especially aimed at those who are entirely new to a vegan diet or just curious about how people on a plant-based diet substitute some of the most common things we consume. It can feel rather overwhelming to suddenly have to replace over half of the food that you normally would eat. It might at times even feel quite impossible (trust me, I remember the struggle). Changing your diet from omnivore to plant-based can be a really difficult task but hopefully with a few clarifications and examples of vegan substitutes, we can make it a bit easier. There is a lot of information out there (the beauty of the internet), and I encourage you to dive deep, explore and find the alternatives that suit your needs.

If you are not a new vegan, this post may be a bit useless to you so I would suggest checking out something like these amazing broccoli veggie balls instead. If you’re curious, you can also just keep on reading to explore some vegan food substitutes.

How can I replace milk if I go vegan?

As a new vegan, you will find that the vegan menu uses quite a lot of plant milk. Whether you’re making a sauce, a cake, some pasta, some smoothie, you will encounter many different types of plant-based milk. With so many alternatives, you may wonder, which one is the best option for a new vegan?

Here is a quick guide to check what the plant milk you have is best for:

vegan milk substitutes infographic

It highly depends on where you are located but the usual types of plant milk include:

  • almond milk
  • coconut milk
  • rice milk
  • soy milk
  • oat milk

Other plant milks include:

  • hemp milk
  • pea milk
  • peanut milk.

I have personally tried all except hemp milk and I can safely say that my favorite is soy milk, oat milk and rice milk. I personally love the sweetness of rice milk and there is pretty much nothing I haven’t used it for. However, I recently found out that rice milk is not as healthy as I thought, so I have been using mostly soy, oat and almond lately. Also because For diets aimed at losing weight, the best plant milk to choose is almond.

I can’t really tell you which is the best one for you, but I can encourage to try all of them. Try them multiple times and find out which is your favorite. Replacing milk when eating plant-based is one of the easiest things for new vegans to do so there is no reason to avoid it.

Tip: Experiment and try all plant milks eventually deciding on which is your favorite. Alternatively, you can also make your own oat milk.

How can I replace eggs?

There are actually numerous ways of replacing eggs which include the use of bananas, apple sauce and a variety of seeds. I won’t go into it right now but I will point you towards one of my blog posts, where you can see in detail how to replace eggs in vegan recipes.

Now, even though eggs are fairly easy to replace, there is one way in which you may not be able to replace them for quite a while – as scrambled eggs. If you’re a beginner at cooking it may be even more difficult and I won’t lie to you telling you that you will find the perfect replacement to them. You won’t!

What you will find, however, is a lot of other awesome scrambled things to eat in the morning! I encourage you to try Scrambled Chickpeas and Scrambled Tofu. Both are incredibly tasty and easy to make in the morning!

Nowadays, you can even get Just Egg, which I’ve heard is supposed to act just like a regular egg. Unfortunately, we don’t have it here in Copenhagen so I have not been lucky enough to try it yet.

How can I replace cheese?

This one, is the one that vegans still wonder about quite often. We do have lots of cheese options but they are yet to become so common and affordable. There are various Facebook groups dedicated to finding the perfect vegan cheese recipe but the truth is that making vegan cheese at home can be rather expensive if you want a great result as you may have to buy lots of cashew. For a cheaper option, you can try SimpleVeganBlog’s Easy Vegan Cheese or Vegan Richa’s Vegan Parmesan. Both taste awesome, but aren’t a real substitute for a good feta or a regular cheese you would put in your sandwich.

For pizza, my favorite cheese so far has been Violife. If you are craving feta, you can try making it on your own like this. If you are not into making your own cheese, I would recommend for you to try shopping for vegan cheese online, try a few different ones and take it from there.

In the beginning, I would recommend for you to check out the vegan cheese options in your local supermarkets. After a month or two (or earlier if you want), you can begin experimenting with making your own cheese if your budget allows for it.

You can try these 12 vegan cheese recipes to find the one that suits your needs.

What now?

Replacing some ingredients is going to be a bit of a mystery for a while, but with the research and experimentation, in no time you will be able to replace all products without even thinking about it.

Looking for ways to replace meat? You can check out my favorite meat alternatives here.

Tip: As a new vegan, you will learn most by experimenting in the kitchen!

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