February 19, 2015
Healthy, Vegan Baking
Gluten is bad for you, milk is bad for you, and too many eggs a week is bad for you. With so many guidelines these days about foods being bad for us it is hard to enjoy a fluffy delicious pancake or a blueberry muffin without feeling like we are poisoning ourselves. Since I have become vegan I have looked for healthy substitutes for ingredients such as milk, eggs and all purpose flour. It might be surprising for you to hear but vegan baked goods are delicious too and not as unhealthy as conventional baked goods which are packed with white sugar and white flours, milk, cream and eggs. I also try to be gluten-free and sugar-free to make my baked goods as healthy as possible. Sugar and flour are vegan but still very unhealthy so that is why I choose to substitute them with other healthier ingredients. Most of the time I try to be sugar-free and I only have 100% maple syrup and sometimes agave. Instead of using all-purpose flour I substitute it with coconut flour, brown rice flour, oat flour or even all-purpose gluten-free flour which is made with a blend of tapioca flour and garbanzo flour. Instead of using eggs I use applesauce, coconut milk yogurt, or make a flax egg. What is a flax egg? A flax egg is ground up flax seeds; you can grind them in a coffee grinder until they are a powder. Take 1 tablespoon of the flax powder and add 3 tablespoons of water, mix together well and place in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. After 10-15 minutes the mixture is now a “flax egg” and ready to use, the consistency will be like that of an egg, gooey and gelatinous. Option: You can also make a chia egg. Follow the step above but use chia seeds instead of flax seeds. You can use flax eggs in pancakes, muffins, brownies, cookies, etc. but they taste best when used in fluffy baked goods like pancakes and waffles. Instead of using milk or cream I use almond milk or coconut milk or any other non-dairy milk. Depending on the recipe, I decide if I should use sweet non-dairy milk or a non-sweet one for a savoury dish like cornbread. Instead of using white granulated sugar I use natural sugars like agave nectar or maple syrup or coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is good to use to replace regular sugar because it doesn’t affect your glycemic index like regular sugar does. You can really make any baked good vegan now with all the healthy substitutes I have given you. If you are attempting to make a recipe vegan for the first time reach out into your community and ask if anyone has ideas on substitutions because there are so many healthy ingredients out there these days, you can really make any baked good healthy and delicious. Try it for yourself and let us know how it worked for you!