Yesterday, part of the conscious palm tree team participated at the Beach Canteen (Dubai Food festival) for a series of talks and demos … The subjects were ; Fermentation and the health benefits of this ancient process, BE REAL EAT REAL workshop , Pre-toddlers optimum nutrition and how to kick start kids’ health journey and my session was about vegan baking.
Vegan Baking … (What I shared during my session)
Vegan Baking simply means baking with no animal products, such as butter, eggs, dairy and even some white sugars. For decades we were conditioned to think that we must bake with eggs, butter, cream and other dairy… What are the chocolate chip cookies without the richness of butter and eggs or chocolate cake without milk or pancakes and quiche without eggs …
This post if to share how baking without animal products is not only healthier for you but even tastes better and fresher and of course wonderful for the waistline.
To start off, it’s important to understand what each of these animal-based ingredients does for the baked goods and what property we are trying to replace.
The most difficult ingredient to replace is the eggs. I have shared in a separate post on my website the different replacements of eggs but ill talk about it briefly here and share the most common ones that I use;
Eggs bring moisture to a baked good, they also bind and leaven in baking. For example, eggs work well for leavening cakes but for cookies they act more as a binder. In a nutshell, you need to assess the recipe and know what the eggs were meant to do so that you can pick the right substitute. There isn’t one replacement for all.
* Flax: That’s a great binder and it’s always successful as replacement of eggs. Mix water with ground flax seeds and let it set for at least 5 minutes before using. That way it thickens and turns into gelatin texture egg-like consistency. Flax is great for cookies and brownies (1 tbsp flax seed + 3 tbsp water = 1 egg)
* Apple Sauce or Mashed Bananas:
Both give moist results and increase sweetness too. If you are using apple sauce or mashed banana in the recipe, add a bit of baking powder on top of what the original recipe says. (1/4 cup applesauce or ½ cup mashed banana = 1 egg)
* Coconut milk yogurt: It’s great for pancakes and cakes. It makes everything fluffy and moist. (1/4 cup = 1 egg)
* Aquafaba: It’s the liquid leftover from cooked chickpeas. The best replacement for meringue or macaroons or vegan Swiss meringue buttercream. When you whip it , it has the same texture as egg white.
That’s one of the easiest animal based-products to replace. You can either add vegan butter, coconut oil or vegetable oil. If you are using vegan butter it’s the same measurement, if you are using oil, 1 cup butter = ¾ cup oil. I personally prefer vegetable oil with cakes and coconut oil with cookies or brownies.
3) Milk and Cream
That’s also very easy . My favorite is unsweetened almond or coconut milk. You can also use soy milk or rice milk. 1 cup milk = 1 cup non-dairy milk. The only thing you need to know is that coconut milk has a bit of strong flavor so if you are not a fan of coconut try almond milk.
Sometimes for buttercream or some baked goods, you need to use heavy cream. What I do is keep the can of coconut cream in the fridge overnight and then open it and use only the thick part of it not the liquid. It acts exactly like heavy cream.