What do vegans eat?
I get asked this question a lot. How do we feed a family (including our dog) food that doesn’t include any animal products? It’s so much easier than you might think.
I could go on and on about veggie alternatives but today I’ll just focus on three. I have a husband and child with a sweet tooth so I tend to do a little bit more baking these days. Of course when you bake you’re going to require a bit of milk, butter and eggs…or so you think. Thankfully, there are some easy vegan alternatives out there for these.
Milk- There seems to be a million nondairy milk alternatives out there these days. I’ve tried soy, cashew, flax and so on. My favorite by far is unsweetened almond milk. It’s soy free, gluten free, and lactose free and honestly I think it tastes a bit like real milk. Unsweetened almond milk packs only 40 calories per serving as well. I find that unsweetened almond milk is a great milk alternative for baking and cooking. Beware of unsweetened vanilla almond milk though. While it might taste great in a cereal or in your latte the underlying vanilla flavor can take away from your baking or cooking. I once tried to make a vegan quiche with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and the result was not so great. They also make vanilla and chocolate versions as well.
Butter- Let’s face it, vegan or not “butter” is never going to be great for you. As I’ve said before, vegan doesn’t always mean healthier. Butter is the perfect example. In our house we use Earth Balance butter. They sell it at most grocery stores including Trader Joe’s. I’ve also seen it at Target as well. Earth Balance makes their butter in tub and stick form. It melts and spreads just like real butter. I use it in place of butter in recipes and have never had any issues. It’s great on a piece of toast with some nutritional yeast as well!
Eggs- Eggs take on many different roles, today I am talking about eggs as a binder for baking. There are so many different egg substitutes out there. You can use canned pumpkin, apple sauce, bananas and so on. My favorite, however, is the flax egg. Flax egg is super simple and effective as well. I once ate a pecan pie (which calls for a ton of eggs and I ate a piece not the whole pie to clarify) that was made with six flax eggs. I could not taste the difference at all. All a flax egg is one table spoon of flax seed meal (I use Bob’s Red Mill) and 3 table spoons of water mix together. That is it! I have used this for brownies, cakes, cornbread and so on.
So see that wasn’t so scary right? As a teacher, I see so many kids with allergies or dietary sensitivities to dairy and eggs. It’s so promising to see companies create these products so we can all indulge. Stay tuned for my next What Do Vegans Eat? cookout addition.