It’s the holidays! Time to preheat the ovens and pop on those mitts! While vegan baking may sound daunting if you’re new to plant-based eating, there is no need to stress! Some creativity and simple hacks are all you need to deliver delicious and sweet vegan eats to your next holiday spread. We partnered with Quincy, our Zen Chef of the Month, to share some of our top tips. Check them out:
1. Choose an Appropriate Egg Replacement
There are numerous egg replacements to experiment with. Flax or chia ‘egg’ replacements are very common, and can be prepared by mixing 1 tablespoon of ground flax or chia seeds with 2 tablespoons of water, and allowing it to gelatinize for 10-15 minutes. A ¼ cup of mashed banana or unsweetened applesauce also works well in place of 1 large egg called for in a non-vegan recipe.
2. Know Your Fats
Margarine is a very traditional vegan substitute for butter, and it works well in most baking recipes. Vegetable oils are also often suitable, particularly in place of melted butter or margarine.
3. Opt for Non-Dairy Alternatives
Depending on the recipe, consistency may be an important consideration. Soy milk is closer in consistency to cow’s milk than most nut milks, which tend to run thin. For a fuller-bodied texture and flavour, coconut milk may be ideal. Plain, unsweetened milk alternatives as opposed to those that are sweetened also give us the best control over sweetness, should that be important to the overall flavour or to your guests.
4. Experiment with Natural Sweeteners
Instead of reaching for traditional white and brown sugar, try replacing some or all of the sugar in the recipe with a natural sweetener such as coconut sugar, date sugar or cane sugar. There are also a number of natural liquid sweeteners to try as well such as maple syrup, date syrup, yacon syrup, applesauce or honey. These add a higher nutritional value and a more subtle sweetness for those who don't enjoy a traditionally sweet dessert.
Vegan baking can be easy and delicious! Check out these three holiday-inspired recipes to get started yourself:
1. Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
2. Apple, Cinnamon and ‘Cheese’ Pie
3. Spiced Carrot Cheesecake Loaf with Salted Caramel Sauce
We're sharing vegan holiday tips, recipes and hacks all season long. Be sure to follow us on Instagram @zengarryveg and @zengarrykitchen to keep up with our latest kitchen adventures!