Holiday cooking and baking used to be synonymous with “bring on the butter!” But this year odds are you have at least one meat-free, dairy-free, ovo-pescatarian, but sometimes vegan—or some combination thereof—in your group. No need to whip up “special” options. Everyone can enjoy a healthy dose of holiday cheer with these better-for-you vegan treats.
If you’ve never dipped your stocking into the world of vegan cooking, don’t be intimidated. Eliminating all animal-derived products isn’t as limiting as it might seem. Vegan-friendly fare - everything from cheese to pastry dough to breakfast sausage – is more widely available than ever.
Check out this vegan ingredient cheat sheet:
In: Coconut oil or olive oil for cooking; applesauce for baking. In treats like cakes and cookies, applesauce is a measure-for-measure replacement for butter.
In: Flax or chia seeds. 1 TB of ground seeds + 3 TB warm water = 1 egg; a great alternative binding agent for baking recipes.
Out: Dairy milk
In: Hemp milk. Hemp milk’s creamy consistency makes it a great measure-for-measure replacement for dairy milk.
In: Agar-agar, an algae-based gelatin alternative that can be swapped in equal measure for gelatin in vegan holiday treats.
Out: Heavy Cream
In: Coconut milk. One of the most accessible vegan ingredients around, canned coconut milk is a versatile alternative to cream in both sweet and savory dishes.
In: Nutritional yeast, an inactive yeast with a rich, savory flavor that can stand in for white Cheddar or grated Parmesan. Delicious dusted over holiday popcorn balls.
Out: Sour Cream
In: Silken Tofu. The rich, creamy consistency of silken tofu makes it a great non-dairy substitute in dips and spreads.