Vegan substitutes that will make your plant-based journey easier

In today’s world, we are positively influenced by each other to make changes. This can be something simple like oat milk in our coffee, the vegan choice; or scrutinising brands to ensure that they haven’t been tested on animals. Little tweaks like these are more beneficial than we think and allow us to make good choices in our simple day-to-day actions. 

 

As more and more consumers search for plant-based options, we ask ourselves, “how can I make this vegan?”. We have an abundance of plant-based milks, cheeses, and yoghurts on our supermarket shelves. But how to substitute other things we think we’ll miss? 

 

Vegan Egg Substitutes

 

There are a few options for vegan eggs. Let’s look at the easiest one first.

 

Vegan eggs already exist! You heard that right. And they’re available in certain health food stores. Australian brand Orgran, for example, sells two vegan egg alternatives: one for eating and one as an egg-substitute for baking. 

 

I get that you might feel a bit unsure about substitutes. Many may ask “What’s it even made from?”. Their ingredients are more natural than we might expect a processed item to be, mainly made from chickpea flour and a great source of protein. They’re also great value for money, as you get so much out of one packet, giving everyone an affordable option. 

 

If you’d rather a homemade egg option, tofu offers an affordable alternative that’s also highly packed with protein. Most commonly, it can be used for tofu scramble. I’ve discovered more interesting ways to make omelettes from vegan YouTubers. So many people have gotten creative with vegan alternatives. It’s fascinating to see how far everything has come to the point where we have access to an alternative for nearly anything. And not just one, but many options. 

 

 

Tofu is naturally bland, but it absorbs the flavour of anything you add to it. That is why it’s essential to add spices to the mix to achieve a flavourful vegan egg dish. There are many variations out there, meaning there is something for everybody! The Happy Pear and  Bosh TV offer detailed recipes that are step-by-step and easy to follow.

 

I’m fascinated by the vegan fried egg. I never thought that would be possible. I am yet to try to make it, but it seems that the recipe has been perfected. Elsa’s Wholesome Life can show you how it’s done. Having stumbled upon it, I’m ecstatic to try it! 

 

Vegan Substitutes that are exact duplicates

These types of alternatives are very unlike your typical plant-y substitutes. The Vegan Irish Market especially has grown tremendously throughout the years and has been seriously impressive with their products.

 

Irish Brands make a great effort to provide the best quality vegan foods and they are quite similar to their original products. Meat brands such as Denny and Clonakilty are producing indistinguishable meat alternatives. When I tell you that you won’t know the difference, it’s true! These brands have outdone themselves by developing high-quality tasting products that allow everyone to enjoy both their favourite foods and a plant-based lifestyle.

 

In Ireland, the options for meat substitutes are endless now. Not only is there an alternative for most everything, but there are also so many different brands for each. To name a few: 

 

  • Thanks Plants (vegan)
  • Denny (vegan options)
  • Meatless Farm (vegan)
  • Gosh (vegan/vegetarian)

 

Let’s talk about major brands jumping on the vegan bandwagon. Large businesses such as Ben & Jerry’s were one of the first non-vegan brands to come out with vegan options. At that time, you were lucky to find one vegan cheese option in your supermarket, so this was a big deal for the vegan movement. I became vegan, when there were very few vegan items on the shelves. I even remember wondering if vegan pizza would ever become an option. Now they are everywhere.

Homemade Vegan Substitutes

Did you know you can substitute mushrooms for meat at home? If you’re not into store-bought and would rather make your own, there are plenty of ways you can do this. Finely-chopped mushrooms can make excellent mince. 

 

Seitan is a meat substitute that’s been around for a while and is growing in popularity. It is vegan chicken that is literally made from flour. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. How do I make it? There are so many resources offering tutorials. It’s popular on TikTok, and many people are truly amazed by this creation. 

 

An example of how it is created from Healthline’s website: 

 

Seitan (pronounced “say-tan”) is a vegan meat substitute made entirely out of hydrated gluten, the main protein found in wheat…Seitan is produced by kneading wheat flour with water to develop sticky strands of gluten protein. The dough is then rinsed to wash away all of the starch.”

 

It is obvious that plant-based dishes allow you to become creative and enhance your skills in the kitchen. Before you realise it, you’ve gained creativity and confidence. Next, you’ll be coming up with your own recipes!

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Alison Law
Alison is a college student and writer passionate about the environment, fashion, animals and coffee.

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