10 vegan cooking tricks every vegan chef should know
Not only is plant-based cooking good for your health and the environment, it can also be incredibly delicious and satisfying. Whether you’re an experienced vegan chef or just starting out, these 10 vegan cooking hacks will take your cooking skills to the next level.
1. Use aquafaba as an egg substitute
Aquafaba, the liquid found in a can of chickpeas, can be whipped into a froth and used in place of egg whites in recipes such as meringues, mousses and macarons. It is a versatile egg substitute and can also be used to bind ingredients in baking, making it a must-have in your vegan kitchen.
2. Make your own plant-based yogurt
To make plant-based yogurt, simply mix 1 cup of plant-based milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes until it curdles. This homemade yogurt can be used in recipes that call for traditional yogurt, such as pancakes, biscuits, and sauces.
3. Enhance flavor with nutritional yeast
Nutritional yeast is a staple in vegan cooking that adds a cheesy, nutty flavor to dishes. They can be sprinkled over popcorn, pasta, and grilled vegetables, or used to make dairy-free cheese sauces. Nutritional yeast is also a great source of B vitamins, making it delicious and nutritious.
4. Quick and easy vegan cheese sauce
A simple vegan cheese sauce can be made by blending cooked carrots, potatoes, nutritional yeast and a few other ingredients. This delicious, creamy sauce can be used to make macaroni and cheese, nachos, and even drizzled over steamed vegetables.
5. Use tofu as a versatile ingredient
Tofu is a blank canvas that can be used in a variety of vegetarian dishes. It can be blended into smoothies for a protein boost, crumbled and marinated as a substitute for ground meat, or marinated and grilled as a meat substitute. Tofu is also a great source of plant-based protein and can be used to make vegan desserts like chocolate mousse and cheesecake.
6. Harness the power of cashews
Cashews are a versatile nut that can be used to make creamy sauces, sauces and desserts. Soak the cashews in water for a few hours, then blend them with other ingredients such as garlic, lemon juice and herbs to make a rich, velvety cream sauce. Cashews can also be used to make vegan cheesecakes and ice cream.
7. Make your own vegan whipped cream
To make the vegan whipped cream, chill a can of whole coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight. The coconut cream will separate from the liquid, allowing you to scoop out the thick cream and whip it into a thin layer. Add a touch of sweetener and vanilla for a delicious dairy-free whipped cream.
8. Make egg-free bread using flax or chia seeds
Flax seeds and chia seeds can be mixed with water to form a gel-like consistency that can be used as a binding agent in baking recipes. Egg substitute works especially well in recipes like cakes, pies, and quick breads, giving a moist texture and nutritional boost to baked goods.
9. Freeze ripe bananas for instant ice cream
Instead of throwing away overripe bananas, peel them and place them in a freezer bag to use to make vegan ice cream. Simply blend frozen bananas with a little plant-based milk and any additional flavorings like cocoa powder, peanut butter, or berries. The result is a creamy, naturally sweet dessert that is healthier than traditional ice cream.
10. Cook with a variety of whole foods
Vegan cooking is all about embracing the flavors and textures of plant-based ingredients. Try a wide range of whole foods such as lentils, quinoa, beans and a colorful array of fruits and vegetables. These nutrient-dense foods provide a variety of flavors and nutrients that will keep your vegetarian dishes interesting and satisfying.
With these 10 vegan cooking tricks in your arsenal, you’ll be well-equipped to prepare delicious and nutritious plant-based meals. Whether you’re craving comfort food, dessert, or a hearty dinner, these cooking tips will help you elevate your vegan cooking skills and impress even the most discerning palates.