I’m so excited about this post because it’s all my favorite vegan substitutes. Like I said in my previous post we tried a lot of substitutes when we first transitioned and they weren’t all good. Our local grocery store did not have a very diverse vegan selection. Since the release of What The Health they have seen a push for vegan products and are adding more items to their shelves. We even have a quarter of an aisle now *insert smug shrug*. This is great now, but we spent a lot of money on products in the initial transitioning period because we had zero vegan friends and no way to know what was worth the purchase. These are products that work for us….
Let’s start with cheese because it’s the one thing people seem to have a hard time with when thinking about a vegan diet or are trying to transition. Our local store only had one vegan cheese, GoVeggie, it was not for us. I literally wrote the store multiple emails trying to get them to stock something different and letting them know I wasted my hard earned money on a product I had to throw away. Some people love GoVeggie and swear by their vegan Parmesan, again it’s personal preference.
-Winner for sliced cheese – Chao cheese–
YALL…. If I could win a lifetime supply of any food this would be what I wanted. Just piles of it, AAHHHmazing! Melt it on a grilled cheese, make mac n cheese, place it directly from the package into your mouth, pizza, the only limit for this cheese is your imagination! We keep a constant supply of the original and tomato cayenne at all times.
-Winner for shredded cheese-Diaya shreds–
Let me say one thing here, diaya MUST be melted in order to taste good. Don’t think this is like chao cheese and place a bunch in your mouth. Just make sure it’s very melty and gooey before eating it. We use it as a topping on things like frito pie, chili, taco soup, and pizza because it melts very easily. We have tried all of them and they are very good, again, as long as you melt it.
There are a lot of different vegan milks, it all comes down to preference. Some we have tried have been too watery or chalky tasting. I actually started making our own milk from almonds, cashews, or whatever I had available. It is incredibly easy and tasty, plus you know exactly what’s in it! Here are some store bought ones we love.
-Winner for cooking Silk Almond milk Unsweetened –
Not a lot to say here except that it doesn’t have a weird taste and works well in recipes.
-Winner for Chocolate Silk Almond Milk Chocolate–
YUM is all I really have to say. It’s smooth, thick, and delicious. I crave this all the time! I even have non-vegans tell me it’s better than chocolate milk (and it really is)! You can’t go wrong getting this.
-Winner for Eggnog Almond Breeze Nog-
I’m a snob when it comes to eggnog. It can’t have too much mint flavor, has to be thick, can’t be chalky. We tried every single one we could get our hands on last holiday season, 4 different brands. All of them were ok, but this one really checked off all the boxes on my list. Eggnog really depends on your taste though, this is just what we love.
-Winner for wanting just a cup of milk Silk Protein –
My husband likes just wants a glass of milk sometimes and he loves this one. It has a good flavor because of the vanilla and it’s thick. It has 10 g of protein per cup too, which is nice. This is what he mixes his after workout protein shake with.
Substituting eggs in cooking is extremely easy. They even have a vegan egg you can make omelettes with or scramble.
-Winner for baking Ground Flaxseed–
Flaxseed is the best and easiest way to substitute an egg for baking. To make one egg, just 1 tablespoon mixed with 3 tablespoons of water, wait 15 minutes and that’s it. Super easy, but it does give off a nutty flavor.
-Winner for easiest to cook with Bobs Red Mill Egg Replacer Gf–
This egg replacer is super easy to use, just 1 tablespoon mix, 2 tbls spoons water, and one minute later you’re ready to go! There’s no waiting like with the flaxseed and there is absolutely no different taste in the finished product.
-Winner for Breakfast VeganEgg–
This is the egg you can scramble or make into an omelette. There is a very specific way you have to prepare it though. You need ice cold water and patience. Unlike a normal scramble you cant just pour these into a pan and start mixing it up. It needs time and if you mess with it too much they will “deflate”. I usually pour it into a hot skillet and leave it there until it appears almost cooked and then mix it up. If you’re making an omelette just leave it until it appears done, add you toppings, flip and you’re done. When you mix this up it smell EXACTLY like eggs, super weird. I add a lot of black pepper and veggies to mine because it tastes better to me that way. You can use this in baking but I’ve never tried it, let me know if you have.
Butter can be controversial in the vegan community because of the use of palm oil in most. This is a question you have to answer for yourself. It’s not an animal product so most are ok with it’s use. If you are not there are many recipes for making your own.
-Winner for Butter–
Earth Balance is sold in most stores and they have several varieties to meet your taste preference.
-Winner for Vegan Mayo–
Listen, I don’t do mayo unless it’s mixed in a chickpea salad, but Justin loves it and according to him this is better than any other on the market. We’ve tried several but keep coming back to this one. P.S. there’s a coupon in that link for ya!
-Winner for Caesar Dressing–
Dressing was a little worrisome for me when transitioning because I love ranch dressing. This is now my all time favorite! Just a little goes a long way.
-Winner for Blue Cheese Dressing–
This blue cheese dressing is spot. It has a much stronger blue cheese flavor than any of the others we have tried. It goes great on my buffalo chick’n (recipe to follow).
There you have it, the best substitutes we have found. I hope this helps save you some time and money. Stay tuned for other substitutes and recipes!