top of page

Vegan Substitutes For Common Ingredients

There's no need to miss out on anything, there are vegan alternatives for everything

The statistics today say that most people that change to a vegan diet give up, this is because veganism is more than just a dietary choice. Across the world around 42% of people are trying to lose weight, trying plans like the cabbage diet, the master cleanse or the three cup diet and of these people 65% don't stick to it. The problem with this is that veganism isn't a diet, it is a way of living, a lifestyle. It is a lifestyle that embraces compassion for animals, the environment and personal health. It is also a lifestyle that comes with a net positive, you will feel better physically and mentally and not have to miss out on anything as there are substitutes for everything that you want, bacon, marshmallows, cheese, there's a world of fantastic substitutes for common ingredients for you to try. In this post we'll take a look at some of the easy swaps that you use to make your meals plant-based without compromising on taste or nutrition.

scone with jam and cream
Plant-based scones and clotted cream with jam are just as good as the animals based version

Below you will find alternatives for commonly used animal products, this isn't a comprehensive list, one blog post isn't enough for that. The alternatives that are listed here will allow you to make most meals and sweets, but check your supermarket as there are more vegan substitutes coming out all of the time.

Dairy Alternatives

  • Plant-Based Milk: When it comes to replacing dairy milk the options come in the form of a long list, you just need to find your preferred substitute for what you are making. Soy milk, almond milk, oat milk (the OG), coconut milk and rice milk are just a few of the popular choices that are readily available. Each type offers a unique flavour profile and will work differently in recipes, from creamy soups to fluffy pancakes.

  • Vegan Butter: Butter is a staple in many dishes, but it is easy to replicate its richness and creaminess with vegan butter made from coconut oil, avocado oil, plant-based margarine or other vegan butter substitutes. These alternatives work perfectly in baking, sautéing or for simply spreading on toast.

Egg Substitutes

  • Flaxseed (Linseed) or Chia Seeds: Ground flaxseed or chia seeds mixed with water create a gel-like consistency that is very similar to eggs and works in the same way in baking. They are great binders in baked foods, but can also be used in pancakes and veggie burgers, with the additional benefit of added nutrients, including fibre and omega oils.

  • Silken Tofu: Blended silken tofu works well in recipes that require a creamy texture such as puddings, mousses and quiches. It's a perfect alternative to eggs in custard-like dishes and can also be used to made cheesecakes.

Meat Alternatives

  • Legumes and Beans: Bean, lentils, chickpeas and other legumes are excellent sources of plant-based protein and can be used in a wide range of dishes, from comforting and filling stews to savoury burgers. Legumes can be cooked and used whole or cooked and then mashed to form burgers or "meatballs".

  • Tempeh and Tofu: Both tempeh and tofu are soy-based products with distinctive textures. Tempeh has a nutty flavour and firm texture, it works well in stir-fries and sandwiches. A favourite of mine is tempeh baked in barbecue sauce served with chips. Tofu is more versatile, depending on the firmness of the tofu it can be scrambled, grilled, baked, boiled in soups or fried to making it more crispy on the outside, while remaining fluffy on the inside.


  • Maple Syrup and Agave Nectar: Maple syrup and agave nectar are natural and delicious alternatives to honey in both sweet and savoury recipes. They add a depth and complexity to the flavour of foods that simply cannot be found with sugar when used in baked foods, dressings and marinades. Maples syrup is also perfect for making homemade nut bars.

  • Date Paste: Date paste is a wonderful alternative to refined sugars or honey. It's made by blending dates with water and can be used as a sweetener in smoothies, desserts, cookies, puddings and energy bars.

Going vegan is often scary for people as they think about all of the things that they won't be able to eat anymore, but with a little creativity to can recreate your favourite dishes while promoting sustainability and animal welfare. From creamy plant-based milks to versatile egg and meat replacements that are satisfying and nutritious vegan cooking has something, lots of things, for everyone. There may be an adjustment period when trying these foods as your taste buds shift from the usual fat, salt and sugar taste profile to something that is more rich and nuanced, but the food is ultimately more satisfying and comes with the knowledge that you are making a better choice for your body.


bottom of page