Forget the butter and eggs, these vegan desserts take a heart-healthy twist on baking without animal products by using some unexpected good-for-you ingredients your heart will thank you for.
When we think about baking, items such as eggs, butter, sugar, and milk are always the first to come to mind. They are the first things we crack, beat, or whisk in any recipe, but what if a recipe didn’t contain any of these?
Removing animal products from baking not only makes it vegan, but it also simplifies the process. Instead of using traditional ingredients such as eggs and butter, heart-healthy items including beans, flax, chia, and olive oil can be used. Swapping out saturated fat in the form of butter for monounsaturated olive oil is the easiest way to make a baked item vegan.
Using whole grain flours, reducing natural sweeteners, and adding plenty of heart-friendly ingredients such as oats, walnuts, and berries is a sure-fire way to turn a special treat into an even more special dessert. So, how about ditching the refined flour and sugar when you’re craving a treat, and instead whip up some healthy vegan desserts?
Simple vegan swaps
|dairy milk||almond, soy, or coconut milk|
|whipped dairy cream||whipped canned coconut cream|
|eggs||chia or flax eggs (combine 1 Tbsp/15 mL chia seeds or ground flax with 3 Tbsp/45 mL water and let sit for 5 minutes to thicken) or 3 Tbsp (45 mL) mashed fruit, such as apple sauce, banana, or chickpea water (known as aquafaba)|
|butter||extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil|
|honey||maple syrup, coconut syrup, or brown rice syrup|
Things you won’t find in a vegan pantry
Vegan pantries are free from animal products. This means you’ll have to keep a keen eye on what products you purchase. Milk and egg ingredients are the most common ingredients added to prepackaged food, so you’ll have to be diligent about reading the labels of all boxed or bagged foods. Be wary of
- chocolate (unless it’s vegan, it may contain milk)
- honey (found in sweetened cereals, crackers, cookies, and trail mix)
- eggs (found in breads and baking)
- gelatin (found in gummies, marshmallows, or Jell-O)