To be honest, finding treats when you’re vegan is easier than you might imagine. Technically, Oreos are vegan. If your objective in choosing a more plant-forward diet, however, is in part to eat more produce and fewer processed foods, those technically vegan snack foods don’t need to be your first choice for satisfying your sweet tooth. Let’s look at a few tips for bringing the qualities of a lovely treat into a vegan dessert.
If you want more produce:
Replace half the sugar or fat in many baked goods with one of the following:
- Unsweetened applesauce: Homemade gives you control over apple variety for better flavor.
- Very ripe bananas: The browner the skin, the higher the sugar content.
- Unsalted canned beets: Sounds weird, but trust us, it can be great.
If you’re trying to get away from butter:
- Coconut oil will give you a very similar texture in the finished product, but note that it’s still very high in saturated fat.
- Avocado doesn’t bake well, but pureed, it’s a nutritious alternative to butter that works well in room temperature contexts, like frosting.
- In baked goods, butter can usually be replaced by a fat that is liquid at room temperature (like vegetable, canola, or olive oil) to reduce saturated fat.
If you’re trying to replace eggs:
- In baked goods, the gold standard is 1 tablespoon of flaxseed soaked in ¼ cup of water for 10 minutes for each egg.
- For meringues or whipped egg whites, you can use aquafaba, which is the liquid from a can of unsalted chickpeas.