Best Vegan "Butter" and "Eggs" and "Cheese" - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-05-2013, 08:22 AM
 
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This year I'm doing the vegetarian-vegan transition.   So I'm hoping you can tell me some of your favorite substitutes for butter, eggs, and cheese.

I'm planning on eating vegan every fifth day.  But I have a feeling I will do it a bit more frequently, especially since many of my dishes can omit cheese.  

First, what is your favorite vegan butter to put on bread?

Second, what is your favorite egg substitute for baking?

Third, what about cheddar cheese?  

Oh, and mayo too!

Thanks!

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#2 Old 01-05-2013, 09:07 AM
 
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Hi Goby. Welcome!

 

If you're going to eat vegan part-time and still eat dairy and eggs then I personally would suggest simply forgoing the"substitutes". You don't need them in your diet and you'll probably eat more healthily if you avoid them. Moreover, you will constantly be comparing them to the tastes you're familiar with and therefor continuing a craving for those things rather than weaning yourself off those tastes. C'mon, surely you can find things to eat "every 5th day" that don't require eggs, butter, or cheese, right :)

 

That said, if you're really just interested in experimenting with new flavors and you want to eat all kinds of vegan food and so you're just asking for recommendations then here are mine:

 

For spreading on toast or bagels: Earth Balance Buttery Spread, strawberry jelly, raspberry jelly, peanut butter, cashew butter, or almond butter (or if it's not morning, then hummus)

 

For scrambles: tofu and Soyrizo with lots of veggies and salsa or try the Fantastic Foods Tofu Scramble packets

 

For omlet things, etc: The Vegg (or whatever you want plus black salt)

 

For that cheddar cheese flavor for eating with crackers: Daiya cheddar wedge

 

For cheesy stuff in macaroni: Daiya shreds

 

For cheesy dipping sauce: Food For Lovers vegan queso

 

For baking: Ener-G, flax seeds, or soymilk with vinegar

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#3 Old 01-05-2013, 10:15 AM
 
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Thanks for the reply, Elaine!

I won't be doing the comparing thing.  That would be torture.   Most of the above will be "hidden" in foods.   I could give up everything lacto-ovo today except for the "hidden" stuff.  I rarely eat eggs, and most foods with cheese I can eat without the cheese.    I don't eat cheese and crackers that often.  But the cheese in my cheese, bean, rice, and cabbage burritos is really good, so if I could find a substitute, that would be great.  And mayo on my boca chicken patties is great. 

I bought a few cookbooks and I'm looking at Vegan Diner right now.  It looks amazing.  I'll definitely be making sage gravy and veggie chili this week.  

I hoping to be 100% vegan in six months.  That's my goal.   BTW, when I went veggie I had the same goal, but ditched it after about 4 days.  Who knows, I might do the same this time and be a vegan by next week. :P

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#4 Old 01-05-2013, 10:26 AM
 
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I've never been a big fan of butter or mayo, but I do like bread dipped in olive oil. Spectrum makes a canola oil spread that is good, but my local grocery store stopped carrying it. Most other vegan butter is made from palm oil, which has some nasty environmental/wild animal impacts. You can fine recipes online for making vegan mayo from soymilk, oil, and lemon juice or vinegar, or you could try vegannaise if you can find it.

I'm not a big fan of th Daiya cheddar shreds, but I love the pepper jack. It is perfect on burritos and nachos.

What ElaineV said for eggs. Here's a great recipe for tofu scramble: http://www.theppk.com/2009/10/tof-u-and-tof-me-scrambled-tofu-revisited/ I would also add puréed silken tofu for yeasted breads - it works really well in brioche recipes.
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#5 Old 01-05-2013, 11:29 AM
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I think nutritional yeast has a nice cheddary taste mixed into things. (Please note I'm talking about the yellow powdery flakes, not the brownish-grayish Brewer's Yeast powder, which might be nurtitionally similar but doesn't taste like cheese at all). But nutritional yeast is quite expensive; try to find out what it tastes like before you buy it. Do you remember those little cheddar cheese crackers, shaped like little squares or tiny hot dog buns? It tastes a lot like that.

 

I'm thinking about ElaineV's post above and wondering if there's anything unhealthy about Nutritional yeast...


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#6 Old 01-05-2013, 11:43 AM
 
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Nutritional yeast is awesome and packed with nutrients, but in my opinion it needs a little help to be taste "just like cheese." I like to use it as a Parmesan substitute on pasta or risotto, just sprinkling on top with some seasoned salt. It is an important ingredient in some homemade cheesy sauces and spreads -- let me know if you want the recipes. It's also in the scrambled tofu recipe I posted above. It's really not that expensive compared to premade cheese substitutes, especially if you can find it in a bulk bin where you can buy only what you need. It is true that not everyone likes it, though -- some people really despise it and can't tolerate even a little bit in a recipe.
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#7 Old 01-05-2013, 01:13 PM
 
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I can't tell the difference between Earth Balance and butter, so that's my go-to substitute for that. I try not to eat it a ton because it's still not exactly a "health food" but it is trans-fat free unlike most butter substitutes. It does contain palm oil, but if you're concerned about sourcing you can check out the page they have on that and see if you're comfortable or not with their sourcing choices.

I really only use it if whatever I'm making needs butter though. Most of the time other things work just fine (like olive oil, hummus, or other spreads for bread). You can also spread avocado on bread!

 

I'm not a big fan of store-bought imitation cheeses. The ones I've tried (mostly Daiya) taste gross to me, and they're not super healthy, so I just stopped trying to replace slice and block cheese and found other things I enjoyed instead. Cheese sauces or softer spreads, however, are pretty easy to make at home using nuts as a base. There are a lot of awesome recipes online for cashew "cheese" spreads, nacho "cheese" and macaroni and "cheese." This is my favorite nut-cheese spread I've tried, which I use to make grilled "cheese" sandwiches a lot: http://www.choosingraw.com/raw-vegan-walnut-cheddar-cheese/ (I make it with cashews instead of walnuts). Don't expect it to be exactly like cheese, but it is delicious in its own way and has the comforting feel of cheese. It kind of tastes like goldfish crackers to me, which I think is awesome.

 

Some things that typically use cheese can just have the cheese left off altogether. I find I actually like pizza way more now that I just eat it cheeseless. Instead of it being an indulgence that leaves me feeling gross, I actually feel great after I eat a pizza with some sauce piled high with veggies. Avocados can be added to stuff for fat and creaminess, artichoke hearts have a kind of sour tangy flavor that makes up for a lack of cheese (I use them on pizzas all the time for this reason), and as mentioned above, nutritional yeast can add a sort of cheesey flavor to things.

 

I'm a dairy-free vegetarian rather than vegan, so I haven't actively tried to replace eggs completely in my diet (I don't use them in cooking at home though, and eat them maybe a few times a year), but like you I eat them so rarely so I've never needed to create a replacement for things like scrambled eggs because I just never make scrambled eggs. Mayo is super easy, as you can get vegan mayo at the store made with oil as a base rather than eggs. If you want a healthier alternative, I've found blending tahini (sesame paste) with water, lemon, and garlic creates a great mayo substitute. I use this recipe as a starting point for that: http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/1651089-Tahini-Mayonnaise-Eggless-and-Oil-less-

 

In baking, I usually go with one of these subs: http://chefinyou.com/egg-substitutes-cooking/ Different ones seem to work better for different baked goods. 

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#8 Old 01-05-2013, 02:54 PM
 
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I've had Veganaise with grape seed oil and love that!

Earth Balance has a new mayo. I found it on sale and tried the reg. one, I liked it okay.

I make my own. It's cheap and I don't use much. I usually make it when I make chickpea salad-

 

1 cup plain soymilk

1/2 cup veg oil

Whir a while in a processor, then slowly drizzle in -

1 T. lemon juice or vinegar. Let process till nicely thickened.

 

I like EB best but Smart balance has a vegan one- It's with flaxseeds- make sure it says vegan on the side! SB has many. My grocery doesn't even carry the vegan one anymore! Many other margarines would be vegan if not vitamin D3. Others have fish oil, sometimes gelatin.

 

I love Daiya cheddar for a grilled cheese. I cannot tell the difference from that and the plastic slices.

 

Nut. yeast I've developed a taste for. The first tub I bought was used only for popcorn. Now I love the mac and nut yeast recipes! Even sprinkled on things.

 

Where are you? By any Trader Joes or Whole foods or other natural food stores? Makes a difference.

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#9 Old 01-05-2013, 07:44 PM
 
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For scrambled eggs you can't do any better than yuba and The Vegg.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=458756464190818&set=a.154133524653115.38314.153553571377777&type=1&theater
You can even make fried eggs with it. It can be used in baking, frying etc.
www.thevegg.com

It is available at these locations.
www.thevegg.com/retail.html

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#10 Old Yesterday, 11:32 PM
 
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Talking Not going to cut the cheese.

I make these really awesome cheese cookies every year at Christmas. I now make them gluten free because my niece can't have gluten. I popped in here to see if I could also make them doable for the veggie eating crowd. I'm so glad i read this and thank you guys for being honest about the fake cheese. Sounds gross. I remain vegan intolerant. LOL!
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#11 Old Today, 01:12 AM
 
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Does anyone here have these recommendations for someone out of the European area, specifically the Netherlands?

Daiya and Earth Balance are unavailable here, and I am looking for other substitutes

Nothing tastes as good as compassion feels.
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#12 Old Today, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windigo View Post
Does anyone here have these recommendations for someone out of the European area, specifically the Netherlands?

Daiya and Earth Balance are unavailable here, and I am looking for other substitutes
Can you order Sheese?

It's made in Scotland.

Also-
V-Bites, and Vegusto.

I don't know if Goodness Direct, would deliver chilled stuff to the Netherlands.
http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-...ript/home.html

Vegust has just come in a plain box, when I've ordered it. I think it is made in Switzerland.

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#13 Old Today, 02:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post
Can you order Sheese?

It's made in Scotland.

Also-
V-Bites, and Vegusto.

I don't know if Goodness Direct, would deliver chilled stuff to the Netherlands.
http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-...ript/home.html

Vegust has just come in a plain box, when I've ordered it. I think it is made in Switzerland.
Hey thanks for those links

Are there any vegan ''cheeses'' you can recommend that have an OK flavour and melt well?

Nothing tastes as good as compassion feels.
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#14 Old Today, 03:26 AM
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For anyone interested in making their own vegan cheese, here is a great link:

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-...arella-cheese/

I have made a few hard nut based cheeses. The only unusual ingredient is usually agar (found in the Asian section of groceries or whole foods health stores) and nutritional yeast.

I also make a creamy vegan cheese sauce for Mac and Cheese. I steam some sweet potato or carrots or pumpkin in a steamer basket, then add it to a blender and add some plant milk, nutritional yeast, a tablespoon of some kind of starch or else flour, and spices like nutmeg, cumin, turmeric, onion powder etc. Sometimes I add firm tofu or white beans if I want an extra thick creamy higher protein sauce. I blend it all and then pour the sauce over my cooked macaroni. I also use this over baked potatoes and broccoli.

In place of Earth Balance nondairy margarine etc I have used coconut oil, but sometimes with some baking I can get away with using coconut or soy based yogurt in the recipe. Frostings can be made with stuff like bananas, peanut butter, coconut from canned coconut, even avocado/maple syrup/cocoa powder blended makes a thick rich chocolate frosting so no need for butter. I don't use butter on my toast or pancakes. For pancakes I use fruit compotes like blueberry (great with buckwheat pancakes), cherries etc. For toast I spread on bean dips/beans, salsas, avocado pestos, hummus, cooked fruits, applesauce etc. Some cakes, muffins, cookies etc you can use oil in place of margarine, and sometimes coconut oil or all vegetable shortening (organic non hydrogenated) will work.

For mayo, I make my own blending blanched almonds, canned coconut milk, turmeric, cider vinegar, a pinch of sweetener, salt, and sometimes mustard depending on what I am using it for. It comes out surprisingly thick and tasting like mayonnaise and looks very much like it too. This also works with tofu in place of almonds, and there is a soy milk version but that uses a ton of oil. Otherwise, there are more and more commercial vegan mayos out there: spectrum, earth balance, vegannaise, nayonnaise, just mayo etc.

Substitutes for eggs are plentiful: tofu or chickpea flour for scrambled eggs or omelets; chickpeas and vegan mayo for chickpea salad sandwiches instead of egg salad; for a binder: banana, pumpkin, potato, tofu, peanut butter or other nut/seed butter, flour, avocado. For leavener: cornstarch, plant milk with lemon juice or cider vinegar or sparkling water mixed together and baking soda in the same recipe, baking powder, ground flaxseed or chia seed and water mixed together (jells and expands with moisture), commercial egg replacer; for thickener or gel substance (to make lemon tarts, cheese etc), agar, tapioca starch, gaur gum, xanthm gum.

 
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#15 Old Today, 04:31 AM
gherkin
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windigo View Post
Hey thanks for those links

Are there any vegan ''cheeses'' you can recommend that have an OK flavour and melt well?
Well Tesco repackage the Sheese cheese, and I get the strong cheddar; I think it is this one, sold as Sheese:
http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-...tyle_227g.html

If it is the same one, I think it tastes quite good, and melts as well as any vegan cheese I've tried, on toast.

By 'melting' I mean it goes soft.....but that is the best that most vegan cheeses can do.


Last edited by Blobbenstein; Today at 04:36 AM.
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