The Key of Vegan Cooking

Eliminate gluten, milk and eggs from your diet.

I know, put it this way, my goal may seem rather utopian. However, since my mother is intolerant to many of the ingredients we use in our daily lives, we have developed the habit in my family of replacing certain elements, especially in dessert recipes, to make them more suitable for her dietary restrictions. However, this cannot be learned by magic, and it sometimes takes several tries (and failures, alas!) to obtain a satisfactory result. In order to save you from many disappointments and frustrations, I have put together a list of miraculous tips to help you eliminate gluten, milk and eggs from your desserts without too much change in taste or texture. Because we all know that living without dessert is inconceivable!

No more gluten!
Despite popular belief, getting rid of gluten in recipes is still doable, although it is true that it is very often a huge task. Some specialty shops offer more sought-after, organic flours, but these are often very expensive. Here are a few examples of products that can be found in these delicatessens (and sometimes in large supermarkets such as IGA or Métro) and which, when properly dosed and combined, will replace gluten; rice flour, buckwheat flour, millet flour, corn flour, chickpea flour, soy flour, almond flour, spelt flour, etc. To obtain an adequate texture, it is absolutely necessary to use the latter with corn, potato or tapioca starch. In addition, it is essential to use a combination of several types of flour, which definitely makes the task more complex. So, I offer you a simpler and more affordable option: a gluten-free flour mix that is already prepared. La Merveilleuse, from the brand l'Angélique, is indeed very well named and can be easily integrated into many recipes that usually contain gluten (pancakes, cakes, muffins, etc.) without changing the texture. I strongly recommend her to make your gluten-free recipes a real success.

Let's do without cow's milk!
As my mother has a severe intolerance to dairy products, we had to look at other alternatives to make recipes that the whole family could enjoy. I was then surprised by the wide range of possibilities available to us. Here are a few options;

  • Soymilk is a beverage made from soybeans and is gaining popularity because of its calcium, iron and zinc content and its absence of harmful cholesterol and fats. However, soy is sometimes genetically modified, which makes its use very controversial these days.
  • Almond milk is lactose-free and stands out for its richness in antioxidants. Although it is more expensive than regular milk, it is a wonderful substitute for it in recipes.
  • Cashew nut milk is another very interesting possibility because its taste is easily moored in dessert recipes.
  • Coconut milk, made from dried coconut pulp, is the new trend of the hour recommended by nutritionists. Coconut cream and condensed coconut milk are other foods with the same virtues that can be used to replace certain dairy products.

What about the eggs in all this?
Egg substitutes, available in most grocery stores, are an essential part of vegan cooking. They are surprisingly easy to use. It should also be mentioned that mashed bananas or applesauce can sometimes be very interesting substitutes.

Other favourite products:
Coconut oil is a great substitute for butter, olive oil or vegetable oil and melts the chocolate evenly. However, use it in moderation because the hydrogenation of coconut oil transforms it into trans fatty acids.
Robin Hood's gluten-free banana bread mix makes excellent choco-banana muffins, even though it is a prepared product.
Quinoa flakes can be used to create a delicious apple crisp as in the recipe below: any use of gluten.

Now you can put an end to that sad time when you had to go without desserts to avoid the consequences of eating a food you are intolerant to. These seemingly mundane things will have a huge impact on your daily life by allowing you to spoil yourself once in a while without suffering the consequences, because after all, we all deserve a little bit.

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