How Plant-Based Ingredients Can Replace Animal Products In Many Everyday Foods

Many people these days are interested in eating a more plant-based diet. The health benefits are undeniable: better weight control and a lowered risk of a host of problems including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. A lot of people are also aware of the negative impact that livestock agriculture has on the environment, and they want to make more eco-friendly food choices. Fortunately, it is not too difficult to find plant-based replacements for common meat, dairy, and egg products.

Meat Replacements

Tempeh is a fermented soy product with a firm consistency. It’s a very versatile food, and it easily takes on flavor from seasonings. Of all the soy products, tempeh best mimics the texture of ground meat, and it can be found in veggie burgers, vegetarian taco filling, and imitation fish and chips.

Seitan is a meat substitute that is made from wheat. The process involves rinsing away the starch from the wheat so that only the high protein gluten remains. It comes in many varieties and can replace different types and textures of meat from cold cuts to ground meat to cutlets. It’s very dense in protein and in calories.

Dairy Replacements

There are many non-dairy milk products available these days. In most major grocery stores, you can buy soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, and coconut milk. There are yogurt-type products made from these ingredients as well. Most of them can be used exactly as milk is used in any recipe.

Silken tofu, a soy product, can produce a creamy texture for a soft cheese replacement. Nuts and nut butters are also used to mimic the taste and texture of different cheeses.

Egg Replacements

Eggs are such a versatile food that it’s hard to find a single replacement to do all the things an egg can do. There are some egg replacers on the market that mimic scrambled eggs, for example. Chia and flax seeds can both be used as thickening agents in place of eggs.

Hampton Creek is a food technology that is exploring plant-based egg substitutes to use in their egg-free products like Just Mayo, a vegan mayonnaise, and Just Cookie Dough, an egg-free dough that you can eat without baking. The company is dedicated to producing healthy, eco-friendly foods. Be on the lookout for new products from Hampton Creek coming soon.