A recent study from Dalhousie University found that 31 percent of Canadians intend to eat more plant-based products and less meat in 2020. Whether your reasoning is health, price, or focused on sustainability, it’s clear that plant-based foods are having a moment. But simply eating tofu, beans and vegetables can get dull for those who are used to eating meat—no matter how delicious the recipes are. Beyond buying ready-made plant-based proteins at your local grocery store or fast food joint, is there a way to prepare recipes you love at home, minus the animal-based ingredients?
We asked ourselves the same question and discovered (through multiple trials and errors) that cooking some of our favourite recipes without eggs, butter and dairy is, indeed, possible. The key is finding ingredients that can be used independently, or combined with others, to create something that is comparable in texture and flavour to the real deal. Here are our 10 must-have ingredients to store in your plant-based pantry—and how to use them.
Ground flax meal
Ground flax meal can be used as an egg replacement and binding agent in many baking recipes, like banana bread. Its viscosity also makes it a great thickener and emulsifier for salad dressings. Make your own by grinding whole flaxseeds in a coffee grinder. Freeze leftovers in a covered container for up to three months. Try this in our plant-based banana bread recipe and plant-based Caesar salad recipe.