Anuradha Sawhney

Anuradha is the author of the book: The Vegan Kitchen: Bollywood Style and was the ex-chief functionary for PETA(India) for years. She runs an exquisite Vegan Bakery - Back To Basics in Pune, India which delivers delicious vegan desserts across the city.

In order to maintain the holding capacity of cake batter without using eggs, you can try many tricks. In one, beat the vegan butter and sugar together till it is fluffy. This will help to fluff up your batter as carbon dioxide gets trapped in the fluff. Add some bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to a cake to achieve the production carbon dioxide and get airiness in a cake. Instead of using water or non-dairy milk to mix a cake, use some soda. The bubbles that arise will help your cake to rise and be spongy. You can also use egg substitutes like flax eggs, silken tofu, applesauce, mashed banana or aquafaba.

Making vegan cheese is very easy. Take some cashew and soak it overnight or for at least 6 hours. In the morning blend it to make a smooth paste with some water and leave it to ferment in an airtight bowl overnight or for at least 12 hours (depending on the ambient temperature) till you get a tangy taste in it. Now add flavoring like salt, pepper, lemon juice (careful, this is dependent how tangy is became with the fermentation, garlic, herbs, whatever you feel like basically). Place in the refrigerator and use as you would use cream cheese. Spread it on toast, grill it as cheese toast, make a club sandwich with cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and this cheese

 

An important vitamin that vegans tend to lack more often than non-vegans is vitamin B12. B12 is normally found in animal-based foods like meat, dairy, shellfish, liver, fish, crab and eggs so vegans need to ensure regular supplementation. Vitamin B12 helps to maintain healthy nerve cells. Vitamin B12 also aids in helping to make red blood cells and improve the absorption of iron in the body. It’s important to get your b12 levels checked regularly. Remember, vegans cannot get naturally occurring B12 in their foods unless they consume foods that have been fortified with the vitamin.

 

 

Nuts contain beneficial oils. So if you are craving oily food, then have a handful of almonds or cashews. Roast them in an air fryer without any added oils or even in an oven till they are crispy, then store them in an air tight bottle. Cook dishes uses ground peanuts or even grated coconut. Both of these contain oil and when you cook a dish with them, you will get the feeling that you have cooked using oil. Remember to roast the peanuts before grinding them so as to get the maximum benefit of the oils. So you can make sabudana khichdi without a drop of oil and yet the minute you add the powdered peanuts, it will seem as if you have cooked it in oil. Cut potatoes into wedges, rub some oil in your hand, then toss the wedges with your hands so the oil gets rubbed on them. Add some salt and air fry these. Voila! You will get the feeling you are eating fried wedges when actually they are air fried!

 

The best thing about vegan baking is the amount of variety that can be used in baking. To replace eggs, you can make a flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax plus 3 tbsp water, mix and leave for 15 minutes to become a gel), aquafaba or chickpea brine (3 tbsp of concentrated aquafaba replaces one egg), apple sauce (chop an apple small and pressure cook it with some cinnamon and cloves and a bit of brown sugar, then mash and use in your baking in the ration quarter cup per egg), banana (one large mashed banana replaces one egg) and tofu (quarter cup of blended silken tofu replaces one egg).