Vegan Alternatives for Animal-Based Foods

Vegan Alternatives for Animal-Based Foods
Healthy Eating

Eat healthy, when possible!

You are considering eating a vegan (plant-based) diet, but you are reluctant because you are not sure how you will pull it off.

You will not have animal products in your diet, therefore you need to have a plant-based alternative.

Do you realize that for every animal based food product, there is a plant-based alternative?

Gradually transitioning to a plant-based way of eating is what I recommend and I found that it works better for most people, than going cold-turkey.

Today, you will learn the plant-based foods you can substitute for the animal-based foods. I hope you do not think you will miss anything, because there are some very tasty vegan alternatives that will make your taste buds very happy.

Dairy Substitutions

Instead of:

  • 1 cup of cow’s milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 ounce cheese
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (in recipes)
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (as in lasagna)
  • 1 cup ice cream
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  • 1 cup fortified soymilk, grain milk, nut or seed milk
  • 1 cup soy milk plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice or white vinegar
  • 1 cup soy or coconut yogurt
  • 1 ounce of casein-free soy cheese or soy-free cheese (rice)
  • 1 cup mashed tofu (firm works well)
  • 1 cup frozen soy, rice, or coconut dessert, vegan fruit sherbet or sorbet
  • 12 ounces firm silken tofu + 1/4 cup maple syrup + 1 tablespoon lemon juice + 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, vegan margarine, soy spread, coconut butter, other nut or seed butters

Egg Substitutions

Instead of:

[pullquote]Sometimes just leaving out 1 egg in a recipe makes very little difference. p.274[/pullquote]

  • 1 egg


  • 2-4 tablespoon soft tofu
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoon water (chia seeds also thicken and make a gel-like consistency when added to water)
  • 1/4 cup mashed, very ripe banana or applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon EnerG “Egg Replacer” for baking
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder mixed with dry ingredients, to replace leavening action of 1 egg or egg white in baking

Meat Substitutions

Instead of Meat:

  • 1 tablespoon gelatin
  • 1 cup meat or chicken stock
  • 1 serving meat, chicken, fish
  • 1 cup ground beef
  • 1 serving sausage or smoked meat


  • 1 tablespoon agar flakes (thickens 1 cup liquid), 1/2 teaspoon powder (thickens 1 cup liquid)
  • 1 cup liquid vegetable stock or 1 cup water + vegetable stock cubes or powder, Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari (to taste) mixed with water, Miso mixed with water (taste)
  • Equal weight or volume of meat substitutes, beans, tofu, marinated tofu, tempeh, gluten (seitan), gluten-based meats from Asian restaurants, Equal volume of Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 cup veggie ground round, 1/2 cup dry textured soy protein + (1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon) boiling stock or water, stirred and soaked for 10 minutes
  • equal weight or volume of meat substitutes, equal weight or volume of crumbled, seasoned tofu (season with sage, savory, thyme, parsley, garlic, fennel seeds, and liquid smoke)

Sugar Substitutions

Instead of Sugar*

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey


  • 2/3 to 1 cup dried cane juice granules
  • 1/4 cup black strap molasses plus 1/2 cup sweet molasses
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups barley malt syrup or rice syrup (or to taste; thee are less sweet)
  • Stevia

*Cane sugar is sometimes whitened using animal bones

As you can see, you have many options for substituting the animal-based foods with plant-based foods in your diet.  And you will not get bored.

Note: If you do not want to eat soy products, you can always include more beans, nuts and seeds in your diet. There are alternatives for soy products too (ex. rice cheese instead of soy cheese), just make sure you read the labels.

Information Source:

Image: Ambro /

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About the Author

Evelyn Parham started this site in 2010. She enjoys writing, reading, and dabbling in photography and video editing. Learn more about her here.

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  1. Vegan Alternatives for Animal-Based Foods | March 22, 2011
  1. Elissa says:

    Great post! I would love to read more from you on this. I will keep visiting your blog very often. Thanks Evelyn. Keep it up.

  2. Kavita says:

    Hi Evelyn, this is my first visit to your blog from your guest post on weblogbetter. I must say you have a very good health blog. Your blog look and content are very appealing.

    Vegetarian food is gaining importance world over and will also do more good than animal food not only in taste but from health point of view also.

    • Hi Kavita,

      Thank you for visiting and commenting!

      I appreciate the compliments too!

      Yes, I think people are realizing that animal foods in high quantities are not healthy.

      Welcome to my blog and hope to see you around! 🙂

      Take care,
      Evelyn P.

  3. Bryan Thompson says:

    Hi Evelyn, I have been trying to comment on your blog but with your Livefyre comments, it wasn’t having much luck. 🙂 I guess it’s kind of like me with DISQUS. I guess sometimes WordPress just works best, huh?

    That said, guess what? I WENT VEGAN! Okay, just for 21 days so far. I’m on the Daniel Fast. Along with my wife. She has been vegetarian for 2 months and loves it. I have only started it with this fast, but I can already tell I feel better. I know you’ve covered the Daniel Fast, so you know it’s more strict than vegan (no coffee – that’s the hardest part). But I am digging some substitutes for some of my favorite indulgences. Had a soy taco today with salsa and soy cheese. Not bad! NOt what I thought. 🙂

    • Hey Bryan,

      I’m glad you let me know about Livefyre. I used it for 1 1/2 days over the weekend and people were having problems commenting, so I took it off. Yeah, WordPress does work best. I’m glad I switched back and to think I was going to do a test run for a week. I couldn’t stick with that…Livefyre had to go. 😉

      Wow…Bryan!!! I am so happy (yipeee)!! I am glad that you are feeling better and noticing a difference in your body. You see, it’s not all that bad, especially with all the neat substitutes out here. Fasting does wonders for our spiritual health too. I wish you the best!

      Keep me posted!

  4. Health Blog says:

    Thanks for the great tips you have given here about the way vegans can help themselves.
    There are also many non animal artificial foods with flavor of animal foods such as chicken, which can give you taste of chicken without eating chicken.

    • Thanks for commenting.

      You are so right about the different flavors that are not animal foods.

      Take care,

      P.S. Whenever you comment on this blog, be sure to use a name and your keyword. I don’t typically accept comments that do not use a name. An example of how you should comment on this blog in the future is: Evelyn@health blog.

  5. Dia says:

    Hi Evelyn,

    This recipe looks good 😉 I will try it out as I like to try new things. Thanks for sharing my friend 🙂

  6. Fenny says:

    Excellent tips, Evelyn! This is going to be saved and used! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. qochemist says:

    This is great information for someone like me who is striving to do better 🙂 Please keep sharing with us.

  8. Dandy says:

    Wow, this is incrediable. I’m going to print it out and put it up in my kitchen! This is really helpful. Thanks so much Evelyn!