Wednesday, March 4, 2009

living without - consciously substituting

What's your "go-to"?... We all have them. They are comforting and more important and the main reason we keep on coming back for more is they are satisfying. For some people, not having their "go-to" can really set them off. People are just programmed like that...creature's of habit. To go with out your "go-to" to some may feel like not living. And that is understandable.... to feel comfortable and satisfied, in my opinion, is a necessity in life.

Think of what you or your life would be like if all of your habits or "go-to's" were HEALTHY. Thinking about it is the easy part.... But actually really living with out the unhealthy "go-to's", that is definitly the hard part. The key is to really identify with your personal "go-to's" and which are unhealthy habits. Then find a healthy substitute... start with one "go-to" and work your way up to consciously choosing everything you do.

I have been doing just that for quite sometime now. Consciously choosing everything that goes into my body. My old favorite "go to", as mentioned in a prior post, was eggs and bacon. Going with out was very difficult for the first few weeks. Until I found a replacement that was comforting and satisfying. Tofu scramble saved the day. (See my prior blog for the recipe.)

My point is, like anything... a boyfriend, girlfriend, a job or an old pair of shoes, a favorite meal or just a cup of coffee, When you are first with seems as if it will NEVER be the same, or in regards to the cup of coffee, you just can't cope. But as time passes and you meet someone new or find a favorite shoe, or a new restaurant with a new favorite meal, somehow you find you CAN manage just fine. In fact, you may find sometimes that now its even better!

And for me, that is what I have found. With each conscious choice I make, I feel that I am truly being the best I can be... to me, my body and my environment. I realized, as I was making my tofu breakfast scramble with ease, that this new habit had now grown to become my "go to". It is both comforting and satisfying. The thought of egg and bacon no longer makes me yearn... now it actually makes me uncomfortable.

One way for me to eat a 100% vegan diet and not feel like I am depriving myself is... I BAKE! cakes, cookies, muffins, breads etc... yum so satisfied! Here is a simple guide to cooking or baking your favorite recipe using simple substitutions to avoid unhealthy ingredients such as dairy, eggs and gluten.

Substitution Solutions

Milk Substitute 1 cup with the following:
1 cup Almond or other Nut Milks
1 cup Soy Milk (plain or vanilla)
1 cup 1 cup Rice Milk + 1 organic egg yolk
1 cup Fruit Juice
1 cup Water + 1 organic egg yolk
1 cup Coconut Milk

Buttermilk Substitute 1 cup with the following:
1 cup Soy Milk = 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar (let stand slightly to thicken)
1 cup Coconut Milk
7/8 cup Rice Milk
7/8 cup Fruit Juice
7/8 cup Water

Yogurt Substitute 1 cup with the following:
1 cup Soy Yogurt
1 cup Soy Sour Cream
1 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1 cup Fruit Puree

Butter Substitute 1 stick with the following:
1 stick Earth Balance ( non-dairy buttery spread)
8 tbsp Olive or Vegetable Oil
reduced fat option:
6tbsp Unsweetened Applesauce + 2tbsp of one of the above

Eggs Substitute 1 large egg with the following:
3 tbsp Unsweetened Applesauce + 1 tsp Baking Powder (aluminum free)
1 tbsp Flax Meal + 3 tbsp Hot Water (let stand to thicken, stirring occasionally 10mins)
1 1/2 tsp Egg Replacer + 2tbsp Hot Water ( this is potato based, find in whole foods)
4 tbsp pureed Silken Tofu + 1 tsp Baking Soda

replacing two or more eggs will change the integrity of a recipe. for recipes that call for a lot of eggs, like a quiche, use pureed silken tofu. because egg substitutions add moisture, you may have to increase baking times slightly.

Nuts Substitute tree nuts or peanuts with an equal amount of the following.
toasted coconut
sunflower seeds
toasted sesame seeds
crushed cornflakes
crushed crispy rice cereal
crushed potato chips

Gluten -Free Substitutions
to make flour blend, thoroughly combine all ingredients. store in a covered container in the refrigerator until used. you can double or triple these recipes to make as much as you need.

All-Purpose Flour Blend
use this blend for all your gluten free baking
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/4 cup cornstarch or potato starch

High Protein Flour Blend
This nutritious blend works best in baked goods that require elasticity,
such as wraps and pie crusts
1 1/4 cup bean flour (your choice) chick pea or soy flour
1 cup arrowroot starch, corn starch or potato starch
1 cup tapioca starch/flour
1 cup white or brown rice flour

High Fiber Flour Blend
this high fiber works best for breads, pancakes, snack bars, cookies that contain chocolate, warm spices, raisins or other fruits. it is not suited to delicately flavored recipes, such as sugar cookies, crepes, cream puffs, birthday cakes or cupcakes.
1 cup brown rice flour or sorghum flour
1/2 cup teff flour ( preferably light)
1/2 cup milet flour or Montina Flour
2/3 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/3 cup cornstarch or potato starch

Self-Rising Flour Blend
use this for muffins, scones, cakes, cupcakes, or any recipe that uses baking powder for leavening
1 1/4 cup white sorghum flour
1 1/4 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch/flour
2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

General Guide to using Gum
Gum (xanthan or guar) is the key to successful gluten-free baking. It provides the binding needed to give the proper elasticity, keeping it from crumbling.

add 1/2 tsp gum per cup of flour blend to make cakes, cookies, bars, muffins and other quick breads

add 1 tsp gum per cup of flour blend to make yeast bread, pizza dough, and other baked items that call for yeast.

note: some flour blends contain gum already, if so, no need to add more.

this guide is from "Living Without" magazine found at your Health Food Store.

1 comment:

  1. Noted for good texture and moisture regulation as well as good expansion and taste regulation, Tapioca Starch can be used as a fat replacer as well as for many other applications in the food industry.