Looking for easy vegan and gluten free substitutes? I remember a friend telling me, “It’s easy to be vegan once you figure out what your substitutes are.” and I have to agree that she’s right.
I began needing easy vegan and gluten free substitutes three years ago when I learned that I have Graves disease. I was lucky to find a functional medicine doctor who looked at my Graves and said, “let’s test you for Celiac” and “let’s change your diet”.
He eliminated caffeine, alcohol, sugar, gluten, and I was already a vegetarian. So the food options became very limited. But once I slowly moved through the panic and found a new norm, the change really wasn’t that bad.
If you’re interested in trying vegan and gluten free cooking, I hope this list makes the transition for you quick and easy. Please comment with your favorite substitutes. We can all use some help making life a little easier!
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8 Easy Vegan & Gluten Free Substitutes:
1. PAMELA’S GLUTEN FREE FLOUR:
Pamela’s gluten free flour changed my life. There are a lot of gluten free flours out there – almond, sorghum, rice, corn, chickpea, coconut… the list goes on. But I found that each of them either changed the flavor of what I was making, or they changed the consistency.
For example, I’m a HUGE cookie dough fan. But with raw cookie dough, you really taste everything in it. Pamela’s came in as a one for one substitution for all purpose flour without changing the taste. I mean… WINNER!
You can find Pamela’s Gluten Free Flour at health food stores, sometimes mainstream grocery stores, or on Amazon.
2. NEAT EGG:
Neat Egg is an egg replacement made from chia seeds and garbanzo beans. I use it in savory recipes that have enough flavor to cover the earthy taste of it. I would say that it has been successful in about 90% of the recipes where I use eggs. I have not had success with baked goods or something like pancakes. Try it and see how it goes!
You can find Neat Egg at most health food stores or on Amazon here.
3. TAMARI SAUCE:
Tamari Sauce is a gluten free substitute for soy sauce. The taste is different, but I’ve found that it works well in all of the Asian dishes that I typically make with soy sauce.
You can find tamari sauce in most mainstream grocery stores. If you’re not able to find it, you can get it on Amazon here.
4. CALIFIA FARMS ALMOND MILK (UNSWEETENED):
There are many almond milks on the market, and unfortunately I think a lot of them have additives. My understanding is that it is best to make our own almond milk, but I haven’t gotten around to learning how to do that yet.
In the meantime, I’ve been really happy with Califia Farms. It’s thicker than the other almond milks that I’ve tried. And it works well as a one for one substitute in recipes, smoothies, etc.
You can find Califia Farms in most mainstream grocery stores. I buy the one in the green bottle (Unsweetened).
Quinoa is a grain that can replace rice or noodles in dishes. It’s definitely lighter, so I tend to need more of it than I do rice to fill up. I often cook it with vegetable broth to give it a heartier taste as well. It’s packed with nutrients and works well as a substitute. You can get quinoa at any mainstream grocery store.
6. MAPLE SYRUP:
Sugar is a tough one for me! I love sweets, especially desserts. And pretty much every dessert has sugar. There are 3 common substitutes that I’ve seen: maple syrup, honey and agave. They all work well once you get used to the taste.
These can all be found at most any grocery store, but it’s better to grab them at your local farmers market. The main tip I’ve read is that you want to buy them as local as possible.
7. CACAO NIBS:
These can be used in place of chocolate chips. I have to say that the only real luck I’ve had with them is in healthy energy bites, where I expect the chocolate taste to be a little off. But I would imagine that they are an acquired taste that you would get used to if you consistently used them.
Cacao nibs can be found in health food stores or on Amazon here.
8. KOSHER SEA SALT:
I learned this trick from Julie in episode 11 of the podcast. She mentioned that if you have a good olive oil and a good salt on hand, you’ll be amazed at how much better your food tastes. So I ordered sea salt from her, and we’ll never go back.
She doesn’t have it in her shop any more, but here’s a link to the brand that we love: Jacobsen Hand Harvested Sea Salt
Other links mentioned in the podcast episode:
- Costa Rica Rescue Center (our Charity of the Month) can be found on Instagram or on their website.
- Free 5 Step Conscious Lifestyle Challenge can be found at: ForAnimalsForEarth.com/lifestylechallenge
- Dr. Melikyan – Innergy Integrative Medicine – https://iminnergy.com/
Looking for recipes? Check out our Vegetarian Pinterest boards.
This episode was transcribed with ai technology from otter.ai. Please excuse any typos or incorrect language.
Brandy Montague 0:00
Welcome to episode number 33 of the for animals for Earth podcast, five easy vegan and gluten free substitutes from my kitchen.
Brandy Montague 0:12
Hi there this is Brandy and you’re listening to the for animals for Earth podcast. This is a space where we inspire each other to take small steps every day to live a more conscious life, helping the animals, and the planet, while we do it. I’m so glad that you’re here. Let’s all take a deep breath and let’s get started.
Brandy Montague 0:38
About three years ago, I went one morning to my local coffee shop and I grabbed my scone and my latte. And I headed home and I sat down to start working, and I had crazy, just pain in my stomach and all of a sudden I had a fever, and I was like doubled over on the couch, at like, noon on a Monday and thinking oh my gosh, I can’t move, and I called my husband home and said, this is the first time ever like I need help you better get the kids from school like I can’t move.
Brandy Montague 1:10
And after about two to three hours, my fever, just went away. It didn’t break it just went away and my body was shaking. And I thought, Okay, well, apparently like I have the flu, and about five days later my body was still shaking, and I thought, Okay, this is a little bit, a little scary. I started to get really dizzy, I had a really hard time standing up without passing out my heart was racing and so I finally. A week later went to the doctor and said… something’s wrong. Can you help me figure it out?
Brandy Montague 1:47
And through, through the blood tests they ended up realizing that something was going on with my thyroid, and then you know that that kicked off a ton of testing and a ton of doctors and I finally landed with my doctor who I have now who I absolutely love . He’s a functional medicine doctor for anyone who’s in the LA area, his name is Dr. Melikyan. He’s incredible if you need a doctor.
Brandy Montague 2:17
Anyway, he helped me figure out that I have graves disease which is an autoimmune disease that causes my thyroid to basically overwork. They don’t know exactly what causes that but it can be caused by a virus. And I happen to have had that virus, so maybe that it can also be caused by celiac disease, which it turns out I also have. So I immediately had to completely change my lifestyle. So my doctor, Dr. Melikyan he had me cut out caffeine cut out alcohol cut out sugar. Obviously cut out gluten because of the celiac disease and the list kind of goes on and as you all know, I’m a vegetarian.
Brandy Montague 3:03
I’ve been vegetarian for many years, which also has been linked to causing graves disease. So we don’t know exactly why but you know, here I am. I have this autoimmune disease, it’s in remission and I truly believe that the reason it is is because I’ve changed what I eat.
Brandy Montague 3:23
But the night that he told me you know that I would need to change everything that I was eating, I was pretty freaked out and I remember it happened to be date night for my husband and I. I made my husband go to the grocery store for our date night, kind of kicking and screaming but I said, I just need help, I’ve got to try to figure this out. I need to try to find food that we can eat because honestly you guys, I always considered myself a really healthy person, and I thought we ate really healthy so I just wasn’t really sure how to tackle this.
Brandy Montague 3:56
So anyway, over the years, I have found a few tricks that make it really easy to eat gluten free, and and mostly vegan and so I thought I would quickly share my top five of those with you today. If you do struggle with an autoimmune disease, or just with what you’re eating, you know, feel free to reach out. I know that it’s hard to try to eat vegan and gluten free, it’s really hard when you’re out and about and I honestly credit the only reason that I’ve been able to do it is because I wasn’t gonna live if I didn’t. I had no choice. So I’m kind of thankful for that because that was enough of a push to help me do it. But I am here to support you and share any resources that I have found.
Brandy Montague 4:52
So here are my top five things that I keep in our kitchen to make things easy. So number one is Pamela’s gluten free flour, and I say Pamela’s that’s the brand. It comes in a blue bag and sometimes it can be hard to find it is available at a lot of, you know, big grocery stores Ralph’s, Publix. At least it was, but it can be hard to find. There is a link in the blog post connected to this, the show notes to get you over to Pamela’s on Amazon. That’s where I ended up getting mine because I haven’t been able to consistently find it anywhere else. But this flour you guys is amazing. I substitute it for just a regular all purpose flour and pretty much everything I make, and most of the time, it works out fine. So, check, check that out as an option.
Brandy Montague 5:47
Number two is called Neat Egg, and it is a substitute for eggs. It’s a powder, made from chia and garbanzo beans, and you just add it to water and you mix it up, and then it replaces the egg in your different dishes, and it, it has that same kind of consistency. So it works I would say, 70% of the time. It does have that kind of grainy taste to it so you have to use it as a replacement in meals, where meals or baking, where there are other flavors to cover it up. But as long as there’s other flavors to cover it up, it usually works pretty well. So that one can be found at most health food stores like I think you would find it at Whole Foods and honestly Pamela’s gluten free flour you would probably find that at Whole Foods as well. But if you can’t find it, I have a link to Amazon, as well, in the blog post.
Brandy Montague 6:43
All right. Number three is tamari sauce. So tamari sauce is a substitute for soy sauce and I found that in all of the recipes that I use it works just fine. It does have a slightly different flavor you know so you might have to get used to that. But at this point, we don’t even notice it, and I just use it as a straight substitute in all of the different types of Asian meals that I make that have soy sauce, as a main ingredient.
Brandy Montague 7:09
Number four is Califia farms almond milk I specifically use the unsweetened one, it’s green. The color is green. You can find it in pretty much any major grocery store as well. And it is a little bit thicker than a lot of the other almond milks at least in my experience in my opinion so every time something calls for milk, I just replace it with Califia Farms unsweetened almond milk, and it works great. I haven’t had any problems with it being the perfect substitute.
Brandy Montague 7:44
And number five is quinoa. You’re probably, I don’t know if you’re not familiar with quinoa, it’s spelled quinoa, and I still remember the first time I went shopping for it and this was well before I had graves disease but it was when we lived in Tokyo. And I remember I went into the store and I said, Do you have any key. kee-noh-a is what I called it. Do you have any quinoa, and I remember like the person looking at me and saying, “No”. So then I went to the next grocery store and I’m like, do you have any quinoa and, you know, no and I went to like five grocery stores you guys and everybody’s like, no we don’t sell quinoa. And I’m like, how is it possible that all these places don’t sell quinoa. And then I realized it’s called quinoa!
Brandy Montague 8:34
It’s like a rice substitute, it’s it’s much lighter, but you can cook it with vegetable broth instead of water and that makes it a little bit heartier. Quinoa been a really big staple in our house as well and it’s loaded with great nutrients. So it’s gluten free and it’s vegan and it’s actually healthier.
Brandy Montague 8:56
So the top five substitutes are Pamela’s gluten free flour, Neat Egg, tamari sauce, Califia Farms unsweetened almond milk and quinoa. Those are the five things I have for you today. I have more of my favorite substitutes in the shownotes for this show, and I’ll keep adding to it as I remember, or I use something and I’m like oh, this would be a good one to share.
Brandy Montague 8:56
So the shownotes, as you heard earlier are at foranimalsforearth.com/podcast/33, and just a very quick reminder that our charity of the month this month is Rescue Center Costa Rica. They do rescue rehabilitation and release back into the wild, and they’re just an incredible group. So if you’ll jump over and check out what they’re doing and follow them, and like posts and share that would be incredible. I know Vanessa, their founder, would really appreciate it. So they are on Instagram at Rescue Center CR, or you can go to their website which is rescuecenter.com.
Brandy Montague 8:56
All right. Thanks guys. See you next week. Bye.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai