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Veganize Your Baked Goods With Flaxseeds

Our podcast series on baking goes vegan with Natalie Rae Good. Then, sustainable foraging tips from an expert. (Hint: leave the ramps bulbs in the ground.)


We continue our month of baking recipes this week with a conversation with The Veganette, Natalie Rae Good.

If we’re talking about sweets and baked goods, she says it’s not tough to convert recipes to vegan. Many of her recipes feature ingredients you probably already have in your house, but there are some animal products, like eggs, that can be tricky to substitute.

“Eggs are a good foaming agent, so if you want to create a meringue or a pavlova or something, you’re going to have a really hard time doing that vegan, so that’s a niche where the egg really shines,” she says. (Although, liquid from chickpeas, called aquafaba, does a pretty good job of it.)

But if you’re not making a foamy, fluffy dessert, you have a variety of egg substitutes at your disposal. She says applesauce as a good binding agent. You can also use bananas in place of eggs. But one of her favorites substitutes is a flaxseed egg:

  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • Mix together and let it sit until it becomes gelatinous. This is equal to one egg.

“It works almost exactly like an egg in recipes and has the same water content as well, so it’s not like it’s going to change everything else,” she says.

If you’re trying vegan cooking for the first time, Good suggests starting with breakfast foods — pancakes and waffles. Her pancake recipe features no out-of-the-ordinary ingredients. Soy or almond milk combines with apple cider vinegar to create a vegan buttermilk substitute. Then of course your flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. “They’re delightful,” she says. “You wouldn’t be able to tell any difference between a vegan pancake and a pancake made with eggs and milk.”

Ready to bake? This Vegan Pumpkin Flaxseed Donut recipe features both the vegan buttermilk trick and a flaxseed egg. Give it a try and let us know how your donuts turn out!

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Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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