Vegan Substitutions

in Vegan For A Day

Welcome to Blogger Vegan 4 A Day, which is part of the larger Vegan Week organized by Katy and Michelle!  You can read about my goals for today in this post.


One goal of vegan for a day is to see how “hard” it is to change over from a vegetarian to vegan diet.  I eat a lot of eggs, dairy, and PANCAKES, and I wanted to discover what vegan pancakes would taste like.  :)  Vegan pancakes require that I make some substitutions.


Instead of skim milk, I used Unsweet Almond Breeze.

IMG_2155 IMG_2157

I actually use Almond Breeze for lots of things (mostly in oatmeal, smoothies, and wheatgrass shots), but I’ve never used it in pancakes.


Instead of an egg, I used a “faux flax egg.”

IMG_2161 IMG_2164

To make a faux flax egg, mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax with 3 tablespoons of water and let it stand for a few minutes.  It ends up becoming gel-like and mimics an egg rather well.


Ironic, I know.


With my pancakes, I typically have a cup of coffee.  I put half and half and Stevia in my coffee.  Today, I swapped the half and half with Rice Dream Vanilla.

IMG_2158 IMG_2156

The verdict?


My vegan pancakes were great!  They did not taste the same as non-vegan pancakes (less fluffy and more gritty) but they were still good, and I could definitely get adjusted to the taste long-term.


My vegan coffee, however, was no good.  I had to add so much Rice Milk to my cup, and I couldn’t get close to the caramel color I like. 


More Maggie Wishes


Jaclyn’s dog Nate, who is also a piebald dachshund, sent Maggie get-well wishes, too!  Aww! Maggie says thanks, Nate!


Nate and Maggie look EXACTLY alike!  🙂


There are a lot of meat, dairy, and egg substitutions out there – what are your favorites?  Instead of meat, I like to use beans or tofu over the “faux meat” products, and I LOVE Almond Breeze!  Also, I’m really glad I discovered the “faux flax egg” tricks because I’m always running out of eggs and usually have flax on hand!



  • Hangry Pants November 19, 2009, 8:31 am

    Oh no! Rice milk, I find, in coffee is terrible. It always separates and is too watery. My favorite in coffee is the Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla with a little agave.

  • elliebelle November 19, 2009, 8:34 am

    My mom has that same little egg beater! I think a friend of hers got it in France (though I could be wrong on that!) 🙂

  • jodie November 19, 2009, 8:37 am

    Almond breeze all the way for me. Have a great day.

  • Ashley November 19, 2009, 8:40 am

    wrote about the same thing with the coffee creamer in my post this morning. nothing like organic half and half to make the perfect mug!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 19, 2009, 8:40 am

    I also am a fan of Almond Breeze, I always use unsweetened Vanilla, and occasionally Chocolate as well! Try the chocolate in your coffee!

  • Lindsey @ Sound Eats November 19, 2009, 8:41 am

    coconut creamer – SO good and you only need just a tiny bit in your coffee (plus if you like sweetened coffee, you won’t need to add any sweetener if you use the french vanilla variety).

  • Heather November 19, 2009, 8:41 am

    Sorry about the coffee! I think the best vegan options for coffee is the Silk Soy Creamer, So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer, and even Almond Milk (though it still separates a little). But yummy pancakes! I usually add an overripe mashed banana to mine to get rid of that “gritty” taste.

  • Jen November 19, 2009, 8:45 am

    I agree – Almond breeze in coffee is the best. Try oatmilk, too. It’s thicker than almond milk, so you may like it better in coffee. We’ve been off dairy due to my son’s sensitivity for a long time now. My best trick is to make buttermilk by adding a T of vinegar or lemon juice to almond milk. I have that egg beater, too. The kids love it.

  • Amy November 19, 2009, 8:45 am

    Thanks for the faux egg tip! I will definitely be adding that to the vault for the days I run out… 🙂

    • Alison November 19, 2009, 10:57 am

      great tip on how to make a faux egg! how inventive!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg November 19, 2009, 8:47 am

    Yum! Those pancakes look good!

    I love Almond Breeze– I first started drinking it because it was so low in calories (sad, I know), but you really can’t beat its creaminess!

    I actually really like Tofurky lunch meat. I feel like I should be grossed out by it– it’s like the tofu version of baloney, or something. But I can’t help it– I like it!

    I also love all things Boca 🙂

  • Karla November 19, 2009, 8:48 am

    I’m trying the vegan for a day challenge too! The hardest part was definitely the lack of milk in my coffee. I didn’t have any milk substitutes around so I just had it black. Oh well! Good luck the rest of the day!

  • Ellen November 19, 2009, 8:48 am

    Looks good! I’m so mystified by the whole flax egg thing… It’s one of those things I have to see for myself, haha. Maybe today…

  • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers November 19, 2009, 8:48 am

    i use almond breeze as a substitute to milk a lot. i love it! those pancakes look great!

  • Julie @savvyeats November 19, 2009, 8:49 am

    Rice Milk = ick. I tried it when I was gluten-free…not a fan.

  • Diana (Mymarblerye) November 19, 2009, 8:51 am

    Good luck with Vegan day! Everyone else also! I’ll join you guys next year!

  • Arielle November 19, 2009, 8:53 am

    Nate and Maggie need to start up a little long distance relationship. I happen to know that he’s single…

  • Erica November 19, 2009, 8:54 am

    Nice job on the pancakes! I cannot find a vegan sub for milk in coffee! I’ve tried a few different ones and none of them seem to do the trick. 🙁

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite November 19, 2009, 8:55 am

    I had regular cream in my coffee this morning :0

    Can i’m doing almost Vegan for a day 😉

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite November 19, 2009, 8:55 am

    Meant to say “Guess I’m doing almost VEGAN for a day”

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance) November 19, 2009, 8:56 am

    Nice work! Interesting sub for the egg! Would have never thought of it!

  • Erin November 19, 2009, 9:03 am

    I love the flax egg trick — just heard about that the other day and want to try it soon. You’re more adventurous than me. My vegan brekkie was simple oat bran with toppings. 🙂

  • Jessie (Vegan-minded) November 19, 2009, 9:06 am

    I LOVE Almond Breeze and basically use it for all my milk substitutions. However, I do use Silk or So Delicious creamer in my coffee since I like it really creamy. I’m glad to see you had success with the flax “eggs” in your pancakes. 🙂

  • Ginny November 19, 2009, 9:09 am

    It’s funny how the color of the coffee is so important to the taste that you expect. It’s got to be the right color!

  • Matt November 19, 2009, 9:13 am

    Good luck with being vegan:) No way I could do it!

  • Erin November 19, 2009, 9:17 am

    Caitlin, I always make vegan pancakes – ever since the time I was craving but had no eggs on hand! I prefer soy milk anyway, so I had some in the house… so I just used flour, soy milk, slivered almonds and frozen blueberries. Omitting the egg has never been a problem – they seem to still stick together fine without egg! Rice/almond/etc milk is pretty expensive in Australia so I’ve never tried them, but I think soy milk adds a nice nutty taste to my vegan pancakes anyway 🙂

  • Simone @ P:T November 19, 2009, 9:18 am

    I am a pescitarian, but I try to stay away from dairy (lactose intolerant), and soymilk is definitely the way to go for coffee. No other milk has that thickness required to get coffee caramel colored. I actually think soymilk is BETTER than regular cow’s milk in coffee. Try it, you’ll understand, lol. 😉

  • Abby (Abbys Vegan Eats) November 19, 2009, 9:20 am

    Aweomse start to your vegan day!!

    I like to use bananas in place of eggs or silken tofu (surprisingly it tastes great!)

  • Evan Thomas November 19, 2009, 9:21 am

    Woohoo! Let’s get this vegan party started! For greek yogurt, I like so delicious soy yogurt. For a sweetener, I like honey. For a faux meat, I looove tempeh fakin’ bacon. and while there are a lot of good nut butters out their with dairy products like butter toffee, there are also tons without like organic pepita sun butter

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat November 19, 2009, 9:34 am

    I usually just use vanilla soymilk in my coffee and Silk also has their “holiday” pumpkin spice and nog beverages so those are always good for coffee too.

    I love vegan pancakes, it’s actually been one of my favorite things to make since I started on October 1st. Check out the cookbook Vegan Planet for some awesome pancake recipes.

    Good luck with the rest of your day!

  • Kristie Lynn November 19, 2009, 9:38 am

    Silk makes some soy creamers that ROCK in coffee! 😀 And like Simone says, I’ve found soymilk works better than other alternative milks in coffee.

    One nice thing about using the flax egg in the pancakes is a good dose of Omegas with your breakfast – starting your day off right 🙂

  • alli November 19, 2009, 9:46 am

    aw-i have that same egg beater! and a matching egg “masher” (technical term:)
    those pancakes look great!
    i love using mashed beans in a sammie vs. meat (thanks to you:)

  • Ryan @ Greens for Good November 19, 2009, 9:53 am

    Oooo forgot to tell you that Rice Dream in coffee is not great. Evan begrudgingly used it for the longest time until we discovered So Delicious coconut milk based creamers. There’s also Silk creamers too that are awesome!

  • Marissa November 19, 2009, 9:55 am

    Silk makes a soy cream (lots of flavors too!) it is really good and will give your coffee the normal creamy caramel color. Your pancakes look delicious!

  • Stacey November 19, 2009, 9:57 am

    I always run out of eggs too! And I, also, have flax sitting around 🙂 Thats a good trick to know! Hmm, my boyfriend (though is not vegetarian or vegan) buys fat free vanilla soy milk and I LOVE IT. It really isn’t great to cook with (in my opinion) but it does add a little sweetness to my coffee 🙂

  • Tay November 19, 2009, 9:58 am

    Tip for the coffee – almond milk tastes AMAZING in coffee. I buy almond milk almost purposefully for that reason. Soymilk or skim milk really just taste blah and watery in coffee, but almond milk gives it a nice nutty taste.

  • chandra h November 19, 2009, 9:59 am

    interesting experiment!

    a suggestion for your coffee – (I know exactly what you mean by loving that delicious caramel color :D) – I recently discovered Turtle Mountain Brand So Delicious coconut milk coffee creamer and it ammaazzinnggg. dairy free and made from coconut milk – it comes in original, hazelnut & french vanilla flavors.

    good luck the rest of the day!

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) November 19, 2009, 10:04 am

    I used almond milk in my coffee this morning. It wasn’t horrible, but definitely didn’t live up to half and half. It was kinda like skim milk is in coffee. blech…

  • Nicci@NiftyEats November 19, 2009, 10:11 am

    I’m loving Almod milk and Vanilla Silk! I don’t miss real milk at all. Now, to find a sub for cheese that I really can enjoy.

  • ellie November 19, 2009, 10:16 am

    I always wondered how to make a flax egg! I use soy milk in tea, but it always seems to curdle in coffee. Rice, oat and hemp milk never taste good to me in coffee, but TJ’s make a soy creamer that is AWESOME. Love it 😀 Meat subs- I absolutely love seitan, beans, tofu and quorn. Seitan is really hard to find where I live and I am wary of too much soy so I eat quorn a few times a week. I’m not veggie though 🙂 Quorn has egg in it so not vegan 🙁

  • Janna November 19, 2009, 10:17 am

    I like to substitute with beans, almond milk, earth balance, coconut oil, flax.

    I don’t know if I could give up my goat cheese though! But I am going vegan today!

  • Gloria November 19, 2009, 10:22 am

    Oh no rice milk is horrible in coffee!! If you decide to go vegan for breakfast again tomorrow try almond milk or vegan creamer (the coconut milk one is my fav because it’s soy free and only has a big of sugar, and you don’t need a lot)

    I love tempeh and lentils as meat subs. I don’t buy faux meat because it’s so simple to make my own with more natural ingredients and freeze them (Vegan Dad blog has awesome meat alternative recipes), but in a pinch I looooove those Amy’s California Veggie Burgers! Check out – There is no way I could have gotten through my first few months of veganism without her recipes!

  • Courtney November 19, 2009, 10:26 am

    Your little egg whisk is too cute, tooooo cute. 🙂 Interesting blog post – learned a lot! 🙂

  • brandi November 19, 2009, 10:27 am

    yeah, I have the almond breeze in my coffee this morning and it’s not bad, but it’s not the same as milk.

    If that was the biggest thing to over come, though, I think I could find a solution.

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) November 19, 2009, 10:31 am

    I love coffee with just a tiny bit of half and half. I wonder if I would like it with anything non-dairy. I have tried soymilk and it separates and gets all weird.

    I love vegan pancakes though. Can’t even taste a difference!

  • Lu November 19, 2009, 10:35 am

    My favorite meat substitute is Quorn. It isn’t vegan, because it has eggs, but it has the texture and taste of chicken. It is a wonderful substitute. Also, if you boil whole flax seeds (instead of flaxseed meal) you can made a substance that looks like egg whites, then you don’t have to have any grittiness in your pancakes. I have a great vegan cookbook that hooked me up with eggless recipes.

  • skinnyrunner November 19, 2009, 10:36 am

    thats really interesting about the egg substitute, i would have never known!

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) November 19, 2009, 10:45 am

    Okay I have never done that flax egg thing, but I always use almond milk in my pancakes.. delish! Soy milk works too, but sometimes can have a bit of a weird smell after cooking.

  • Meredith November 19, 2009, 10:48 am

    Omg, Nate + Maggie must be together! Adorable. I am always forced to comment when dogs are featured…because I’m a crazy dog lady 🙂

  • Jen at This Vegetarian Life November 19, 2009, 11:10 am

    I’m still looking for good vegan substitutes. The egg one I can get behind. That’s genius!

    I’m rather squeamish about eating things that look like one thing, but are something different (does that make sense?). I can’t do Boca burgers because they look and taste too much like beef, but they aren’t beef and it trips me out.

    Yeah, I’m a little weird 🙂

  • Carolyn November 19, 2009, 11:14 am

    Good job on making the effort to go vegan today!

  • Emilytoo November 19, 2009, 11:31 am

    I like mushroom burgers, using both real mushrooms and morningstar farms “mushroom burger”. Yum.
    Tempeh is pretty darn good, especially with bbq sauce.
    Also I <3 beans.

  • Chrysta November 19, 2009, 11:56 am

    oh gosh, i love almond milk. I could drink a whole carton! jk. I still love it. Tempeh is great in stir frys. I also love beans on everything! I don’t eat a whole lot of meat to begin with, but I do eat a lot of egg whites and greek yogurt. I really like Tofu pudding. I’m addicted to it. The coffee creamer is tricky. There is a product out there called Mimic Creme I believe. I have not tried it yet, so I have no idea how that would fare in coffee. Silk coffee creamer is good though! its a bit thicker than almond or soy milk.

    Great post!!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing November 19, 2009, 12:01 pm

    I tried vegan for a day once – the hardest thing I found is that dairy is in so many things you wouldn’t expect! Eating whole foods is super important in order to be able to monitor that I found.

    Your pancakes look yummy as always!

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion November 19, 2009, 12:02 pm

    OMG, I am in love with Nate!!! He is a cutie! I bet Osc would love him too 🙂

    My favorite substations are chocolate almond milk- yum yum, morningstar veggie sausage and tofu!

  • JavaChick November 19, 2009, 12:04 pm

    I am not vegetarian, but deep down I want to be. I do try to limit the amount of meat I eat and my preferred substitutes are beans and tofu. I also find I have to be careful with dairy – mainly milk – so I use a lot of Almond Breeze which is really good stuff. 🙂

  • Julie November 19, 2009, 12:10 pm

    My favorite substitutions are almond milk, beans and tempeh. I just can’t get into tofu no matter how many times I have it!

  • Carolyn November 19, 2009, 12:40 pm

    I really like the soy creamer from Trader Joe’s. It’s very lightly sweetened so I add a little agave to taste and lately I’ve been sprinkling in some pumpkin pie spice. The benefit over other soy creamers to me though is that there is no palm oil added to the TJs brand. I know having just that small amount in the Silk creamer isn’t that bad, but I like that I can find one without the oil.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) November 19, 2009, 12:42 pm

    I’m with you about being vegan. The hard part isn’t the meat its the dairy/eggs. I actually just ordered my latte for lunch and forgot to get soy since I’m vegan for the day.

  • Jenna November 19, 2009, 1:18 pm

    great vegan breakfast.

  • susan November 19, 2009, 1:24 pm

    meat subs:

    Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs are KILLER!
    the teen in my house once proclaimed, “i do know one thing, and it’s REAL MEAT”… as he was unknowingly eating them in his spaghetti! bwahahhaha

    also, the BEST veggie burgers, hands down, are Sunshine Burgers!

    (i guess i dont know if either are vegan though, oops)

  • charise November 19, 2009, 1:34 pm

    i like to use beans (chickpeas, cannellini, and black being the favorite) and lentils (green or red) instead of meat. I normally just drink regular milk on the rare occasion I want it, but we always have vanilla soy silk for my husband, and it is awesome in my tea!

  • megan November 19, 2009, 3:30 pm

    Hey Catlin!

    I am in High School and this semester I am taking health class and we were warned about the Sweetener Stevia. I have never Tried it so I don’t know but I just wanted to let you know that it might not be as good for you as they say. Here is a website that tey giave us that has some info.

    Also I am a huge fan of both your blogs!

    • caitlin November 19, 2009, 3:31 pm

      thank you!!

  • Lauren November 19, 2009, 4:34 pm

    I’m always running out of eggs too! I should definitely try this. Good luck with the rest of the day!

  • Susan November 19, 2009, 4:35 pm

    Nutritional yeast flakes make an awesome grated cheese substitute!

  • Bliss November 19, 2009, 5:00 pm

    Hey! I love your blog. I hope you do not mind that I put you in my blogroll. =)

  • Emily Eats and Exercises November 19, 2009, 5:44 pm

    I made pomegranate vegan pancakes this morning and thought of you… I didn’t have any flax on hand, but it was actually fine when I just left them out. Probably because the whole thing tasted super pomegranatey…
    Come check them out:

  • Jolene ( November 19, 2009, 10:14 pm

    I absolutely LOVE Almond Breeze, and Tofu … and I totally have the exact same egg whisk 🙂

  • Patrick Del Rosaio November 25, 2012, 6:59 am

    I am a coffee love. But I will give a shot to rice milk and see the difference.

  • Aqiyl Aniys March 21, 2014, 9:33 am

    I love the egg beater for the flax substitute! Thanks for the list of substitutes.

Healthy Tipping Point