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The whole food plant based baking hacks you need to know (+ 12 healthy vegan dessert recipes)

Quick Take

Anyone else baking a ton right now? It makes sense, with all this time on our hands baking is a great way to spend it. Not to mention, baking can be really comforting. And baked goods don't have to be an unhealthy indulgence. Sweet treats can be whole food plant-based, gluten-free, oil-free, AND refined-sugar-free. Oh, and still still tasty...I promise.

Not sure where to start? Here are some of my favorite plant-based baking hacks to help you achieve the perfect baked goods! Plus I've got some of my favorite healthy vegan dessert recipes to keep you busy at home.

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On This Page

How to bake without eggs

How to bake without sugar

How To bake without oil

How to bake gluten-free

12 whole food plant-based dessert recipes to try at home

Don't feel like baking? Let MamaSezz deliver you a treat

How to bake without eggs

Eliminating eggs, without a substitute, is not usually an option while baking. Eggs bind your baked goods together and keep them from falling apart. Plus they can help to make your finished product fluffy. If you forgo eggs altogether, you’ll end up with some crumbly dry results. Instead, swap out the eggs for these easy whole food plant-based egg replacers:

1 egg = Mix 1TBS of ground flaxseed or chia seed with 2 ½ TBS of warm water. Let the mixture sit for 8 minutes. Once it has reached the consistency of an egg, add to your recipe.

1 egg = Add ¼ cup of applesauce into your recipe.

1 egg = Mash 1 banana with a fork until smooth, and add to your recipe. Banana is a great egg replacer but keep in mind you will taste the banana. If neutral is what you’re after, try applesauce.

1 egg = 1/2 ripe avocado, mashed. Note: this will add a greenish tint to your dish so keep that in mind. It works really well with anything chocolate because the chocolate color overpowers the green, like this raw cacao pudding.

1 egg = 1/4 cup natural peanut butter or other nut butter. Note: nut butters have a strong flavor so best if using in recipes that call for a peanut buttery taste (i.e. peanut butter cookies).


How to bake without sugar

Why bake without sugar? 

What’s the difference between refined and unrefined sugars? AKA why is the 14g of sugar from a banana better for you than the 14g of white refined sugar?

While natural sugars, found in whole fruit, are part of a whole food plant-based diet, refined sugar is not. Unlike natural sources, refined sugar does not have nutrients or fiber in tact. Without the fiber in particular, our blood sugars aren’t regulated, which can cause dangerous spikes and dips.

Eating refined and added sugars can do a number on our bodies and lead to serious health problems, like inflammation, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and increased risk for heart disease.

Best plant-based alternatives to refined sugar:

YES: 

  • Date sugar is your best bet, because it contains the whole date, skin and all and therefore, is a whole-food. Store-bought date syrup often removes the fiber from the plant during the production process. 
  • Whole-food date syrup: Place 4 dates in a microwave-safe mug, and fill with just enough water to barely cover. Microwave for 1 minute and let sit for 5 minutes. Then, blend the dates and water together in a high-speed blender until smooth. If the mixture is too thin, add a little ground flaxseed. If it’s too thick, add a little more water.
  • Mashed bananas. Each banana contains 14g of whole-food natural sugar coupled with healthy fiber and minerals. Mashed bananas also act as an egg replacer (see egg replacers above). 

IN MODERATION:

  • Maple Syrup
  • Maple Sugar
  • Coconut Sugar

All three above sweeteners are plant-based but aren’t whole food because they do not contain the fiber from the plant. This means in excess they may cause spikes in your blood sugar and inflammation. However, both contain vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your health.  

Pro tip: How to use less maple syrup on your pancakes

For a batch of pancakes...

Microwave or heat on the stovetop: ¼ a cup of maple syrup, 3 cups of frozen or fresh blueberries. Heat until the mixture becomes thick, and syrup turns blue. 

AVOID

  • White Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

These sugars are refined and do not contain enough nutrients to make them worthwhile. 

How to bake without oil

1 Tablespoon of oil = 2 teaspoons of nut butter mixed with 1 teaspoon of non-dairy milk 

1 Tablespoon of oil = 1 Tablespoon of apple sauce (this sometimes makes recipes “rubbery” so keep this in mind)

1 Tablespoon of oil = 1 Tablespoon of homemade coconut butter 

1 Tablespoon of oil = 1 Tablespoon of pumpkin puree 

½ a cup of oil = 1 avocado (mashed or blended) 

How to bake gluten-free

The key to making gluten-free baked goods in using more than 1 gluten-free flour so it doesn’t taste overwhelmingly like one thing. For instance, if a recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, I like to use use 1 cup of oat flour and 1 cup of brown rice flour. 

Because gluten can act as a binder, you may need to add extra egg replacer (see above) to your recipe. 

Here are some of my favorite alternative gluten free flours:

  • Oat flour
  • Brown rice flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Almond flour
  • Garbanzo (chickpea) flour
  • Buckwheat flour

12 whole food plant-based AND gluten-free dessert recipes

1. Lemon Cheesecake (no-bake!)

2. Fudgy Brownie Recipe

3. Breakfast Oatmeal Muffins

4. Peanut Butter Cream Sweet Potato Brownies

5. No-Bake Pumpkin Pie

6. Blueberry Lemon French Toast

7. Chocolate Pie with Peanut Crumble Crust

8. No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

9. Refined Sugar-Free Chocolate Covered Strawberries

10. Vegan Double Chocolate Cake 

11. Quinoa Flax Gluten-Free Breakfast Cookies

12. Whole Food Plant Based Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Don’t feel like baking? Let MamaSezz deliver you a treat

Get your healthy sweet treats without having to do all the measuring and sifting and baking. Order MamaSezz High Protein Breakfast Bars

Our breakfast bars are essentially vegan chocolate brownie batter smeared on top of a vanilla blondie base. And yes, they are as delectable as they sound. Order the Breakfast Bundle today or add a High Protein Breakfast Bar to another bundle. Best of all? Use the code: CHEF to get 10% off your purchase! 

Our Gift For You

Key Takeaways 

  • There are plenty of egg replacers from flaxseed to mashed banana to applesauce, and beyond!
  • Sweeten with fruit like dates, date syrup, or mashed bananas
  • Replace oil with fatty whole plants like nuts, coconut, and avocado 
  • Bake gluten-free using alternative flours like rice, garbanzo, and oat flour
  • Looking for whole food plant-based and gluten-free recipes? Browse the MamaSezz Recipes section
  • Order MamaSezz High Protein Breakfast Bars and use the discount code "CHEF" to get 10% off your order 

 

By Caroline DiNicola Fawley

Caroline is a plant-based chef, recipe designer, and whole food plant-based nutrition educator, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

What you should do now

  1. We have been where you are and we’ve helped thousands of people (just like you) transition to eating a plant based diet. If you are looking for a guide that can help you with some of the big questions, and dramatically reduce your stress, this FREE Ultimate Little Guide to Plant-Based Eating is a great place to start.
  2. If you're interested in Weight Loss, Download this fantastic FREE guide Ultimate (little) Guide to weight loss
  3. If you’d like to learn about plant-based living go to our MamaSezz Blog where you can read hundreds of “How To” articles. If you’d like to learn about plant-based cooking go to our Recipes Section for easy step by step favorites.
  4. If you enjoyed this article, then so will your friends, so why not share it on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Email




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