My Vegan Kitchen: Staple Baking Ingredients
When you’re someone who likes to bake, one of the best ways to make your life easier is to keep baking staples in your pantry so that they’re on hand when the baking urge strikes. Below are the ones we keep on hand in our house. While some ingredients will be familiar, others may be new-to-you. Enjoy a fun learning experience as you play with recipes using these less processed ingredients.
- Baking powder – leavening agent used to provide lift.
- Baking soda – leavening agent that creates spread and browning.
- High-quality salt – my favorites are pink himalayan salt or sea salt.
- Agar agar – vegan gelatin, sourced from seaweed.
- Arrowroot starch/flour/powder – this neutral-tasting starch is a good substitute for highly-processed cornstarch and is used as a thickener* for puddings, sauces, pie fillings, and gravies. Arrowroot needs to be cooked over low heat.
- Tapioca starch/flour/powder – another neutral-tasting starch, making it a good thickener*. You will see tapioca starch in gluten-free baked goods recipes since it adds chew and crispness. Also a good substitute for corn starch–use twice as much.
- Kuzu root – known also as Japanese arrowroot, this is my very favorite thickener* for puddings, as it offers a soft, never bouncy texture.
- Coconut milk – I use the regular full-fat variety of canned organic coconut milk, not “lite” since it’s less cost-effective. To make “lite” coconut milk, simply add 1 to 2 parts water to 1 part regular coconut milk.
- Coconut oil – for recipes where I don’t want a coconut flavor, I use organic refined coconut oil. Use virgin for recipes where the coconut flavor is desirable.
- High-quality, organic cocoa powder and chocolate
*Dissolve completely in twice as much liquid to form a slurry before cooking on the stovetop.