It’s very easy to make the wrong choices even when you’re a vegan, from heavily processed foods to a diet full of fried vegetables or refined carbs. The best way to avoid these obstacles on your way to a healthy vegan diet is to start cooking yourself.
While there are plenty of delicious vegan recipes available, you should always make sure that you avoid a few errors. Here are the vegan cooking mistakes that can sidetrack your healthy dishes and can lead you to think that cooking without animal products is a daunting task.
Not Preparing Tofu Properly
Before you cook it, tofu needs to be properly drained. The more moisture you leave in it, the more you risk diluting the flavors of your dish and even ending up with a really watery texture. You can use paper towels to draw out some moisture from tofu, but the best way to go is to use a tofu press, that will instantly improve the flavor and texture of your meals.
Baking with the Wrong Egg Substitutes
One of the biggest vegan cooking mistakes is to improvise when you’re adapting recipes. You might be able to count on your experience for most dishes, but when it comes to baking, things are a lot more tricky. You don’t just need more baking powder, you might also need to use chia or flax seeds for binding or applesauce or pureed vegetables for extra moisture. Look for tried and tested vegan recipes if you’re not sure not to adapt a traditional one.
Mishandling Coconut Oil
Using coconut oil in your recipes means you need to have it at room temperature. However, since it can quickly turn to a more solid form when you exposed to cold temperatures, that’s what you have to do for all the ingredients that you want to blend with the coconut oil.
Missing the Right Temperature for Searing Tofu
If you’ve already made sure that your tofu has been pressed and dried, and it’s ready to go into the pan, avoid one of the big vegan cooking mistakes by making sure the oil is hot enough. If it hasn’t been heated properly, you won’t be able to get the perfect color and texture on your tofu.
Improperly Soaking Nuts
Whether you plan to use nuts to make cheese, milk or use them in your baking, they should be thoroughly soaked. Plan ahead and always soak nuts overnight, so they absorb the maximum moisture. That will help you get a creamier consistency and end up with more milk.
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When you’re cooking green, you can easily wilt them and ruin their texture by using heat for too long. That’s one of the big vegan cooking mistakes, but you can easily avoid it. You can do it the easy way, but turning off the heat when they’re still slightly undercooked. If you cook them perfectly, then your best option is to use an ice bath, otherwise they’ll continue to cook and end up wilted and chewy.
Drowning Your Quinoa
Using too much water when you’re cooking quinoa can result in a soggy mess. In order to get a light texture, make sure you’re not pouring too much water over it. Let it cook with the lid on for the correct amount of time, and you’ll end up with a fluffy texture that makes quinoa delicious.
Making Your Smoothies Too Thick
While making a smoothie seems very easy, avoid one of the big vegan cooking mistakes by using drier ingredients. Without water rich leaves or fruits, you’ll get a chunky texture that’s not really pleasant. You can also add water to blend them perfectly, and remember to always make sure that the bananas you use in your smoothies are ripe, if you’re looking for a sweet addition to your healthy drinks.
Overusing Vanilla Soymilk
While soymilk with a touch of vanilla sounds like a good idea for any recipe, it should only be used for desserts. When you’re following a recipe for a savory dish, and there’s no mention of vanilla, don’t risk it.
Leaving Out Ingredients
This is a mistake that no cook should make, but it can have an even bigger effect on vegetarian and vegan dishes. From the seasoning and spices to ingredients like liquid smoke and nutritional yeast, make sure that you’re always adding the little things, if you don’t want to commit one of the top vegan cooking mistakes.