More people are switching to a vegetarian diet than ever before. While the supermarket shelves are reflecting this – new-style, mouthwatering plant-based burgers and sausages are frequently swooped upon by meat-eaters – baking can be trickier.
What changes do you need to make to your baking if you’re vegetarian?
Marshmallows Aren’t So Mellow
Making Rocky Road or s’mores? You might need to leave out the marshmallows. That candy-cute wobble is often down to gelatin, a pork derivative. Happily, there are several marshmallow brands that are veggie-friendly, so check the packs first.
The Lowdown on Low Fat Yogurt
Gelatin also pops up in low-fat yogurt, so you’ll need to find an alternative. Full fat yogurt without gelatin is easy to find and makes a straightforward substitute.
Red Velvet WHAT? Creepy Cake Fact!
If you’re short on time, then a ready-made cake mix can be a great idea. However, many brands contain lard (rendered animal fat) and several – Red Velvet Cake is in the spotlight here – contain carmine, which is made from crushed beetle shells. That really is enough to get you reaching for a bag of flour and a cup of sugar and doing it from scratch yourself instead!
Um, What? Figs Aren’t Vegetarian?
Figs. Sweet, delicious, safe for vegetarians, right? I mean, they MUST be. Here’s the good news: they are! Except sometimes they’re not. This is a real curiosity, but figs are pollinated by tiny fig wasps. When a wasp enters the fig to begin the process of pollination, it gets stuck. Unable to free itself, the wasp dies. An enzyme – ficin – from the fruit itself then breaks the exoskeleton down into protein so it is effectively absorbed by the fig. Lovely. But fear not, there are figs that aren’t wasp-pollinated, and commercial ones are often produced without the need for insect pollination.
Parmesan Cheese Truths
How about savory baking? Fancy whipping up a delicious cherry tomato and pesto tart with a Parmesan crust? Vegetarian food at its best IF you leave out the Parmesan cheese or buy one of the vegetarian versions that are now available. Why? It’s because traditional Parmesan cheese is produced using calf rennet, which is located in the abomasum – the fourth stomach chamber – of an unweaned baby cow. We’ll just wait here for a moment while you throw away every bit of Parmesan in the fridge, forever.
Making the Switch to Ionized Alkaline Water!
If you’re transitioning to a vegetarian diet, then support your new healthy choice by drinking 6 – 8 glasses of alkaline water from a water ionizer every day. Along with essential minerals, pH-balanced alkaline water from a Tyent Water Ionizer contains thousands of bubbles of dissolved molecular hydrogen. Find out here what that means for your health!