Recipe FAQ

Can I substitute the flax egg with a chicken egg?
Yes! In almost all cases, I recommend 1 small chicken egg per 1 flax egg.

What can I substitute for almond meal/flour. I can’t tolerate almonds.
Depending on the recipe, you can generally substitute a 1/2 & 1/2 mixture of gluten-free oat flour and my DIY gluten free flour blend. For instance, if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup almond flour + 1 cup GF flour blend, you can instead sub 1 1/4 cup GF flour blend + 1/4 cup GF oat flour. Alternatively, you could try something like walnut or hazelnut meal. Or if you have a nut allergy, sunflower seed meal may be a good option.

Almond meal vs. almond flour. What’s the difference?
Almond meal is finely ground raw almonds, and almond flour is finely ground blanched and peeled almonds, making it finer in texture and lighter in color. The two can typically be used interchangeably in quick breads and cookies and is a great gluten-free alternative to traditional flours. But for recipes where a more cake-like consistency is desired, almond flour is definitely the way to go because of its lighter texture, color, and neutral flavor. You can see an example of where we used almond meal in these 5-Ingredient Vegan Gluten Free Cookies, and an example of where we used almond flour in this 1-Bowl Vegan Gluten Free Vanilla Cake.

 I don’t want to use oil; what do you suggest to use to substitute oil in your recipes?
It depends on the recipe. If oil is an additive to say a sauce for texture or body, it can usually be subbed with water or vegetable broth, such as in pesto. When oil is called for sautéeing, it is more difficult to substitute. But I know some people have success skipping oil and just adding a little water to the pan instead. This will not provide the same crispy texture and may even result in some of your ingredients sticking to the pan, so experiment and see what works for you. In baked goods, oil can sometimes be substituted with applesauce or another fruit purée. However, know that every recipe is different and completely removing oil from a recipe will impact the end result. For roasting (vegetables and chickpeas, etc.), you can typically just skip the oil, but know that the ingredients will not come out as crispy and golden brown as they would with oil.

What can I substitute for rolled oats? I can’t tolerate them.
I’ve heard many readers have success substituting rolled oats for quinoa flakes in baking recipes. But this will obviously depend on each recipe (for instance, this wouldn’t work in the case of overnight oats since it’s predominantly oats). In baking, rolled oats can generally be substituted with a ½ + ½ blend of flour (gluten free or not), and almond meal. See the next few questions for more recommendations.

What can I substitute for oat flour?
I generally recommend substituting oat flour for spelt flour. But if you can’t have gluten, I would recommend substituting a ½ + ½ blend of almond meal and gluten free flour. See the next question for my go-to gluten free blends.

Can I use my own gluten free flour blend, or another brand not mentioned?
If I list a certain blend of gluten free flours, be sure to follow my recommendations for best results. If you want to try your own blend or a store-bought blend, feel free but I can’t guarantee the results. My go-to GF blend can be found here. If you’re looking for store-bought, Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Blend is my go-to and works in a variety of recipes. I’ve also heard great things about Pamela’s GF baking mix specifically for baking.

I can’t have gluten. What can I substitute for (all purpose, whole wheat, or spelt) flour?
See the above question for my recommendations.

I’m not gluten free but the recipe calls for gluten-free flour. What can I substitute?
In almost all cases you can substitute the gluten-free flour blend for unbleached all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour.

What can I substitute for cashews?
Substituting cashews is a tricky one, so if at all possible, use cashews. This is because cashews make such a great creamy, neutral base for vegan desserts and sauces. However, you can try and substitute macadamia nuts in desserts for a similar result, or blanched almonds in savory recipes, like sauces.

What can I substitute for almonds/almond milk?
If you can’t have almonds and need a substitute for almond meal, try another nut meal, such as walnut meal, or a seed meal, such as finely ground sunflower seeds. If you’re trying to sub almond milk, see the next question.

Can I substitute soy or coconut milk for almond milk?
Soy and coconut will impart a soy or coconut flavor into recipes, which is why I prefer almond milk. However, soy and coconut beverage can be used in place of almond milk in most baking recipes. I wouldn’t recommend either in savory recipes, like pasta sauces. In most recipes, I’d recommend substituting almond milk for rice milk, because they’re equally neutral in flavor and have similar consistencies.

In recipes requiring peanut butter, is almond butter an equal substitute or would you recommend a different nut butter?
For the most part, yes. Most nut (and seed) butters work interchangeably. Just know that depending on the brand/type of nut or seed, the texture can be thicker or thinner, so you will need to adjust the other ingredients accordingly. And, as always, swapping out ingredients will almost always affect the flavor so keep that in mind!

I can’t have sugar. What can I substitute for cane sugar/coconut sugar/maple syrup?
Each recipe will behave differently when it comes to sugar changes. For instance, I wouldn’t recommend substituting a dry sugar, like coconut sugar, for maple syrup because it will throw off the ratio of wet:dry ingredients in the recipe. With that being said, you can generally substitute cane sugar for coconut sugar. And you can generally sub up to half of the sugar in any recipe with maple syrup or agave nectar. Another option would be stevia if you’re looking to avoid sugar altogether, but use far less as it’s quite potent. Sugar substitutions will obviously vary in each recipe, so use your discretion.

Where can I find cocoa butter?
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Where can I find chili garlic sauce?
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What equipment do you have(/recommend) in your kitchen?
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This recipe didn’t work out. What went wrong?
I’m not sure what went wrong, but I’m genuinely sorry you had trouble with the recipe! If you modified any ingredients or didn’t follow the instructions properly, that is likely why. Unfortunately, I can’t help everyone troubleshoot issues for every recipe, so please leave a comment on the blog post and either I or another reader can help you out!

Can I freeze this recipe?
Generally I note this either in the instructions or the recipe notes. But if I don’t, then it probably doesn’t freeze well. However, feel free to experiment freezing a recipe to save for later. And if you have success (or trouble), leave a comment sharing your experience to help others.

Can I modify this recipe to fit into a ____ size baking dish (i.e. can I modify these cupcakes into a 9×13-inch cake pan)?
Check the comments first to see if anyone has had success using a different size pan. But yes, you can swap baking dish sizes in most cases. The main thing is to pay attention to proportion of ingredients to the size of your baking dish (for instance, if a recipe makes 12 cupcakes, you may need to multiply the ingredients x1.5 in order to fill a 9×13-inch pan). And always be sure to monitor the baking time as it will vary from the instructions depending on what size you’re using (for instance, generally cupcakes take less time to bake than an 8-inch cake).

What can I substitute for dates?
If you can’t find or can’t have dates, you can try substituting dried figs or raisins. Two other similar swaps are dried cherries or apricots. However, know that substituting these fruits in place of dates will likely affect the flavor and texture of the final product.

What can I substitute for garlic?
If you can’t tolerate or have an allergy to garlic, you can substitute shallot (though it will obviously impact the overall flavor of your dish).

I don’t have fresh herbs. Can I substitute dried herbs?
If I have noted to add fresh herbs, that is best. But they can usually be substituted with dried herbs if in small quantities. For instance, in a pesto, you wouldn’t want to sub dried herbs for fresh. A general ratio for fresh herbs : dried herbs = 2 : 1. So if a recipe calls for 2 Tbsp fresh oregano, sub 1 Tbsp dried oregano.

Can I use coconut oil as a substitute for vegan butter?
Cakes and quick breads are generally fine when using coconut oil in place of vegan butter but I find that cookies can be a little more finicky with the texture of coconut oil. Vegan butter keeps them fluffy and helps them bake through more fully and things like cornbread gain more flavor from vegan butter.

What camera do you use?
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Can I make this in an instant pot / crock pot?
If the recipe does not include instructions for an instant pot or crock pot, we haven’t tested it and can’t advise on how to do so. However, most soups and stews are very forgiving and should work well in both appliances (follow cooking instructions in manual). If you do try a recipe with either an instant post or crock pot, be sure to let us (and others) know how it went by leaving a comment with your experience. Thanks!

I can’t find my question here. Now what?
If you didn’t find an answer to your question here, please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the blog post and I or another reader will try to help you out. However, please understand that due to the volume of comments we receive it’s difficult to answer every question. I sincerely appreciate every comment we receive – both the praise and critiques  – as I find them extremely helpful and insightful in crafting and improving future recipes. Thanks for your support and understanding.

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