Aileen's Favorite Vegan Ingredients: Part 2

Some time ago, I wrote a list of some of my favorite ingredients to use in my vegan baking.  I wanted to share a few more with you today.  I want to share the product names and the reasons why I choose them over others.  I'm not getting compensated by any of these brands or products; I truly believe in them.

First, I want to talk about Himalayan Pink Sea Salt.  I use this stuff for EVERYTHING.

himalayan pink salt.jpg

I think people are freaked out by the color.  We're so used to traditional white table salt that's been bleached and had all of its minerals taken out.  Pink salt keeps its minerals, which gives it that fun pink hue.  I've read several places that swapping your salt for Pink Himalayan can have really great health benefits; it can reduce migraines and balance your pH levels.  Usually, I purchase the very fine Pink Himalayan Salt.  You can buy the larger chunks, but I don't like having giant chunks of salt in my baking.

Next, I want to talk about Melt Organic Spread.  It's a lot like those canola oil/butter spreads you see in the grocery store.  It's perfect for spreading on biscuits or scones.  

I like Melt because it's non-GMO, organic, kosher, gluten-free, and soy-free - unlike other vegan "butters" like Earth Balance.  I try to avoid soy as often as possible; although it is disputed, some studies have linked soy to many types of cancer.  And, by the way, soy (and corn for that matter) is used in pretty much all processed foods as a filler.  So put down those cheese puffs.  

Also, Melt's oils are sustainably sourced. Melt writes, "The organic palm fruit oil we use in all MELT products is sourced from Columbia (South America) and certified Fair Trade/ Ecosocial by the RSPO and Rainforest Alliance (www.rspo.orgwww.rainforest-alliance.org).The palm fruit oil we source is not linked to the destruction of old growth rain forests, the release of greenhouse gases, the displacement of native people, or the extinction of orangutans or Sumatran tiger (which only live in Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia)." 

What's not to like about Melt?  I get mine at Wegman's, my favorite store.

Ground flax seed is such a versatile product.  You can make a "flax egg" (for baking) by mixing 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed and 3 tablespoons of water and allowing it to sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken.  Boom - instant egg.

I usually make sure my flax seed is pre-ground, although you can grind it in a spice grinder or coffee grinder.  It's also good if it's organic and non-GMO as well.  A large bag costs around $10 and it will last you a long time - at least 6 months.  It's a natural laxative, so if you need to go, sprinkle some in your non-dairy yogurt or smoothie, or sprinkle it on your salad.

Lastly, I want you to consider changing - or at least examining - your baking powder.  Many "store brand" baking powders have added aluminum. ALUMINUM.  IN YOUR FOOD.  You don't want to put that in your body.  Bob's Red Mill, and Clabber Girl/Rumford all make aluminum-free baking powders.  I usually buy Rumford, just by default.  Go to your cupboard and check it out yours.  Rumford has a big label that says "aluminum free" on the front.

There are so many little things that you can do to improve your health.  These swaps or additions can help you feel better about what you are putting in your body.

Cheers!
-Aileen