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Glossary of Vegan Foods

Agar - A gelling agent made from sea vegetables that can be used in place of gelatin.

Arrowroot - a dried and powdered tropical plant root used as a thickening agent. Can be substituted for other thickeners such as cornstarch.

Balsamic Vinegar - A slightly sweet Italian vinegar made from grapes.

Brown Rice Syrup - A natural sweetener that can be substituted for honey.

Bulgar - A nutty tasting grain made by steaming, drying, and cracking whole wheat.

Cashew Butter - Creamy paste similar to peanut butter that is made from finely ground, roasted cashews.

Carob - Carob powder has a chocolate like flavor without the caffeine. Great as a chocolate substitute in baking.

Instant Gluten Flour - Also known as vital wheat gluten. Can be mixed with cold liquid and cooked in flavored broth to make meat substitutes.

Liquid Smoke - Gives food a smokey flavor and is a great seasoning for dishes that are traditionally seasoned with meat.

Marmite - A dark, salty paste with a beefy flavor.

Miso - Made from fermented soybeans, rice, barley, and other grains. Different types of miso vary in flavor, aroma, and color. Tamari and shoyu can be used in place of dark miso for flavoring. These sauces are superior to most commercial soy sauces, which are unfermented.

Nutritional Yeast - A cheesy tasting food yeast, rich in B vitamins, protein, and other nutrients. Red Star's Vegetarian Support Formula (T6635+) is fortified with Vitamin B12. Available as flakes or powder, nutritional yeast adds a toasted, nutty-cheesy flavor to all sorts of foods. Some brands contain whey, a cheese derivitive, so be sure to read the label.

Seitan - A meat alternative made of wheat gluten. Seitan, also known as wheat meat, is versatile, succulent, hearty, and chewy. Seitan can be prepared several different ways, each of which has variations limited only by oneís spice cabinet and imagination.

Tahini - A nutty flavored paste made from ground, hulled sesame seeds. Sesame butter, from unhulled seeds, is thicker and more bitter. Tahini made from roasted seeds has a stronger flavor than the variety made from raw seeds. Tahini is calcium-rich, and its nutty taste and creamy consistency are great for sauces, dips, spreads, and creamy dressings.

Tamari - A wheat free soy sauce made from soybeans, salt, and water.

Tempeh - A meat alternative made from fermented whole soybeans sometimes combined with grains or beans. Tempeh is richer in absorbable nutrients and more flavorful than tofu.

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) - Small, shredded chunks of soybean derived protein with a hearty, chewy texture. TVP is high in protein, iron, calcium, fiber, and zinc. It can be used in recipes instead of ground meat.

Tofu - A versatile, high protein food made from soybeans. Also known as bean curd. Tofu is a great source of protein. Soft tofu is a good dairy substitute and can be blended to make creamy dressings, dips, and desserts. Firm and extra firm tofu are often used as meat substitutes. Freezing firm or extra firm tofu will produces a chewy texture. Tofuís neutral taste makes it extremely versatile, allowing it to pick up flavors from herbs, spices, and other ingredients. Tofu can be stir-fried, baked, broiled, grilled, marinated, scrambled, steamed, or crumbled into salads.

Vegan Cheese - A soy or nut based substitute for cheese. Many brands contain casein, or other milk proteins, so read the labels carefully.

Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce - Worcestershire sauce made without anchovies.

Vital Wheat Gluten - Also known as instant gluten flour. Can be mixed with cold liquid and cooked in flavored broth to make meat substitutes.