If you really want to try that recipe from somewhere oversees, but you just can’t find that one ingredient here in South Africa, what to do, what to do? Substitute!

Some ingredients in recipes can’t be substituted, but I’m making it my mission to find rare ingredients in South Africa. When some ingredients just can’t be found anywhere in SA, then we’ll just have to use substitutes.

And that’s really what South African Vegan Recipes is all about: simplifying vegan life.

Here goes:


Make vegan buttermilk – simply add 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar/lemon/lime juice to any 1 cup of vegan milk. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.

In non-vegan recipes, replace cow’s milk with the same amount of vegan milk.

Vegan butter – use avocado, coconut oil or olive oil.

Parmesan cheese – use nutritional yeast.


Chipotle powder – use smoked paprika, but it won’t be as hot.

Liquid smoke – use chipotle powder or smoked paprika, or smokey barbecue sauce.

Egg Replacers

Recipe 1: Chia seed egg

Mix 1 Tbs chia seeds in 3 Tbs water.

Let stand for 5 minutes.

Recipe 2: Flax seed egg

Mix 1 Tbs flax meal (ground seeds) in 3 Tbs water.

Let stand for 5 minutes.

Recipe 3: Flour and baking powder

Mix together until foamy:

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 Tbsp flour

3 Tbsp water

Add to batter as usual.

Recipe 4: Banana egg

Mash ½ a banana and use as if it’s an egg.

Recipe 5: Peanut butter egg

Add 3 Tbs peanut butter, as if it were an egg.

Recipe 6: Chickpea flour egg

Mix 3 Tbs chickpea flour to 3 Tbs water.


Vital Wheat gluten or gluten powder – none available in South Africa, that I know of. Comment if you know!


Help me grow this list for vegan South Africans! If you know of substitutes, please make a comment below.