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Vegan Cooking with Beverly Lynn Bennett

Beverly BennettBeverly Lynn Bennett is a vegan chef who recently completed her first electronic vegan cookbook, Eat Your Veggies. She's been working in the restaurant industry since she was 12. Please visit VeganChef.com to get some great vegan recipes and to learn more about her.


Question:

I read that lecithin is used to help make baked goods moist when you choose not to use oils and other fats. However, I cannot find anywhere how much to use. I bought soy lecithin granules but have no idea how much to use in a recipe, say for example, banana bread. Can you help?

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Answer:

Soy lecithin is commonly used in candy making and baking as an emulsifier and preservative. Lecithin in itself helps prevent cholesterol and other fats from clogging up your arteries, assists in liver function, aids in the absorption and utilization of vitamins A, D, E, and K, stimulates brain activity, improves skin tone, and promotes over all well-being.

It is found in non-vegan sources such as egg yolks and other animal substances, and in vegan sources such as non-hydrogenated oils, corn, peanuts, and soy beans. Lecithin from soy is the most commonly used form in processed foods. It can be purchased at most health food stores as granules which can be used as you would wheat germ, or in soups, stews, beverages, or baked goods, using on average 1-2 tablespoons per item. Or in liquid form, use in baked goods and other food items to replace up to 1/3 of the oil called for in a recipe.

I personally have only used the liquid lecithin and have had very good results with it. One tip is to measure the oil first into a measuring cup or spoon, and then measure the lecithin using the same one for ease in clean up, as liquid lecithin can be a bit sticky and hard to remove. May I suggest searching the web for further ideas and recipes that use both of these products. Two great sites for vegan ingredient listings are:

http://animal-ingredients.hypermart.net/index.htm
http://www.vrg.org/index.htm
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