Egg is an ingredient that’s so essential to the formation of foods you can end up eating it multiple times a day without ever noticing.
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How many of us have had a cake or a cookie and never stopped to consider the ingredients? Egg finds its way into so many dishes you could be eating much more than you’ve realised.
Unfortunately, for many of us it’s not as simple as being able to eat without realising. If you suffer from an egg allergy then consuming even small amounts can make you uncomfortable. If you’ve cut out eggs as a vegan, then you’ll be aware of the struggle to find simple snacks that you can eat.
Egg free baking is a fun way to bake inclusively. If you’re baking for a crowd there’s no need to leave anyone out, or sacrifice flavor, with a good egg alternative.
There are varying reasons for why you may want to cut back on your egg consumption. If you’ve been thinking about giving it a go but are worried about how and where to start, then finding egg substitutes can seem daunting.
This guide sorts out the best on offer, as well as how to use them. Whether you want to cut down on the amount of eggs you consume, or are just looking for something new to try. Try egg free with these options.
How to decide on an egg substitute:
Different substitutes work better for different things. An egg has many diverse properties. In baking it acts as a binder, a leavening agent, and adds moisture. Simply put, an egg is what makes your cake spongy and well structured.
The most important property of egg will vary from recipe to recipe. Before picking what replacement to use, be sure it’s the best available. Especially when making an egg heavy recipe such as meringue.
If you want to try baking without eggs, then first find recipes designed specifically to be egg free. Vegan baking is a popular market, and with hardly any searching you’re sure to find something to make your mouth water.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can begin substituting eggs in your favorite recipes.
Flaxseed or chia seed
Flaxseeds and chia seeds can be used to make very easy, versatile, egg replacements.
To make a flax egg equivalent to one chicken egg, mix 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal with 2 ½ tablespoons of water.
Leave the mixture to sit for five minutes, and it will thicken up and be ready to bake with. It should take on a consistency similar to that of uncooked egg white. Flaxseed can be ground down to make flaxseed meal.
It’s the same process with chia seed. 1 tablespoon of chia seed, mixed with 2 ½ tablespoons of water. Leave to sit and thicken, and it’s ready to use.
Flax eggs and chia eggs are super versatile and easy to make. Both are rich with Omega-3’s and fiber, which are an essential part of any diet. When used correctly, they add moisture to your bake and act as a binding agent.
Flaxseed meal is preferred, but if you find it hard to source or you suffer from a flax allergy then chia is still a good option. Both ingredients are good for the store cupboard and can be added to other dishes.
Flax and chia eggs make good binding agents for savoury cooking as well - vegan meatballs, burgers, or stuffing can all be adapted to use with flax eggs.
This substitute is best for denser bakes, especially brownies, but are also fantastic in cookies and pancakes.
Unfortunately they don’t have much rise, so avoid using in egg heavy recipes like souffles.
The fancy name for a very unfancy thing, aquafaba is the water found in a can of chickpeas. This former waste product has become valuable over the past few years as it’s uses have been widely discovered.
So next time you open a can of chickpeas, drain the water into a bowl and see what you can do!
One egg is equal to roughly three tablespoons of aquafaba. One egg white is about two tablespoons.
Aquafaba is surprisingly versatile for something that you’ve probably just been pouring down the sink. Unlike many egg substitutes it can be whipped and used as a replacement in meringues. You can even try making aquafaba macarons or souffles. Unwhipped aquafaba can be used as a binding agent in cookies and other bakes.
If you’re a fan of soaking your own chickpeas you can have a go at making your own aquafaba, but the best stuff surprisingly does come out of the can.
The biggest downside is that you have to open a can of chickpeas to get it, and it can be messy to use. If you’re wondering what to do with your leftover chickpeas there are ways to use them as egg substitutes as well. But we’ll get to that later.
Unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana
¼ cup of either unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana can be substituted for eggs in denser baking recipes.
A useful hack to know, as many of us will have bananas lying around the house when we may not have flaxseed meal. Mashed up and stirred in, they go best in brownies, cupcakes, and muffins.
Both applesauce and banana are better used in small amounts. Too much mashed banana can make a bake rubbery, and does tend to make everything taste like banana.
Not that that’s necessarily a downside, it could still overwhelm delicate flavoring. While applesauce has a gentler flavor, more than half a cup weighs a bake down.
Also, be careful with store bought applesauce. Look for the unsweetened varieties, otherwise the sugar content can be off the charts.
If you’ve ever bought silken tofu by mistake you’ll know how frustratingly easily it falls apart in your hands. This is what makes it such a great egg substitute.
To make the equivalent of 1 chicken egg. Add ¼ cup of tofu to a blender and blend, adding small amounts of water until smooth. Now it’s ready to be added to your bakes.
Silken tofu can be heavy, so it’s best used in making quick breads and cookies. Avoid any recipe that calls for multiple eggs.
Also, tofu doesn’t color much, so any bakes will be lighter. Watch out when cooking to make sure it isn’t overdone even if it’s not turned golden brown.
Alternatively, silken tofu can be used as eggs outside of baking. Try adding to stir-frys or scrambling in a pan.
(Tofu can also be used as a soft cheese substitute! If you’re vegan, or going vegan, experiment with tofu to see what it can do.)
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Two ingredients that most home cooks will have anyway, vinegar and baking soda work as a rising agent. But they can be tricky.
1 teaspoon of baking soda added to 1 tablespoon of vinegar makes the equivalent of one egg. The ingredients need to be treated as an egg, so mix them separately from the rest of the recipe and add as one.
Vinegar and baking soda can be temperamental. It gives the rise many of the other substitutes don’t, but it is more prone to failing. If you want to give it a go, have a look for recipes that call for vinegar and baking soda specifically.
When you’ve gained confidence, then try using them as replacements in other ways.
For scrambling or frittatas
So that’s baking, but if you’re a big egg fan it’s harder to cut them out than just adding banana to your cupcakes.
Luckily, there are substitutions that can be used for scrambling eggs and making omelettes as well.
Tofu can be used as a replacement for scrambled eggs, as well as in baking. It doesn’t have to be silken either, a firmer tofu will give your “eggs” more structure. Like egg, tofu doesn’t have a very strong flavor.
This is a benefit, as it allows sauces and marinades to shine. To scramble tofu, start by draining and pressing it.
Slice your tofu up small (the firmer it is, the smaller you should slice). Then fry. It comes out soft and flavorful, just like a regular scrambled egg.
Try adding black salt or nutritional yeast to increase the egg flavor while keeping it vegan.
If you’re avoiding soy but looking for an alternative to scramble eggs, give chickpea a try. Yes, it has a different consistency, but lightly fried chickpeas work as a base for sauces and can be eaten on toast.
Plus, it gives you something to do with those chickpeas you have leftover from trying to save the aquafaba.
Moong dal aka split mung beans
If you don’t mind taking your time, split mung beans can be soaked overnight and blended to create an egg alternative.
Best used for frittatas and scrambled egg. To create an egg flavor, add black salt to the mixture.
The best store bought egg substitutes
With the continuous rising popularity of vegan foods, many supermarkets are now stocking pre-made egg substitutes.
Not only for baking, some of these can be fried and scrambled too.
With black salt and nutritional yeast, the Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg tastes and acts like real egg.
Whether you’re craving an omelette, a frittata, or scrambled egg, simply add water to the mix and fry.
Just add water to Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer and you have the perfect substitute for egg in baking.
Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and paleo friendly. If you want to try egg free baking but down fancy experimenting to find what works, Bob’s Red Mill offers a simple alternative.