Vegan Egg Replacements

October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! Hope your day is off to a great start :)

While it might not be as scary as zombies and vampires, when first starting out, vegan baking can be a bit daunting. At least it was for me. And some of the flops I had could definitely be classified as scary! Chia scramble anyone?? One thing I struggled with was proper egg replacements. There are many vegan alternatives to eggs and what you’ll want to use instead of eggs will largely depend on what purpose the eggs had in the original recipe. Eggs are used for many reasons including binding, thickening, emulsifying, and adding volume and structure.  Here are some useful egg substitutes that I like to use:

  • Tofu – ¼ cup pureed plain silken tofu (not seasoned or baked) replaces one egg.  Great egg replacer for recipes that call for many eggs or eggs as a main ingredient like frittatas, quiches, scrambles, or custards. Also useful for baking cakes and making frosting.
  • Ground flax seeds – 1 Tbps ground flax seed mixed with 3 Tbps water replaces one egg. Mix flax and water together and let sit for a few minutes until thickened. When eggs are not a main ingredient, this is a good all around replacement. I use this a lot in baking and making pancakes. Just make sure you are also adding something for volume, like baking powder.
  • Bananas – ¼ cup smashed banana + ¼ tsp baking powder replaces one egg. Good in recipes that don’t require a lot of binding power and where the banana would add to the overall flavor, for example, in muffins. Will help keep baked goods moist.
  • Chickpea flour – also called gram flour.   1 tbsp gram flour mixed with 1 tbps water replaces one egg. Good binding and thickening agent. Try this in pastry, breads, and fritters.
  • Chia seeds – 1 tbps chia seeds or chia seed meal mixed with 3 tbps warm water replaces one egg, let sit until goopy like a raw egg. Chia seeds can be used whole or ground into a meal. Use in baking, puddings, or when making raw dishes.
  • Starch (tapioca, corn, potato, arrowroot powder) + baking powder – 2 Tbps starch + 1/8 tsp baking powder whisked together with a bit of water and oil replaces one egg. In recipes that don’t need the moisture, I will skip the water and oil. Good binding properties. Useful in cakes, pancakes, and breads.

There are also commercial egg replacers like Organ or Ener-G, though I don’t have much experience using them. They are also not available in Trondheim, so I stick to the homemade varieties.

Once I figured out which ingredients work best in which recipes, I’ve found that cooking and baking without eggs is quite simple and nothing to be worried about! A few great examples of these ingredients at work:

Tofu stars in this Cherry-Chocolate Mousse Pie

Chia seeds hold this Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake together

Bananas add flavor and moisture to these Banana Walnut Pancakes while baking powder adds volume

Don’t miss my vegan frittata recipe coming soon!!

Happy haunting!


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