Whether you have an intolerance, allergy or are trying to cut down on your consumption of animal products, there are tons of reasons you may be looking for an alternative to cooking with eggs. However, they are a crucial ingredient in maintaining the right consistency, structure and flavour of a recipe. Because of this, there are a few things you should consider when searching for an egg replacement. Mainly, what role the egg plays. Is it:
- A binding agent (responsible for combining the ingredients and holding them together?)
- A moistening agent (that adds moisture to the meal?)
- A leavening agent (helping foods to rise and providing a light, airy texture?
- Used for flavour or appearance (creating a golden-brown colouring and a specific taste?
Remember: you may need to experiment before settling on the right substitute – what works for one recipe won’t always work for another.
Are there any pre-made egg alternatives out there?
There are only a handful of pre-made products on the market that can take the place of eggs and egg whites. These include:
Generally, these products are made from a combination of potato starch, tapioca starch and bicarb soda. They act as a binding agent and deliver an egg-like consistency that can pass as the real deal in quiches, cakes and cookies.
What are the best substitutes for eggs when baking?
10. Carbonated water
Carbonated water doubles as a leaving agent, trapping air bubbles in batter and helping to make it light, fluffy and moist once cooked. As a guide, try adding 60ml of carbonated water for every egg the recipe calls for.
Best for: muffins, scones.
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Yoghurt is a great way to add sweetness and moisture to muffins and sponge-based cakes (60g of plain, natural yoghurt is the equivalent to one egg.) It is also a popular egg wash substitute: lightly brush a thin coat onto pastries and breads before putting them in the oven to give them a crispy, golden crust.
Best for: sponge cakes, waffles, pancakes.
8. Vinegar and bicarb soda
If you’re wanting to make baked goods rise, mix one teaspoon of bicarb soda with one tablespoon of white vinegar. This will give the batter a light, fluffy texture.
Best for: cakes and muffins.
7. Silken tofu
Silken tofu works perfectly in recipes for dense baked goods (i.e. those that remain gooey and don’t need to rise.) It is virtually flavourless and has a silky consistency when blended. Use 1/4 cup of puréed tofu as a substitute for one whole egg.
Best for: vegan scrambles, brownies, slices, cake.
Ripe, soft bananas can take the place of eggs in most baked goods. They have a creamy, rich flavour and high moisture content that helps binds the other ingredients together. Substitute one egg with half a banana that’s been mashed into a puree. NB: bananas have a distinct taste and contain lots of natural sugars, so are best used in conjunction with complementary flavours.
Best for: doughnuts, , quick breads.
5. Chickpea water
While most of us drain the liquid that comes in a can of chickpeas, it’s actually a very versatile ingredient. Chickpea water (or aquafaba) has a similar consistency to raw egg white and when whipped, will turn into a foamy-meringue like substance. Three tablespoons (or approximately 45 grams) of aquafaba is equivalent to one medium size egg.
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4. Chia seeds
Chia seeds, when ground, will thicken to a gel-like consistency that resembles egg white and makes the perfect binding agent for baked goods. To make a chia egg, stir a tablespoon of chia seeds that have been ground in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle into three tablespoons of water. Then, allow the mix to sit for 30 mins before using (this will take the place of one large egg.) Note: this isn’t suitable for recipes that call for more than two eggs as the batter won’t rise as it would with regular eggs.
Best for: baked goods that call for all-purpose or whole wheat flour.
Unsweetened applesauce is an excellent substitute for recipes that require eggs for the moisture-factor only. Swap out one egg for 1/4 cup of applesauce (either store-bought or homemade.)
Best for: pancakes, muffins, cakes.
2. Psyllium husk
A little psyllium husk goes a long way: whisk one teaspoon (of powder, not the whole husk) with three tablespoons of hot water to replace one egg. Psyllium husk is full of fibre and acts as a binding agent when exposed to moisture. Hint: baking time may need to be extended and browning will be reduced
Best for: banana bread, gluten-free baking.
Flax seeds are just as effective as chia seeds as a binding, foaming and emulsifying agent, only far cheaper. Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the flax seeds into a find powder, then whisk with water until it becomes gelatinous. Refrigerate for 15 minutes before using. A basic ratio for one egg is one tablespoon of flax seeds to three tablespoons of water.
Best for: cookies, vegan desserts.
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