Vegan substitutes for eggs

When you initially decide to start eating a vegan diet, giving up fried eggs or boiled eggs for breakfast doesn’t seem so daunting… That is, until you realise that your favourite cakes, quiches and other baked good are now completely off the menu.

Shock, horror! Don’t worry, in addition to being able to buy vegan versions of your favourite treats, there are a lot of ways to replace eggs in your favourite dishes. The texture/consistency may be slightly different from what you’re used to, but the taste will still be on point!

The first question to ask yourself when trying to veganise an egg recipe is ‘what is the role of the egg?’ Is it there:

  • to add moisture?
  • for leavening?
  • as a binding agent?

If the overall liquid content (such as fruit juice, water, or milk) in the recipe is low, but ingredients such as baking soda and/or baking powder (leavening agents) are included, the egg is there for moisturising purposes.

If the recipe doesn’t contain baking soda and/or baking powder, but contains acidic ingredients like lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or buttermilk, the egg is there for leavening (rising) purposes.

If the recipe contains a lot of liquid (fruit juice, water or milk), in addition to baking soda and/or baking powder, the egg is mainly used for binding purposes.

Vegan Egg Substitutes

Applesauce: This is particularly great for sweet, baked foods such as cookies, cakes and muffins. Consider using 80g apple sauce alongside ¼ teaspoon baking powder to help with leavening.

Flax eggs: Replace one egg by simmering 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds in a saucepan with 3 tablespoons of water until it thickens. Allow the mixture to cool before adding it into your recipe.

Nut/seed butters: Use 65g-85g (¼ to ⅓ cup) of almond or cashew butter  or the same amount of sunflower butter in cakes or bread recipes.

Flour: Corn flour (corn starch) is typically used as a thickener for savoury dishes. Chickpea and whole-wheat flour can also be used in the same way. Combine 1 tablespoon of flour with two tablespoons of water to thicken sauces

Plain yoghurt: Try using 60 g (¼ cup) of plain yoghurt in pancake, muffin or cookie recipes. You can also use it to thicken savoury dishes like soups or sauces.

Tofu: Use 60g (¼ cup) mashed or blended silken tofu for dishes like cakes, cookies or muffins. Add ¼ teaspoon extra baking powder to the recipe to help with leavening.For dishes like quiche, mix 60g (¼ cup) firm tofu with 1-2 teaspoons of corn starch or chickpea flour.

Mashed fruit: Mashed ripe bananas are a great substitute for eggs in sweet dishes. You only need around half a small banana (⅓ cup) to replace one egg. Depending on the flavour you’d like in your dish, other mashed fruit like peaches or apricots could work well. Tomato puree is a great option in savoury dishes.

Egg replacers: You can find powdered versions of this in health foods stores, regular supermarkets and on Amazon. Follow Your Heart (affiliate link) and Orgran (affiliate link) are popular brands. You would typically mix one teaspoon of egg replacer with water and whisk until it becomes frothy. This replaces one egg in a recipe where the egg is used for binding purposes.

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