Today is another post in response to a recent article we wrote, this time exploring eggs and the egg industry titled, do vegans eat eggs? – no and here is why. We have been amazed how many people contacted us and said that they would like to give up eggs but just don’t know how. So, todays post is a very quick look at what vegan options there are to help you replace eggs.
Eggs are often one of the final stumbling blocks when becoming vegan. I know, I was vegetarian for some time before going vegan and eggs were everywhere, often without me knowing. From cakes, biscuits and omelettes to mayonnaise and more. However, once you decide to leave eggs behind you will find, just like me, that eggs are actually pretty easy to replace in almost everything.
The great news is that in the 10 years since I became vegan I have seen brilliant progress and now it is much easier to find egg free products on the shelf. However, todays post is not about buying egg free mayo or vegan cakes, we want to look at vegan egg alternatives that you can use when cooking or baking. So let’s get started and see if we can find the best vegan egg substitute.
Let’s start with baking
So why do we need eggs in baking anyway? Well while eggs aren’t there to add flavour they do have a role to play. They are used to help bind, thicken and help raise baking mixtures so what vegan options do we have.
I must admit I was surprised when I was first recommended apple sauce as an egg substitute in baked goods, but now it’s my go to option. Use approx. ¼ cup of unsweetened apple sauce to replace one egg. As well as reducing calories, saturated fat and cholesterol this vegan egg replacer adds moisture and flavour to cookies, cakes, muffins, and breads. Apple sauce is available at most supermarkets but it’s also super easy to make at home using fresh apples. One of my favourite recipes using apple sauce is this super tasty chocolate pumpkin loaf
What is that I hear you ask, at least that what I said when I first heard about it. Well aquafaba is the name of the leftover water in which legumes such as chickpeas have been cooked. I have been told that it means bean water but I have never checked. What I do know is that it can be used in place of egg whites in baking.
To use aquafaba as an egg replacement in vegan recipes substitute approx 1 tbsp of aquafaba for 1 egg yolk, 2 tbsp of aquafaba for 1 egg white and 3 tbsp of aquafaba for a whole egg. The good news of course is that aquafaba is super cheap as it is basically the liquid found in canned beans or chickpeas. However, as some canned legumes have additional salt we would recommend making your own aquafaba by cooking dried beans and straining the liquid.
Flax and Chia seeds
Both flax and chia seeds can be used as vegan egg substitutes when baking and they are full of nutrients like omega 3 and anti-oxidants. So how do we get our egg like substance? Well we mix 1 tbsp of finely ground flax or chia seed powder with 3 tbsp of water. We recommended buying the seeds and grinding them yourself, a small coffee grinder does the job perfectly. Once mixed whisk thoroughly and allow to rest for around 5 minutes or so and then your vegan eggy mix is ready to use.
As we have said eggs can play various roles in baking. Often, they are only there to add moisture. If this is the case you can substitute ¼ cup silken tofu for 1 egg. The best way to know if silken tofu will work in place of the egg is to check the original recipe. Typically, if you have a dense recipe like for brownies and the recipe requires baking soda or baking powder, then silken tofu should be fine. I must be honest and say it’s not an ingredient we tend to use in baking but it’s another option for the list. Don’t forget to puree the tofu or you will end up chunks in your brownie!
Egg substitute powders
As we said at the start of the post there are now so many great vegan products available from most supermarkets and this is also the case for egg substitutes. They are versatile, usually contain potato starch and a raising agent and are a good egg replacement particularly when volume is important. They are tasteless so won’t add unwanted flavour and can be used as a direct replacement in most cooking where eggs are required. The brand we tried was by Orgran and is their “no egg, egg replacer”. Ivonne made a chocolate cake and the result, well let’s just say it didn’t last long!
Baking Soda and vinegar
The final option in our baking section is baking soda and vinegar. You have probably seen that mixing baking soda and vinegar causes the mix to bubble. Well, this mix is a great way to add an aerated, “fluffy” mixture without relying on eggs. Mix 1 tsp of baking soda with 1 tsp of white vinegar to replace 1 egg. Although we have not tried it this is supposed to be a really good option for batter mixes
And now the savoury
Ok so even if you are a keen baker hopefully you can see there is more than one option available to help you replace eggs in baking. So, what about the savoury options, what can we do when we fancy an omelette, or scrambled egg on toast? Let’s have a look and see.
Tofu makes a brilliant high protein vegan egg substitute. We have already mentioned that silken tofu adds a creamy texture when used as an egg substitute in baking. Firm tofu on the other hand is a great vegan option for savoury dishes such as quiches, lasagne and scrambled egg. So how do we make our scrambled egg, simple. There is a secret ingredient that we add to give tofu an eggy flavour and it is kala namak (black Himalayan salt). First break the tofu in to pieces and put in to a bowl. Add a dash of tamari sauce, a little bit of turmeric powder and some kala namak. The quantities will depend on how you like your flavours. Mix all together put in a pan and create scramble just like you would with eggs.
Chickpea flour is also a great vegan egg alternative particularly when making omelettes and quiches. As a guide the best mix is around 3 tbsp of chickpea flour to 3 tbsp of water for each egg that is required. Mix until it combines to create a thick and creamy paste. Our tip is to use sparkling water and you can see our simple Spanish vegan omelette recipe where we use chickpea flour and sparkling water.
And the best vegan egg substitute is…
Hopefully you think we have given you some eggcellent, (sorry couldn’t resist) vegan alternatives to eggs for baking and cooking. For us there isn’t really a best vegan egg substitute because it depends on your needs and taste. We do tend to use apple sauce a lot for baking and tofu for our scramble. We would love to know if you try them out or have your own secret egg replacements. If you do please share them with us and the rest of the community in the comments below.