Eggs are a preferred food for many people because they are so nutritious and adaptable. They are particularly prevalent in baking, as almost all recipes call for them. But some people shun eggs for various reasons. Fortunately, you have lots of options for substitutes. People prefer to avoid eggs for their health, culture, religion, dietary needs, etc. Even while adding eggs changes the final product, this does not imply that we cannot make do without them.
Eggs help to give baked items their general shape, color, flavor, and consistency. Unfortunately, some people either prefer not to consume eggs or are unable to. Fortunately, several items can take the place of eggs in baking, though not all of them behave the same way. While some egg substitutes work best for dense, hefty items, others are fantastic for light, fluffy baked foods.
What is an Egg?
Females of a wide range of species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, a few mammals, and fish, lay eggs; many of these have been consumed by humans for countless generations. A protective eggshell, albumen (egg white), and vitellus (egg yolk), all enclosed in a variety of thin membranes, make up the components of bird and reptile eggs. Eggs from chickens are the most widely consumed, and eggs from other poultry, such as duck and quail, are also destroyed. Both roe and caviar are terms for fish eggs.
Both egg yolks and entire eggs are frequently used in cooking and provide large amounts of protein and choline. The United States Department of Agriculture previously classified eggs as Meats within the Food Guide Pyramid due to their high protein content. The cholesterol level, salmonella contamination, and allergy to egg proteins are some potential health risks associated with eggs despite their nutritional value.
Reasons why you Might Need to Replace Eggs
You may need to find a substitute for eggs in your diet, and allergies and dietary preferences are two of the most common.
The second most typical food allergy in the US is to eggs. According to one study, 66 percent of children overcome their allergy by the time they are five years old, and 50 percent do so by the time they are three. According to research, an egg allergy may not be outgrown until 16. While most kids allergic to eggs eventually become tolerant, some people stay allergic their entire lives, and others might not become allergy aware until they are well into age.
Some people prefer not to eat meat, dairy, eggs, or other animal products and adopt a vegan diet. Vegans abstain from consuming animal products for various reasons, such as ethical considerations involving animal rights, environmental concerns, or health-related issues.
Out of Eggs
And for some of us, it may occasionally just mean that we forgot to buy eggs when we went shopping this week (a mistake I am known to make on rare occasions, mind you).
However, since eggs are a necessary component of baking, there are many alternatives you can try in the kitchen if you decide to give up eggs for whatever reason.
Why are Eggs Used in Baking?
No wonder they call it the incredible egg – they’re versatile and have many essential uses!
- Binding: The protein in eggs bonds with the starch when combined with other components, especially starches, which helps to create the overall structure of baked goods.
- Emulsify: You’ve probably heard the adage “oil and water don’t mix”? They can, nevertheless, with a bit of fat’s assistance. Egg yolk fat is helpful for emulsifying or mixing substances like oil and water that wouldn’t typically combine.
- Leavening: Although yeast receives much credit for making baked goods rise, eggs are also crucial. When heated, eggs hold onto the air, creating tiny air pockets that help meals grow when baked. Although it doesn’t increase to the same degree as yeast in bread, it does aid in the production of dishes like cookies and souffles that are intended to have a gentle rise or even a fluffy and airy quality.
- Moisture: While the yolk benefits are frequently associated with its fat content, the egg’s other component, the white, adds moisture. Due to their high water content, egg whites are commonly included when calculating the amount of water in a recipe. As a result, you might need to add more water if the egg white is removed or an egg is substituted.
- Taste: The use of eggs in baking helps to enrich the flavor, and this is usually a result of the egg yolk absorbing the other flavors.
- Look: While one of the purposes, as mentioned above, is most likely an egg’s intended use, there may be an additional advantage in how a baked dish turns out. Many batters and doughs, such as a yellow cake, benefit from the yellow color that eggs lend. Additionally, they permit the development of a browning effect. When proteins are heated, this is referred to as a Maillard reaction.
What can you Substitute for an Egg?
In baking, eggs have various uses. Without them, baked items could be flavorless, flat, or dry. But there are many egg substitutes available:
Apple purée is created by cooking apples and is frequently seasoned or sweetened with additional spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. In most recipes, 1/4 cup (or 65 grams) of applesauce can be used in place of the egg. Use unsweetened applesauce if possible. Reduce the sugar or sweetener quantity in the recipe using a sweetened type.
Another preferred alternative to eggs is mashed bananas. The only drawback to using bananas in baking is the possibility of a slight banana flavor in the final result. Other puréed fruits, such as pumpkin and avocado, also work and might not have as much of an impact on the taste. You can substitute 1/4 cup (65 grams) of fruit purée for each egg, regardless of the fruit you decide to use. Puréed fruit-based baked dishes won’t likely brown as profoundly, but they will be incredibly moist and dense. The excellent recipes for this substitution include quick bread, muffins, cakes, and brownies.
Ground Flaxseed or Chia Seed
The little seeds, flaxseed and chia seeds, are very nourishing and rich in fiber, special plant chemicals, and omega-3 fatty acids. The seeds can be ground at home, or a ready-made meal can be purchased from a store. To replace one egg, combine three tablespoons (45 grams) of water with one tablespoon (7 grams) of ground chia or flaxseed and whisk until the mixture is thickened and completely absorbed. This could result in dense, hefty baked items. It functions best in foods like pancakes, waffles, muffins, bread, and cookies because it may produce a nuttier flavor.
Commercial Egg Replacer
There are numerous commercial egg substitutes available on the market. Usually, leavening agents, potato starch, and tapioca starch are used to make them.
All baked goods can use egg substitutes, and the final product’s flavor shouldn’t be affected. Bob’s Red Mill, Ener-G, and Organ are a few commercially available brands, and they are available online and at numerous supermarkets. While each brand’s directions differ, 1.5 teaspoons (10 grams) of powder and 2-3 tablespoons (30–45 grams) of warm water are typically combined to replace one egg.
Soy milk has been prepared and pressed into solid blocks to make tofu. The texture changes depending on how much water is in the tofu, and the tofu becomes firmer as more water is pushed out of it. Due to its high water content, silken tofu has a softer texture. You can use 1/4 cup (or roughly 60 grams) of silken tofu that has been puréed in place of 1 egg. Although silken tofu has no flavor, it may make baked items thick and dense, making brownies, cookies, quick bread, and cakes the most significant applications.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
In most recipes, one egg can be substituted with one teaspoon (7 grams) baking soda and one tablespoon (15 grams) vinegar. Baking soda and vinegar combine to begin a chemical process that releases carbon dioxide and water, making baked foods fluffy and light. Cakes, cupcakes, and short pieces of bread are the best candidates for this alternative.
Yogurt or Buttermilk
Yogurt and buttermilk are both suitable alternatives to eggs. The flavor of your recipe may change if you use flavored or sweetened yogurt; therefore, plain yogurt is recommended. For each egg that needs to be substituted, use 1/4 cup (60 grams) of yogurt or buttermilk instead. The ideal baked goods for this substitution are muffins, cakes, and cupcakes.
A South American tuber plant called arrowroot contains a lot of carbohydrates. The plant’s roots extract the starch, which is then processed and marketed as flour, starch, or powder. It is used in baking, cooking, and personal and home goods. It resembles maize starch, and it is available online and in a lot of health food stores. To substitute one egg, combine two tablespoons (or about 18 grams) of arrowroot powder with three tablespoons (or about 45 grams) of water.
Agar-Agar or Gelatin
Gelatin is a fantastic egg alternative since it works as a gelling agent. But it’s an animal protein commonly made from cow and pig collagen. Agar-agar, a vegan substitute if you prefer to forgo animal products, is made from a particular kind of seaweed or algae.
Both are available online or at most supermarkets and health food stores as unflavored powders. To substitute one egg, combine one tablespoon (15 grams) of cold water with one tablespoon (9 grams) of unflavored gelatin. Then, blend until two teaspoons (30 grams) of hot water foamy.
Alternatively, you can substitute one egg with one tablespoon (15 grams) of water and one tablespoon (9 grams) of agar-agar powder. The flavor of your completed product shouldn’t be affected by either of these substitutions, although the texture might become stiffer.
What if a Recipe Calls for Egg Whites or Yolks?
The ingredients shared in this article are great substitutes for whole eggs, but some recipes call for just egg whites or egg yolks.
Here are the best replacements for each:
- Egg whites: Aquafaba is the best option. Use three tablespoons (45 grams) for each egg white you want to replace.
- Egg yolks: Soy lecithin is a great substitute. You can replace each large egg yolk with one tablespoon (14 grams).
Eggs have long been seen as an essential need in the kitchen, and they can be pretty helpful in baking and cooking because they aid with texture, moisture, and strength, as well as thickening, binding, and volumizing. But nowadays, whether for health, allergies, or the environment, one may discover plant-based and vegan alternatives in the kitchen, including finding wholesome food egg substitutes.
Contrary to popular belief, experimenting with new ingredients for plant-based meals is more straightforward (and enjoyable!) We have access to a wide variety of suitable egg substitutes, and while they change recipes somewhat (sometimes you won’t even notice! ), most of the time, it’s for the better.