If you have an egg allergy, your days of eating omelets for breakfast, egg salad sandwiches for lunch and fritatta for dinner are probably over but your days of eating cookies, cakes and pies, however, don’t have to be.
It’s true eggs are a very important part of many prepared dishes. They provide air and leavening in cakes, supply liquid in cookie dough and cake or muffin batters and add structure to breads and cakes. With all of the responsibility of the egg, you’d think they can’t possibly be replaced. Wrong! Read on to find out ways to eat without eggs.
To replace 1 egg in baking:
This product is a combination of starches (potato and tapioca) and leavening agents (calcium lactate, calcium carbonate, and cream of tartar). It also contains cellulose gum and modified cellulose which I would imagine is to help with binding. With that said, I use this product mostly for the leavening properties.
The instructions on the box are to mix 1-1/2 teaspoons with 2 T of warm water. I just round up and use 2 teaspoons with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Whisk it together until it is fluffy, then add it to your mixture. This is a great all-purpose egg replacer.
To make a flax “egg”, mix 1 tablespoon flax seed meal with 3 tablespoons warm water and let it sit for 10 minutes. When it becomes gelled together, it’s ready to add it to your recipe.
I use flax “eggs” in the majority of my baking recipes. The downside is that it leaves visible brown flecks in light colored foods such as sugar cookies. In bars, brown cookies, and many cakes, it works well and you can’t see it.
Flax seed is a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids – essential fatty acids that are especially known for being beneficial for heart health. Because these fatty acids break down when exposed to oxygen and light, you’ll get the most benefit from buying whole flax seed and grinding it with a small food processor or coffee grinder before use. If you prefer not to mess with this process and would rather buy ground flax, be sure to keep it in the refrigerator or freezer in an opaque bag.
Aquafaba is the brine or juice leftover from cooking legumes/beans. So, when you open up a can of garbanzo beans and drain off that liquid in the can? You’re throwing away an excellent egg substitute.
When I first read about aquafaba, the article discussed making meringue with aquafaba. Meringue! That was a hard one for me to believe because meringue is made of egg whites and has cream of tartar and sugar added. I had to try it myself! Sure enough, if you pour that bean brine into a mixing bowl and mix it for 10 minutes or so, it becomes light and fluffy and can be used in all sorts of recipes.
I’m still experimenting with aquafaba and haven’t incorporated it into many recipes yet but that will probably change in the near future!
Baking Powder, Water and Oil
Mix 1-1/2 tablespoons of oil with 1-1/2 tablespoons of warm water and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Whisk these ingredients until foamy (it won’t foam as much as Ener-G’s egg replacer). If you can’t get to the specialty food store for egg replacer, this is a great option. After all, most people have baking powder, oil and water on hand.
Mix 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin with 1 tablespoon warm water. You’ll find the unflavored gelatin, such as Knox, right next to the other flavored gelatin, like Jello.
Substitutes for foods containing eggs:
When I first wrote this guide, it was hard to find a mayonnaise substitute. Now, there are a couple of standouts that I see at my regular grocery store (no trip to the specialty store needed!)
Hampton Creek Just Mayo – This one does contain pea protein so it’s not safe for those with legume allergies.
Hellman’s Vegan Mayo – This one contains soybean oil so may not be safe for those with a severe soy allergy.
You may not use marshmallow cream on a regular basis but, once in a while, a recipe might call for it. Since marshmallows generally do not contain egg you might assume that marshmallow cream is also “safe”. This is not true! Marshmallow cream is actually marshmallows whipped together with egg whites and some other ingredients. To substitute, I have used marshmallows. In this Dairy Free Fudge recipe, I substituted 1-3/4 cups mini marshmallows for a 7 oz jar of marshmallow cream which works beautifully. This may not be a fix for all recipes calling for marshmallow cream but, for some, it will work!
OK, just one holiday…Easter! If you celebrate Easter, eggs are probably a big part of the tradition. When I was a kid the Easter season didn’t go by without decorating Easter eggs. When my son was old enough to get into that sort of thing, I wished he could take part in the tradition but there was no way I would be letting him even touch an egg! So, we started our own tradition – decorating plastic eggs!
I found a kit at our local craft store that had plastic eggs and those sticky foamy things along with some little jewels and glitter to glue on. When they were all decorated, we filled them with his favorite “safe” treats. We had fun decorating them and it is something that I will probably do every year with the kids just to keep the tradition I grew up with alive (sort of!)