For some new vegans, giving up eggs were perhaps the hardest part. At least enjoying scrambled eggs or eggs sunny side up, fried eggs or poached eggs. For me it was cheese.
But for many of us vegans, the hardest part in giving them up is figuring out how we’re gonna bake our favourite vegan cupcakes or vegan cakes or even how about a yummy vegan quiche.
But do not fear for plants are here to help us bake like the best pastry chefs in the world using nothing but vegan ingredients. And today I’ll share with you egg substitutes for vegans. I have 3 up my sleeve that you might like to try.
First of all we need to understand why eggs are used in baking in the first place. The primary purpose of eggs is twofold. The first is to help in the leavening process especially when the eggs are beaten beforehand. This incorporates air into the eggs and thus helps the baked product to expand when baked. The second and usually more important reason eggs are used is to bind the ingredients together.
Neither of these functions is specific to eggs. In the case of leavening, we usually use baking powder and/or baking soda or yeast. These ingredients are better at leavening. In fact without them you can beat your eggs into a fluffy meringue and they won’t rise your bread or cake like the aforementioned ingredients will.
As for the binding, that’s where we can turn to many other plant based ingredients for help. Same with thickening which is also one of the uses of eggs in such things as custards etc.
What’s wrong with using eggs? Well, primarily they’re very unhealthy. Full of cholesterol and saturated fat. 1 large egg which isn’t that large (50g) will give you 211mg of cholesterol and 2gm of saturated fat.
Despite what you might have been misled to believe, eating just one egg a day is not healthy. You’re rotting your arteries.
And besides, eggs are menstrual waste of the hen. Who wants to eat menstrual waste. I mean really!
Okay, here are the 3 best egg substitutes for vegans starting with the easy one.
This works well in practically any recipe you can think off. From cakes, pancakes, muffins, cupcakes, breads etc, egg replacers like Ener-G egg replacer work wonders. Something you might want to think about is adding an extra tablespoon or two of liquid i.e. water or soy milk to the recipe.
An egg is very liquid when raw, so when using a powdered egg substitute like this you should try and compensate for the missing liquid that the egg would have provided. This product works incredibly well and it’s cheap too. I always have a box on hand.
Ground flaxseed works terrifically well for many types of baking recipes. It is ideal for anything really, though many folks will suggest you use it for whole grain breads, pancakes, waffles and things like oatmeal cookies. I’ve used it with success in muffins too, though it’s not really appropriate for cupcakes or cakes if you’re trying to win a cake competition.
But you can use ground flaxseed in cupcakes for a “healthier” version.
Use very finely ground flaxseed, as finely ground as you can get it and then for each egg substitute 1 tablespoon of the ground flaxseed in 3 to 4 tablespoons of hot water. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes as you prepare the other ingredients and whisk it often to help aerate it and get it forming a gel like consistency.
Adding an extra 25% to even 50% of the leavening agent can help create a fluffier product as otherwise you’ll end up with a denser muffin or bread etc.
Silken tofu is a friend to the vegan baker. Use a quarter cup of silken tofu that has been well whipped for each egg you’re replacing.
Silken tofu works very well in rich cakes, dense breads, cookies and brownies. Again, if you’re looking for leavening then I’d encourage you to try adding an additional 25% extra of your leavening agent. This like all the other vegan egg substitutes is a very healthy option.
First Bonus Egg Substitute For Vegans: Pureed fruit
Using a quarter cup of mashed bananas or apple sauce is another great option especially for those baked goods where the additional flavour of apples or bananas will add to the product rather than take away from it.
Think pancakes, waffles, muffins, brownies and cookies.
If using in cakes or breads (vegan banana bread anyone) – then add an extra 25% leavening agent to get a fluffier and higher rising dough.
Along with bananas and apples, try pears, apricots, rehydrated pruned if you like. Experiment.
Second Bonus Vegan Egg Substitute: Baking soda and vinegar
This one works very well without having to add any additional leavening agent to the recipe. The vinegar and baking soda create a chemical reaction of super bubbles thereby helping to raise the roof on your baked goods.
Use 1 teaspoon of baking soda to 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Apple cider and white vinegar work best.
This egg substitute is best for cakes, cupcakes and quick breads. Quick breads are those breads that don’t use yeast and don’t require rising, they’re tossed straight into the oven.
In case you’re wondering, in an average round cake you will only be replacing about 1 egg i.e. using 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon vinegar.
Ener-G egg replacer is great for everything. It doesn’t screw with the flavour of whatever you’re cooking. Just add a smidgeon more liquid.
Generally, whenever you are cooking without eggs your products will often be less fluffy than the original. This is especially true if you are replacing 3 or more eggs like in an Angel Food Cake. Using a bit more leavening agent where indicated above will help.
Nevertheless, at the end of the day you’re creating healthier recipes and you’re gaining extra years to enjoy these decadent cholesterol free desserts!