How to Replace Eggs in a Recipe
After you've done the research...and learned how the "incredible egg" isn't so "incredible" after all, you'll want to put this knowledge into practice by learning how to make substitutions for eggs in recipes. Cooking without eggs and using alternative ingredients can seem challenging at first, but don't worry, it can be done! After a few tries, you'll see just how easy it is to cook without them. Within just a few weeks, your taste buds will also change. You'll soon enjoy the new flavors and textures of healthy plant foods and you won't even miss the unhealthy ones!
Many times, just leaving out the egg in recipes will hardly be noticeable, however in some cases, the texture, flavor, or richness may be slightly altered. Children will often not notice the change and the new "healthy" version of grandma's cookies will be the one they grow-up savoring.
In order to successfully replace eggs when cooking, knowing the purpose of the egg ensures the success of the recipe by compensating for that purpose. Eggs provide richness, creaminess, texture, color, flavor, leavening, moisture, and binding to baked products. When learning to cook without eggs, the first question to ask is which of these qualities is most important in the recipe. Below we've listed several replacement options that will suit your needs depending on what function the egg serves in the recipe.
Eggs add texture to recipes. Heartier baked goods like some types of cookies can simply be made without adding eggs; the texture of the finished product will change only slightly. In other foods, it is the texture or look of the boiled, fried, or scrambled egg itself that is important. Tofu seasoned like scrambled eggs can replace the texture and flavor of eggs in dishes like breakfast burritos, hash, "egg" salad sandwiches and oil-less stir-fries. Similarly, adding a variety of chopped ingredients in other recipes provides enough interest in the dish to distract from the "missing eggs." For example, instead of adding eggs to potato salad, any of the following could be added: sweet red or green peppers, white or purple onions, scallions, jicama, chilies, roasted poblano peppers, apples, celery, or lightly cooked carrots, peas, or corn.
**Note- Organic non-GMO tofu may be included as an optional item in my Starch-Smart® System, but its higher fat and calorie content make it a rich food that should be used sparingly especially for those trying to lose weight. There are several types of tofu that are designed for specific purposes. Click here and here to learn more.
Egg yolks can add a noticeable golden hue to some baked goods. Most of the time, the coloring isn't very important, but if the look of the final product is an issue, choose a substitute that adds a yellow tint, like a 1/4 cup of pureed pumpkin or sweet potato. In savory recipes, a pinch of turmeric could be used.
Many recipes that rely on eggs for flavor are egg-based dishes like frittatas or omelets. These recipes require a little ingenuity and patience in learning new techniques. Numerous plant-based chefs have created egg-free alternatives that are both flavorful and satisfying. Tofu is often used to create an egg-tasting flavor. Experimenting with seasonings beyond salt and pepper will also add extra interest and flavor. Onions, green peppers, and turmeric are the basic seasonings along with cumin or curry. The newest trick-of-the-eggless-trade is black salt, or Kala Namak Salt, which is available in the ethnic section of grocery stores, at health food stores, or online. With a strong, sulfurous aroma, adding black salt to eggless salad or a tofu frittata provides the aroma/flavor characteristic of boiled eggs. Some cooks like to flavor their faux eggs with their own "chicken-flavored" broth powder recipe like Mock Chicken Seasoning.
Eggs help make baked goods rise so that they are light and fluffy. In some recipes, losing some of the airiness of the final product will not make that much difference. In other recipes, the lightness is precisely what makes the dish appealing. Adding a pinch more of a leavening agent might help in those recipes, although another substitute may need to be added as well to compensate for the binding or moisture of the missing egg. A commercial plant-based powdered egg substitute provides both the added leavening and the moisture; Ener-G Egg Replacer and Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer are two popular brands that work well in baked goods like cookies and muffins.
**Note - It can be difficult to find a replacement for eggs in dessert recipes that use multiple eggs for lightness, richness, moisture, and structure. In this case, it's best to find another recipe for a different dessert.
Most egg substitutes will naturally have moisture in them but in case they don't, two tablespoons of water, non-dairy milk, or fruit juice can substitute for the moisture of eggs. This may be particularly necessary when omitting the egg altogether as is possible in pancakes or cornbread. Other options include pureed fruits, vegetables, or tomato paste.
Binding or thickening is the most common function of eggs in a recipe. It gives structure and helps to hold the recipe together. There are many options available that replace the binding quality of eggs, although some egg substitutes may affect the texture somewhat. Recently it was discovered that "aquafaba" performs very well as an egg substitute. Aquafaba is the water that is poured off after cooking garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Three tablespoons equals one egg.
Although the below websites have experience with substitutions, keep in mind that it may take a few experiments with different egg replacements before finding one that fits your particular recipe. So don't become discouraged. When you discover something you like, please post a comment in the comment section at the end to help others who are making this plant-based journey with you. The bottom line is that you're not alone on this journey to egg-free cooking! Click on the images below for detailed instructions on how to replace eggs.
Below are some egg-free, plant-based recipes you may enjoy trying:
1. Smoky Little Devils (vegan deviled egg recipe)
6. Southwest Tofu Scramble (Replace oil with water or veggie broth to saute veggies)
13. Shredded Hash Brown Omelet (using potatoes)
14. Spanish Omelet
15. Tofu Scramble
16. Simple Vegan Omelet (Replace oil with water or veggie broth to saute veggies)
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