When it comes to baking, the absence of eggs is no obstacle at all. In fact, there are so many tasty vegan egg substitutes available, you will end up wondering why you have not thought of using them before. Some are great for cakes, and others are better used for bread and also for salty recipes. That’s the beauty of these egg replacements. Each one of them has its own unique use. Most of them are quite versatile and can be added to sweet and also savory baking.
Are Eggs Good or Bad For You?
(If you’d like to see the list of egg replacements and the recipe now, please scroll down) 🙂
You may wonder why anyone would want to replace eggs in recipes. There could be several reasons. In my case, for vegans, it is because of the cruelty of the egg industry, but that is not the only reason for switching to a plant-based replacement.
A few years ago, I made a vegan cake and brought it to work for a pot luck. One of my colleagues who is not vegan told me that she was happy she could finally eat a cake with no eggs, because she hated the taste of eggs. She asked me how I had baked it, and I gave her a list of egg replacements she could use with several recipes. She has been using that ever since 😉
Some people avoid eggs for health reasons, because they have high cholesterol and saturated fat. I know, I’ve seen the articles where the use of eggs is promoted for “good health”, but I would not be so sure about that. Scientific research has linked eggs to coronary issues.
I once had a roommate who worked out at the gym, and he ate six eggs every day. When I asked him about that he told me that he did that to build muscle and because eggs contain a lot of nutrition and vitamins. Yes, I can’t argue with that. Nevertheless, … let’s look at a few issues here.
Issues With Eggs
- Like I mentioned before, eggs are cholesterol bombs. We all know how bad high cholesterol can be.
- Your gut bacteria are not happy to deal with eggs
- Gut bacteria are important for our health. Egg yolks contain lethicin and your gut bacteria convert that compound into a chemical TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide). According to Harvard Health Publishing by Harvard Medical School, recent research has linked high levels of TMAO to a higher risk for cardiovascular disease.
- Whatever the egg industry labels on the boxes, “organic”, “free-range”, or “cage free”, they are sadly just misleading labels … Chickens are treated horribly and they are still rammed in battery cages.
- “Cage free” means that they are now stuck in a giant, overpopulated cage where they can hardly move, and resort to pecking at and hurting each other, due to the stress they endure. Many of them have broken legs, and live in bad hygiene, with sores and injuries.
- Many chickens end up trampling other chickens to death in those places. They never see sun light.
- Male chicks are considered “useless”, so the egg industry workers have the job to destroy them immediately after hatching, by throwing them into a grinder … alive …
- Mother hens become “useless” after two years of providing eggs and are then slaughtered. Most of them are carried of to their deaths with broken legs and overall bad health conditions.
(There are some small family farms where chickens run around freely and can live out their lives, but those eggs do not reach supermarket shelves [unless it is a small, local store perhaps]. Big supermarket chains sell factory farmed eggs, whether they are labeled “organic” or “cage free”, it unfortunately makes no difference …
First, let me list the egg substitutes here. Then I will show you which ones are best for cakes, pies, and desserts, and finally I will explain which are best for savory baking (or cooking).
- Apple sauce
- Mashed banana
- Ground flax seeds or chia seeds and water
- Silken tofu
- Commercial egg-replacer
- Mashed potatoes
- Vinegar and baking soda
- Potato starch and water
- Chickpea brine (aguafaba)
So, you see, there are many options available. In the next paragraph I will explain which ones are ideal for sweet baking.
Egg Replacements for Sweetness
Apple sauce is an obvious one for sweet desserts, right? It is great for making a cake soft and moist. 1 egg = 50 ml of applesauce
Mashed banana gives your cake a soft consistency and adds a nice, fruity flavor to it. 1 egg = 1 ripe mashed banana
Potato starch and water are good binding agents for bread or muffins. 1 egg = 1tablespoon potato starch, 2 tablespoons water
Waffles, pancakes, granola bars, cookies, and muffins can use chia or flax seeds and water as binding agents too. 1 egg = 1 tablespoon chia or flax seeds and 3 tablespoons water
Egg Replacements for Savory Meals
Firm tofu is best for making scrambled eggs. Break up tofu block, season to taste and fry in pan. (A delicious recipe is coming up)
Chia or flax seeds are also great for pizza and bread dough.
Mashed potatoes add moisture and they are perfect for vegan meatloaf.
Vinegar and baking soda are good for any savory baking recipe. I have also used this egg replacement for cupcakes. 1 egg = 1 tea spoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon of white or apple cider vinegar
Chickpea brine or aguafaba can be used for butter, pizza crust, vegan mayonnaise, bread, pierogis, and much more. Aguafaba is also useful for sweet baking. You can use it for chocolate mousse or lemon meringue pie for example. 1 egg = 3 tablespoons of chickpea brine (aguafaba)
Scrambled Tofu Recipe – Great for Breakfast
Here comes the promised recipe. This is one of my favorites. In my opinion, it tastes even better than the original egg version. The great thing about this recipe is that you can add anything you like, however you prefer your scrambled tofu.
- 1 block of tofu
- olive oil
- 5 chopped green onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- a small red Bell pepper
- a handful of baby spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 ground black pepper
- 1/2 turmeric
- Add any other spices or herbs you like to add. You could use chili peppers perhaps if you like to make it spicier.
- First cut the tofu into thick slices and leave on a plate lined with a cloth or paper towels to absorb excess moisture
- Add some oil to the frying pan and when it is hot enough, add onion, garlic, salt, and sauté for 4 or 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- With a fork, crumble the tofu into smaller pieces (not too small though) and stir it in. Add cumin. Cook for five minutes.
- Add spinach, turmeric, and pepper. Cook for two minutes, and stir well.
- Remove from heat, and voilá, your scrambled tofu is ready. You could serve it with some sliced cherry tomatoes and avocado, and perhaps some salsa, if you like.
So far, my favorite substitutes have been apple sauce, bananas, and flax seed “eggs”. The first two add delicious flavor, and the latter has a gooey consistency which is similar to an egg and it does the job just as well. The tofu scramble is a delicious meal for which no eggs are needed. The first time I tried it, I loved the taste, and I have been making it frequently since then.
If you have ever used any of these vegan egg substitutes, or if you have any doubts or questions, please let me know in the comments.