7 VEGAN REPLACEMENTS FOR EGG IN BAKING
Baking without eggs… is that even doable? Perhaps the only times that would happen is if you forgot to add the eggs… or you’re vegan. If the case is the latter, the concept of going eggless may not be as inconceivable as many would believe!
Egg is considered a binder, and as much as the term suggests, a binder is what keeps everything together. It’s what sets a bowl of cake ingredients apart from a bowl of cake batter. Thankfully, the plant kingdom has its own fair share of binding materials too, at a fraction of the cholesterol that eggs are notorious for.
There are vegan egg replacement products that you can buy in selected supermarkets in the Klang Valley. However, this is a processed product and I have never used it before. Why would I need to when there are more natural (and much cheaper) options available, right?
So here is what I have used in the past (except for the last one!). The measurements shown are to replace one egg. So if a recipe needs more than one egg, you may use more than one type of replacement in the same recipe! This way, you can raise the nutritional value of your baked goods.
An additional thing to make note of with plant-based egg replacements is the extra moisture they may impart to a recipe. To compensate for this, I normally add some vinegar to the recipe, which will react with the baking soda and aid with the rising.
Psyllium husk is the seed husk of the psyllium plant; a natural soluble fibre that is consumed for gut health. It is taken as a prebiotic (food for your friendly intestinal bacteria) and keeps you, ahem, ‘regular’. The husk in its dry form looks like a powder. When added to water, it turns to a gel-like substance, becoming the perfect binder. It has a neutral taste too. Highly recommended for baking bread.
Egg substitute ratio: 1 tsp to 1/4 cup (5 tbsp) water, left to stand for 5 minutes
Ground Flaxseed (Linseed)
The seeds of the flax plant have a mild nutty taste and is a fantastic plant-based source of Omega 3 fatty acids. It’s important to note that this nutrient is found inside the seeds. Flaxseeds eaten whole would simply pass through your system without passing on this nutrient. Grinding flaxseeds is therefore important, not just in baking but also for general consumption. You can buy find ground flaxseed (also known as flax meal) from health stores at an exorbitant price. For some strange reason, buying whole flaxseeds can be done for much cheaper, and grinding them at home in a blender, milling device, coffee grinder or food processor is an easy task completed in seconds. Always keep ground flaxseeds in the fridge to maintain freshness.
Egg subsitute ratio: 2 tbsp to 1/4 cup water, left to stand for 10 mintues
Chia ‘eggs’ are one of my faves! There’s public discussion that the baking process might affect the nutritional potency that these little wonder seeds have, including their Omega 3 goodness. But for that, you can always treat yourself to an easy-to-make overnight chia pudding. The gelatinous quality of chia in water is what we seek in baking. In addition, it lends fibre, protein and moreish bite.
Egg subsitute ratio: 2 tsp to 1/4 cup water, left to stand for 10 minutes
The starch and sugars in bananas make them great baking binders, and perfect for making chewy brownies and natural energy bars. Of course, bananas are recommended more for recipes with flavours that complement banana too. This includes vanilla, coconut, cinnamon, chocolate, peanut, coffee and pandan.
Egg subsitute ratio: 1/4 cup mashed banana
When I first heard about this, my mind was blown! I thought that applesauce would make all my baked dishes taste like apple; surprisingly, it doesn’t. If you are purchasing pre-made applesauce, make sure you choose an unsweetened option. Applesauce is also easy to make at home. Peel and core 2-3 apples apples, chop into pieces, cook in a pot with a little bit of water, allow to cool and purée it in a blender. Extra applesauce can be kept in the freezer for up to 1-2 months.
Egg replacement ratio: 1/4 cup applesauce
Tofu is a cheap and easy option that will not only help to hold your baked goods together but also fortify them with protein. Mash up silken tofu with a fork (or, if you like being a kid like I do, with your hands). I mash up firm tofu to use in my vegan quiche, and as a bonus it lends the fluffy texture of egg that a traditional quiche is known for.
Egg replacement ratio: 1/4 cup mashed silken tofu
If you haven’t heard of Aquafaba, this might be the best thing you’ll read all day. Aquafaba is the water you find in a can of chickpeas. This goopy liquid can be whipped into peaks, just like egg whites, and made into nougat, mayonnaise, meringues and macaroons. No joke. You can also make your own Aquafaba from boiling dried chickpeas by yourself at home. I personally haven’t coincided my baking days with my chickpea-boiling days, so I have yet to personally experiment with this replacement. But I’m excited to pass this information on to see what you can get up to in the meantime. Google up this miracle culinary discovery to find out more.
Egg replacement ratio: 3 tablespoons of aquafaba