Eggs are unquestionably an amazing source of nutrients that support our brain, nervous system, blood sugar levels and yes, even our hearts. There was once a time when we were terrified of the cholesterol in eggs, but now the science has proven there is nothing to be afraid of. Unless, of course, you have an egg allergy or egg intolerance – in that case, no matter their nutrients, eggs simply aren’t a health-promoting food, so we need to learn to work around them by using egg replacers.
We’ve explored working without eggs in a variety of cooking and baking recipes. Once you get the hang of it, making and using egg replacers is a fun and delicious thing to do!
There are a variety of egg substitutes out there, and each one has its own special flavour, texture and best uses. Here are some of our favourite egg replacers and recipe inspiration to help you use them!
Chia eggs are a super easy alternative that are great for baked goods, including muffins, cookies, breads, cakes, scones and granola bars. They are one of our favourite egg replacements!
Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last 5 years, you’ve probably heard about the fantastic nutritional benefits of chia seeds. They are rich in omega-3s, which are great for our immune system, skin, joints and brains, and they’re high in protein, calcium and fibre. When baking with chia, you’ll lose some of the omega-3 benefits (as these fats are delicate when exposed to heat), but you’ll receive the benefits from the protein, fibre and other minerals.
The basic recipe for chia eggs is:
- 1 tbsp ground chia seeds
- 4 tbsp warm water
Preparation Instructions: Mix the chia seeds thoroughly with the water. Let it sit and gel up for 5 minutes before using.
Substitution Tips: Use 1 chia egg for 1 chicken egg. Generally, chia eggs work best in recipes that call for one or two eggs. Any more than that, and they won’t do the same job. So if you’re trying to work with a Paleo recipe that includes 6 eggs, chia eggs are not your best bet.
Recipe Inspiration: Chocolate, Chocolate Say It Twice Pancakes
Like chia eggs, flax eggs are a perfect egg replacer in baked goods. They’re also an amazing source of fibre, omega-3s and special compounds called lignans that reduce our cancer risk.
The basic recipe for flax eggs is:
- 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 4 tbsp warm water
Preparation Instructions: Mix the flax seeds thoroughly with the water. Let it sit and gel up for 5 minutes before using.
Substitution Tips: Use 1 flax egg for 1 chicken egg. Generally, flax eggs work best in recipes that call for one or two eggs. Any more than that, and they won’t do the same job.
Recipe Inspiration: Vegan Orange Carrot Muffins by Lively Mess
Have you heard of this stuff? Aquafaba is made from the brine of canned beans, particularly chickpeas. When you whip it up with a mixer, it becomes light and fluffy. Aquafaba has taken the vegan world by storm because it has the same consistency of egg whites – it’s used in recipes for meringues, pavlovas, macarons and vegan mayo.
Preparation Instructions: Drain a can of chickpeas and save the brine. Whip with a stand mixer or hand-held mixer.
Substitution Tips: In this feature for Bon Appetit, who interviewed the man behind Aquafaba.com, use 1 Tbsp. for one yolk, 2 Tbsp. for one white and 3 Tbsp. for one whole egg.
Applesauce is a natural source of pectin, which has a binding quality that replicates eggs in baked goods and keeps gluten-free treats moist. It’s also been used as a substitute for oil in recipes, but we recommend keeping the fat in there!
Preparation Instructions: Applesauce is easy to make! Chop up a bunch of apples (leave the skins on) and put them in a pot with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Cook over low heat until they have softened and begun to break down, usually about 20 minutes. Blend or mash with a potato masher. If you are buying applesauce, purchase unsweetened and organic.
Substitution Tips: Use 1/3 cup of applesauce to replace one egg. We like to use a combo of applesauce plus a chia egg or flax egg for extra binding properties.
Recipe Inspiration: Warm Applesauce Muffins with Almond Oat Toppings by Sweetish (*Culinary Nutrition Expert)
While you can certainly blend up soft tofu to replace eggs in baked goods, we prefer using tofu in the kinds of recipes that are supposed to be eggy, like tofu scrambles, omelettes, quiches and French toast. Tofu has a neutral flavour – it will take on whatever you want it to take on!
Preparation Instructions: Buy organic, non-GMO tofu to substitute for eggs. Choose firm or medium-firm tofu because the soft version turns to mush if you want to scramble it. If you want to make your own tofu, though, go for it!
Substitution Tips: For most tofu quiche or tofu scramble recipes use a 350-gram package of tofu to replace the eggs. If you are using tofu for baking, try 1/4 cup of silken or soft tofu for 1 egg.
Recipe Inspiration: Tofu Breakfast Scramble by Earth Powered Family
High in protein and fibre, chickpea flour is another great alternative for vegan quiches and omelettes. Chickpea flour has an intense flavour, so it’s much less neutral than tofu. But it’s still awesome! You can grind your own, though you can get it much finer when it is milled. We always go for the store-bought kind.
Substitution Tips: Depending on the size and how many veggies you pack into it, the amount of flour you’ll use in a chickpea quiche may vary. Start off by whisking 1 cup of water with 1 cup chickpea flour and add more if you need. For omelettes, use 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup flour to 1/4 or 1/3 cup water, respectively (so a 1:1 ratio all ’round).
Recipe Inspiration: Chickpea Flour Veggie Omelette by Vegan Richa