Today we’re talking eggs. Or rather, substitutes for eggs. We often hear from people who are transitioning to a plant-based diet that it’s hard to give up eggs. We hear you, but luckily there are plenty of great vegan substitutes for eggs these days.
1. Chickpea Flour
If what you’re missing is omelettes, you need to become fast friends with chickpea flour. It might sound crazy, but using chickpea flour can make an incredible omelette. The trick is to mix your chickpea flour with the liquid and let it rest for a short period of time to thicken up the mixture. While the mixture is resting, chop and sauté your veggies of choice for the omelette filling. And slice up that avocado. Because an omelette is good, but an omelette with avocado is great.
You can also use chickpea flour for most of your baking needs. Chickpea flour, once mixed with water, acts as a binder and leavener just like eggs, making it the perfect addition to your vegan pantry. And, just like eggs, chickpea flour is packed with protein. Win-win.
To replace one egg, simply mix 4 tablespoons of chickpea flour with 4 tablespoons of water until you have a thick and creamy mixture. Add it to your recipe, as you would an ordinary egg. And if you want an extra thick egg substitute, mix the chickpea flour with almond milk instead of water.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard of aquafaba. Aquafaba exploded onto the culinary scene in 2016, with food writers and Buzzfeed readers alike admiring this new invention.
Still don’t know what aquafaba is? It’s simply the liquid you’ll find in a can of chickpeas.
Aquafaba is perhaps best known for its use in making light, fluffy meringues, but you can use it in other baked goods, as well as pancakes, waffles or homemade mayo. This aquafaba mayo from Serious Eats is incredibly good.
For precise substitutions, here are the ratios for replacing eggs with aquafaba: 1 tablespoon of aquafaba for one yolk, 2 tablespoons for one egg white and 3 tablespoons for one whole egg.
2. Flaxseed Meal
Flaxseeds are seeds of the flax plant, a fiber crop that is used to make linen fabrics. They’re an excellent source of essential fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber. Because ground up flaxseeds are easier to digest than the whole seed, we recommend either purchasing flaxseed meal or buying whole flaxseeds and grinding them up in your coffee grinder.
To make one “flax egg” to replace one egg, simply mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal with 2 ½ tablespoons of water. Stir to combine and let sit for 15 minutes until thickened.
Flax eggs are great in baking, particularly in loaf breads, muffins, pancakes, brownies, baked donuts, and cookies.
To increase your healthy fat intake and promote digestion, we also recommend sprinkling flaxseed meal on everyday meals such as salads, sandwiches, oatmeal, cereal, and toast.
This one might be hard to believe, but you can use bananas as an egg replacer in some baked goods. Because bananas are sweet, you can also use less sugar in the recipe. To replace one egg, use half a mashed banana or approximately ¼ cup of puréed banana.
Like tofu, you’ll want to thoroughly mash your bananas or purée them so you don’t end up with chunks. Also like tofu, bananas won’t add any leavening properties, so you’ll want to add a bit of baking soda to make sure your baked goods rise, approximately ½ teaspoon. Finally, you should know that adding bananas will make your baked goods denser than normal, which can be good for items like loaf breads, brownies, and pancakes, but not so good for cakes.
If a recipe uses eggs simply to add moisture (and not as a leavener, i.e., the recipe calls for baking soda and baking powder in addition to eggs), you can replace the eggs with silken soft tofu. Use ¼ cup of tofu for 1 egg, but be sure to purée the tofu in a food processor or blender so that you don’t end up with chunks. Tofu works great in dense desserts like brownies, custard-like pies or in raw cheesecakes.
You can also use tofu to make “scrambled eggs,” omelettes and quiches like the one below. And just like regular eggs, you’ll get a protein boost, since just half a cup of tofu has 10 grams of protein.