The Veggie Table: Easy Egg Substitutes

By: Janel Ovrut Funk

With eggs being a major symbol for this month’s holidays, Easter and Passover, it’s a perfect opportunity to share tips on easy egg substitutes. Fortunately, if you’ve omitted eggs from your repertoire because of a food allergy, health or ethical reasons, there are plenty of versatile egg-substitutes that mimic almost any egg you’d use in cooking. Read on for my favorite egg substitutes.

Tofu: It's true: plain tofu does not have much flavor, but neither do plain eggs! What they also have in common is their soft, gelatinous texture that takes on the flavor of the spices and sauces added to it. If you’re craving something like scrambled eggs in the morning, try scrambled tofu. In a large pan, sauté a block of extra firm tofu that’s been drained and fork mashed along with oil and veggies, such as spinach and mushrooms. Add a spice blend that contains nutritional yeast, paprika, cumin and turmeric to give the tofu scramble a subtle flavor with a scrambled egg color. Some of my favorite tofu scramble recipes include:

Ener-G Egg Replacer: This product is used mainly in baking from scratch, so you won’t be able to use it to recreate hardboiled or poached eggs, for example. You can use this powder, mixed with water, to create substitutes for a whole egg, egg yolk, or egg white. Find Ener-G Egg Replacer in health food and specialty stores.

Mashed Banana, Applesauce and Canned Pumpkin: In certain baked goods recipes you can use any of these ingredients to replace eggs. They’ll add moisture to your cakes, muffins, or breads, but won’t help them turn out light and fluffy like eggs would.  Be sure to modify your recipe with baking powder or baking soda to help it rise, if necessary. Also, a can of pumpkin added to a boxed cake mix is all you need to replace the eggs and oil that the mix calls for. Not only is this method easy, but it also significantly reduces the saturated fat and cholesterol in the cake recipe, while boosting the fiber and vitamin A from canned pumpkin. Your cake may have a slightly orange hue, but it won’t taste like pumpkin.

Chia and Flax Seeds: While these seeds are being touted for their high fiber and omega-3 content, they also make great egg substitutes. When mixed with water, they form a gel that has the texture of raw egg whites. Whisk one tablespoon of ground flax or chia seeds with three tablespoons of warm water to replace one egg, and set aside for 10 or more minutes. To help with the gelling, you can set aside the mixture in the refrigerator to cool for about an hour. The chia seeds don’t need to be ground, and the mixture can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks. Chia or flax seed egg substitutes work especially well when making egg-free cookies, though you may have to adjust their baking time.

TELL US: What are some egg substitute tricks you’ve tried?

Janel Ovrut, MS RD LDN, loves experimenting with vegetarian and vegan cooking. Read her food blog, Eat Well with Janel , and follow her on Twitter @DietitianJanel .  Catch up on her previous posts here .

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