I’m not a vegan myself, not yet. I’m a vegetarian trying to stick to a plant-based diet. And I find it relatively easy to do that until eggs pop up in a recipe. And, believe me, when you try to avoid eggs, especially in bakery, it seems to you it’s everywhere and no cooking is possible without it. Not the case, fortunately. But…if you decide to go vegan, I definitely recommend cooking after vegan recipes instead of trying to replace eggs in “traditional” kitchen.
Why is substituting eggs with a vegan alternative so confusing?
While there are many alternatives to eggs when it comes to nutritional qualities, taste and texture are not so easy to reproduce. So there’s not a single answer to the question: how do I substitute eggs if I want to go vegan. To answer that question, one should know what function an egg plays in a meal or a bakery. It could act as a binding agent, leavening agent, provide moisture or thicken dishes. Along with a wide range of commercial egg replacement products, there are simple homemade, easy to find solutions to replace eggs in most indulgences you could imagine.
Note: Eggs are one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D, along with some types of fish and mushrooms (being the only plant source of vitamin D, they produce Vitamin D2 unlike animals that produce Vitamin D3, considered more effective). Spending some time outside in the sun is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. But if you can’t do that, and decide to give up on fish and eggs, make sure you get your food fortified with Vitamin D to prevent deficiencies.
Easy Homemade Egg Alternatives For Baking
I’m not a culinary master but I love baking cakes, muffins, and cookies for my family. And, believe me, eggs are everywhere. They bind, leaven, and moisture. They provide that rich unique taste and appetite triggering color that makes it hard to mimic. Yet, egg substitutes could do the job..but..if mixing several ingredients at once.
When flax seeds get wet, they form a thick jelly-like coating around the seed. It serves to protect it and keep it wet for germination. Ground flaxseed turns into a thick jelly like mass with the same consistency as an egg. When used in many recipes (baking mostly) ground flaxseed performs the same role as an egg in providing cohesion to the recipe.
Try it in cakes, banana breads, pumpkin bread, pancakes, crepes and more. Flaxseed in place of eggs really opens up your options for vegan cooking and baking.
To replace one large egg, finely grind 1 tablespoon of golden flax seeds in a spice grinder. Add 3 tablespoons of water. Leave it aside for 30 minutes before using in a recipe. By that time the mixture will have thickened slightly and feel like a jelly. Add a pinch of baking powder and apply to the recipe.
Ground Chia Seeds
serves the same function (to thicken and bind) as flaxseeds, applied in the same way. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. When ground and mixed with water, they thicken more than flax seeds, thus, making a great egg substitute for baking.
They add no additional flavor to goods but can change their color.
- Recipe: Finely grind 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in a spice grinder. Add 3 tablespoons of water and stir. Let it rest for 30 minutes before applying in a recipe. The mixture will thicken to a gel-like consistency. Just before incorporating into a recipe, stir in a pinch of baking powder.
To Leaven and Bind Your Delicious Biscuits
It successfully substitutes eggs in recipes that normally contain many eggs. Chickpea flour is made from dried, ground chickpeas. You can make your own by grinding grains with a powerful blender or buy it in a health store.
A good option for biscuits, cookies and the like. It gives a color similar to the egg color and mimics the texture eggs create in baking.
I advise you to avoid it in recipes that require no thermal processing, because, to my opinion, the taste of the flour is a bit astringent.
For binding and adding moisture
I usually use it for muffins and quick breads. Good for any bakery that features moisture and dense texture. One egg can be replaced by:
- 1 banana
- 1/4 cup canned pumpkin or squash
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup puréed prunes
Fruits purees do not help leavening, on the contrary – the texture might be denser and stay flat. For leavening, add about 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to the recipe. Note that fruit egg substitutes add their flavor to the recipe, so it’s important to make sure it combines well with other ingredients.
When Eggs Are the Main Ingredient in a Recipe
An omelette or scrambled eggs for breakfast…mmm…Oh, I forgot you are a vegan. Nevermind, there are great options for you using just a bunch of ingredients often used together for a perfect egg-identical taste and texture. Honestly, I was pretty much skeptical about making scrambled eggs without eggs…but I tried..and it worked.
Here are the ingredients that will take you as closer to your eggless egg dish as possible:
Tofu has a similar texture to that of the eggs, that is why it is usually the main ingredient in substituting eggs in cooking. Including scrambled eggs, boiled eggs in salads or sauces.
Also found under the names garbanzo flour, gram flour and besan, it is perfect for scrambled eggs and vegan omelette recipes. It has a slight bean flavor and produces ‘chewy’, not ‘fluffy’, results. But you can use it instead of tofu for stuffed omelettes if you want tofu-free vegan egg dishes.
Kala namak salt
A highly sulfurous rock salt. It tastes and smells just like eggs.
Mustard powder and nutritional yeast
They give your vegan dish an ‘eggy’ flavor.
Add some turmeric and the tofu will even get a yellowish egg-like color.
You can experiment mixing these ingredients to adjust the best “eggy” taste and texture that pleases your taste buds.
Recipe: Vegan Scrambled Eggs with vegetables
- 300 gr silken tofu (better be firm but I’ve used soft and it works if mixed with more vegetables)
- 3 tbsp almond milk
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3 tbsp chickpea flour (cornstarch or tapioca starch would also be appropriate)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Kala namak salt – to taste
- A pinch of pepper
- 1/2 red pepper chopped
- 1/2 medium size red onion
- 1 scallions or green onion
- 1/2 tomato
I was really overly enthusiastic about making eggless scrambled eggs, you might guess why. And maybe this overly enthusiastic attitude played a joke on my taste buds. After all I’ve read before my first attempt to make vegan scrambled eggs, I’ve expected a duplicate, the same taste, even better. Well, not exactly. You can get the texture, odor, and to some extent the taste of eggs due to all the ingredients. When I first tried it, I didn’t like it as much. Unlike my husband who said this was the best breakfast, I’ve ever made (which I would consider offensive because I make wonderful delicious pancakes among many other things ;)). But maybe that is because I tasted the mixture before cooking it and the astringent taste was still in my mouth. After a few bites, it tasted like a good nutrient-rich meal, that is worth adding to recipe list.
It is quick and easy. Doesn’t take more time than traditional scrambled eggs. In the end, I would eat this again, even if I never give up eating eggs.
For more vegan omlette recipes: