Long before I was a vegan, I was not a fan of the egg. Well, that didn’t come out quite right. I think eggs are great for making baby chickens, but at its core it’s kinda a gross thing to think about eating—it feels like something only a raccoon would do. In the same way that my brother had to bait my hook with that red wiggler when we were kids, my mom had to crack the eggs into my cake mixes. Just gave me the shivers.
Unfortunately, eggs seem to work their way into everything, due mostly to their versatility in ability to bind, leaven, and add moisture to all sorts of tasty things. So how do we keep our tasty things intact without the help of the egg? Fortunately we have so many options for substitutions it can make it difficult to know when to use what. Here are some basic guidelines to get you started:
Vinegar and Baking Soda Mix:
Best for recipes that require some lift: breads, cakes, muffins. Usually about one teaspoon baking powder to one tablespoon vinegar. Often you’ll find it’s best to add the vinegar to the non-dairy milk first and set it aside for a few minutes so it has a chance to curdle.
Good for binding of heartier baked goods; cookies, pancakes, waffles. Just one tablespoon on flaxseed meal combined with three tablespoons water is equivalent to one egg. Whisk until it gets a little gooey. Adds a nice nutty flavor in addition to being packed with omega-3 fatty acids.
Almond Quinoa Muffins
Also good for binding in the same circumstances as flaxseed. Just be sure to consider whatever you’re adding it to will taste like a banana. But you probably could have guessed that. About half a banana or 1/4 cup mashed banana equals one egg.
Banana Wheat Germ Muffins
Also good for binding or adding moisture and replacing oils when you’re after a low calorie version. It’s best in cakes, cookies and muffins. Use 1/4 cup applesauce per egg. In addition, you might also try adding an extra 1/4 teaspoon baking powder to keep your recipe from becoming too dense.
Good for making pie fillings, pudding, mousses, quiche or as a binding agent for things like vegan meatloaf. Just blend 1/4 cup silken tofu in a food processor or blender until smooth for each egg you would like to replace.
Great for scrambles, when the egg substitute is center stage.
Commercial Egg Replacer, like Ener-G or Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer:
These are great for a variety of purposes: leavening, binding, or replacing egg whites in a recipe, and they keep forever in your pantry. For more specific instructions, just consult the directions on the box. I usually wait until a recipe specifically suggests using one of these products, as I have had disastrous results using them willy-nilly. For instance, they do not work well for pancake mixes. My dog Tess was the happy benefactor of that failed attempt.
Light Lemon Bundt Cake
There are a few other less frequently used substitutions you may come across, including: agar powder, arrowroot, cornstarch, nut butters, and nondairy yogurts.