The Best Egg Substitutes
Eggs are delicious, nutritious, and the glue that holds together a lot of baked goods. They’re also one of the main differences between living as a vegetarian and as a vegan.
For those who don’t know, vegans eat a completely plant-based diet, which means they don’t eat any foods that came from an animal in any way. This means no cheeses, no (animal-produced) milks, and no eggs. For some, it extends to no honey.
So if you’re thinking of making the swap to an entirely plant-based diet, or you have an allergy to eggs, or you’re just curious about some alternatives to the foods you regularly eat, it’s worth looking into the health benefits of some egg subsitutes.
Let’s dive in!
Chicken eggs are kinda like little perfect bundles of nutrients inside their own carrying cases. They’re rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and the yolk is a source of cholesterol (remember, there’s good cholesterol as well as bad cholesterol), fat soluble vitamins, and essential fatty acids.
The BBC’s “Good Food” summed up the health benefits of eggs:
“More than half the protein of an egg is found in the egg white along with vitamin B2 and lower amounts of fat and cholesterol than the yolk. The whites are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper. Egg yolks contain more calories and fat. They are the source of cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and lecithin.”
Cholesterol in eggs
There’s long been concern about the cholesterol content in eggs. Cholesterol is a natural substance produced by the body (mainly the liver) and used to build cells. But if you have too much cholesterol, it can start to build up in the inner walls of the arteries in the heart and brain. According to the American Heart Association, high cholesterol is one of the major controllable factors in heart disease and heart attack.
Egg yolks contain cholesterol. But the cholesterol in those yolks is most concerning when the eggs were cooked at really high temperatures, which causes the cholesterol to oxidize and produce compounds known as oxysterols. Oxysterols have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. You’ll generally find oxysterols in fried foods, including commercially fried chicken, fish, and fries.
Cooking eggs by hard-boiling, soft-boiling, or poaching reduces the risk of that oxidation, which makes them much healthier for you than frying or scrambling. By cooking them this way, you get all the good stuff and much less of the bad.
But what if you want to avoid eggs altogether?
One of the places you’ll most miss eggs in an egg-free diet is in baked goods. Eggs act as a sort of glue to hold everything together. They provide fat, moisture, and contribute to the structure of the end product. They’re a big part of why your brownies are moist and chewy, and why your muffins feel substantial.
None of the egg substitute options is going to be as versatile as chicken eggs. When you’re doing swaps, it’s important to understand what the egg would be doing in the recipe, so you know what to swap it for. You also want to steer clear of anything too processed, because one never knows what horrors hide in those ingredient lists.
Here’s some favorites:
Applesauce will act as a binder, keeping cakes and muffins moist. It’s not so great when you need things to be light and fluffy. Make sure to use unsweetened, unflavored applesauce, or else you’ll end up affecting the recipe more than you intended.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
We’ve all done the science experiment where you combine baking soda and vinegar and make a volcano of foam. This is because of the chemical reaction that happens when you combine the two, which produces carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide will keep your baked goods light and airy, so this is the best substitute for use in cupcakes and quick breads.
Banana adds a ton of moisture to baked goods, and also adds a pleasant fruity sweetness. In fact, they add so much sweetness that, depending on how ripe they are (they get sweeter as they get riper) you may want to reduce the other sugars in the recipe a bit. The only downside here is that your finished product may have a mild banana flavor. The upside is you get added potassium and fiber.
Chia seed eggs or Flaxseed eggs
These are our favorite way to sneakily add a superfood to your baked goods. Both chia seeds and flaxseeds are highly nutritious, with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Chia seeds are high in antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. They were eaten by Aztec warriors to give them high energy and endurance. Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and were used by runners and warriors for a powerful fuel.
Flaxseeds are extremely high in omega-3s, as well as lignans, which are protective against breast, prostate, colon, and skin cancers. The soluble fiber in flaxseeds also help maintain steady blood sugar levels. The fiber also helps you feel fuller longer, which can help with weight loss.
If you use chia or flax in baked goods, they might become a little heavier and denser than if you used chicken eggs. They can also add a lovely nutty flavor, so they’re great in pancakes, waffles, muffins, breads, and cookies.
Other ways to get the benefits of flax
If you want to absorb the omega-3s in flaxseeds even more effectively, it may be time to look into flaxseed oil. A 2014 study done by the Journal of Food Science and Technology determined that: “The bioavailability of ALA is dependent on the type of flax ingested (ALA has greater bioavailability in oil than in milled seed, and has greater bioavailability in oil and milled seed than in whole seed).”
The oil is also higher in omega-3 fatty acids. Just 3 teaspoons of fresh, high-quality, unrefined flax oil contain 7.6 g of omega–3s. To get that much omega–3 from ground seeds, you would need to eat 10 teaspoons.
We generally recommend that you buy your flax seeds whole and then grind them yourself immediately before use. That way, the fatty acid chains won’t have a chance to oxidize and go rancid.
Flax oil must be sourced carefully. Seed oils, if they are not pressed with extreme care, can go rancid very quickly. The more omegas in the oil, the more easily the oil can go rancid. As the seed oil with the most omega–3s, this is a bigger concern with flax oil than anywhere else.
Rancid oil will do your body a significant amount more harm than good.
The best Flaxseed oil
Our Flax Oil is Perfectly Pressed to ensure freshness in every spoonful. It is bottled in Miron glass, to protect it from damage from the sun and oxygen. We only use organic seeds, so you know you’re getting quality nutrition.
Click here to learn more about Perfectly Pressed Flax Oil and where you can get it.
This content is locked
Share This Post to Unlock the Content!