Whether you’ve recently discovered that you’re allergic to eggs or you’re changing your diet to become a vegan, one of the hardest things to overcome is cooking and baking without using eggs. Until you start trying to remove eggs from your diet, you might not realize just how many things contain eggs! So, to help you get on your way, we’ve put some helpful tips together to help make sure you’re still enjoying good food without having to compromise.
You will find in most supermarkets that there is a range of egg substitutes or free-from products available, including Just Mayo (read more about this in the Business Insider article about Hampton Creek) as well as a number of day-to-day ingredients that you can use instead of eggs.
Because eggs aren’t just used as an ingredient but are also used to add moisture, bind, aerate and leaven in cooking and baking, you’ll need to learn some new tricks when it comes to cooking.
This is a great substitute for eggs as it is quite tasteless and can recreate the consistency of eggs in a number of dishes. It’s perfect for custards and quiches and you can replace the egg that’s normally required by mushing up a ¼ cup of tofu to create a puree. While tofu won’t fluff up like an egg will, it will help you to create a texture in your food that’s perfect when you’re making a scramble for breakfast or you want to substitute an egg in a salad.
Tofu’s also great when you’re baking cakes, breads or brownies as it helps to add to the density. You can also use it in savory cooking to create a creamy consistency, making it ideal for things like carbonara or other pasta sauces that would normally contain eggs.
With their sweetness and with all of their moisture, bananas are another great egg substitute and are perfect in cakes and muffins (you’ll just need to adjust how much sugar you put in the recipe as the bananas will add more than an egg would have). Again, just mush together a ¼ cup of banana per egg required to create the puree.
When using banana, always make sure that this flavor will go with the other flavors in the recipe as bananas do have a distinct taste. You can also use applesauce instead if you think this will work better. Other tried-and-tested ingredients like this include butternut squash and canned pumpkin, which make for a delicious addition in bread, cupcakes, muffins or cakes. A ¼ cup per egg is required.
Savory Dishes and Cooking Sauces
If you’re wanting to make burgers, meatballs or meatloaf, you’ll often use an egg to bind together the meat and other ingredients. However, tomato paste can work just as well, simply use 2 tablespoons of this instead of the eggs to combine your ingredients, and it’ll also enhance the flavors.
If you need to thicken a sauce, try using potato starch instead of eggs, simply adding 2 tablespoons as and when required to create a heavenly sauce for your main meal. Stir-fries can also be brought together using arrowroot powder while instant mashed potato flakes are also another way to thicken sauces or bind together meats.
Important Things to Remember
While there are a number of ways to substitute eggs in food, you’ll need to consider the recipe, the flavors and how many eggs need replacing. If there are a lot of eggs in a recipe (e.g. for a cake) try to find a recipe that uses fewer eggs so you can replicate the dish without having to replace too many eggs. You should also consider why the eggs are being used, (i.e. are they leavening or binding the dish?) so you can choose the right substitute that will recreate this function.
When using tofu in a dish, always make sure you’re using a plain flavored one and always puree it before adding it to the dish; otherwise, you may get chunks in your food! And, if you’re trying to find a lighter texture when using fruit purees (e.g. banana), add ½ teaspoon of baking powder to help to add to the dishes overall lightness.
As you can see, there are a number of innovative ways that you can substitute eggs in your favorite dishes. While some may not work first time, getting used to substituting eggs will soon become second nature and you’ll be wowing your guests with recipes that they never thought were possible without eggs!
Hayden Porter has firsthand experience with food allergies, suffering herself from an egg allergy. She finds that people are aware of nut and dairy allergies, but often don’t think of eggs as being something you can be allergic to – She raises awareness with her writing.