When I first learned about my children’s food allergies, I freaked out! Literally. How can I possibly bake something without wheat, egg, dairy, soy and even nuts? As most gluten free people out there know, eggs are the best alternative for gluten in baked goods. For vegans, soy and nut purees are the way to go. What happens then, if all the essentials of baking must be avoided?
After more than a year of research, trial and error and endless meltdowns, I’m finally sharing my favorite baking substitutes. For this post, I’ll be focusing on egg alternatives. Just to be clear, those mentioned here are intended for to be used on recipes wherein eggs act as binder. Examples are cakes, muffins, easy breads, donuts and even meat loaves. If you are trying to make meringue or soufflé, I suggest not to use these unless you got a proven recipe.
Without further intro, here are my favorite egg substitutes:
1. Flax Meal Goo
This is so far my most favorite egg substitute. I can replace up to four eggs with this goo and produce excellent results. The taste is neutral which makes it good for both savory and sweet dishes. I even use this as a binder for meatballs and meat loaves. Flax is also an excellent source of fiber, plant based omega 3 essential fatty acids and lignans that have antioxidant properties. A big plus for us trying to be healthy. As a rule of thumb, 1 Tbs. of flax meal + 3 Tbs. lukewarm water = 1 egg
2. Chia Goo
Instead of using flax meal, chia seeds are combined with lukewarm water to make a Chia goo. This egg substitute works quite well as a binder too. The end product however, has some crunch from the seeds. My kids are not a big fan because they feel that they have nuts in their baked goods. If you don’t mind the extra texture, go ahead use it and enjoy the extra benefits of chia in your diet. It will be 1 Tbs. of chia seeds + 3 Tbs. lukewarm water = 1 egg.
3. Tapioca Gel
This baking binder or thickener is made by combining 1 Tablespoon tapioca starch and 1 cup cold water. The mixture is then cooked (heated) until it becomes translucent and slightly thick. Once in room temperature, you can used about 2 teaspoons of gel to replace 1 egg. I like using this egg substitute when I am baking a light colored cake or vanilla cupcakes. Since there are no visible brown flecks or seeds, the end product is as pretty as its regular egg filled version. It is also the most affordable.
4. Egg Replacer
There are different brands available in supermarkets and online. Most are made with tapioca and potato starches combined with leavening ingredients. Though I have some successful products using this, I am not a big fan. Aside from being a bit pricey, it doesn’t provide extra health benefits. Also, it can be a little temperamental. Some recipes tend to be gummy when this is used. You might notice, I didn’t add fruit purees or applesauce as an egg substitute. Though there are articles written about using it, I never liked the outcome of directly using the purees in place of eggs. Let’s just say that it can’t it can’t actually replace the eggs in baked recipes. Though it might add some moisture to the end product, it does little on texture and stability. However, I like combining the above mentioned egg substitute with some purees for extra flavor and sweetness.
How about you? What’s your favorite egg substitute? Love to hear it.