Eggs are a staple food to omnivores in and of themselves in terms of their nutritional value. They act as the glue in endless dishes, which, if eggs were to be extracted without replacement, would simply fall apart. However, when light is shed upon the often horrific realities of even ‘free-range’ chicken farming, eggs quickly lose their appeal.
One of the most daunting factors about turning vegan, or deciding to take on a more plant-based diet, is the prospect, or the frequent presumption that you will have to give up many of your favorite classic dishes.
By getting creative with alternative binders or ingredients that will match or surpass eggs in terms of nutrition and star-ingredient potential, vegans are not predisposed to crumbly dishes or bland meals and treats.
The easiest way to go about replacing eggs in the foods that you love is to identify the role that they play. Different alternatives are appropriate depending on particular recipes, in accordance with how eggs contribute to the make-up of dishes. Using the examples below as guidelines and templates, having determined whether eggs need to be replaced as star or supporting ingredients, or the glue that gels a cast of ingredients together, you can reclaim your traditional favorites for the vegan world.
Sourcing alternative ingredients to take the place of eggs in dishes should not only be focused on replicating form and texture, but should ideally have added nutritional value.
There is no reason why vegan replacements should not be equally as protein-rich as egg counterparts. This is why tofu, protein and vitamin rich, is an excellent choice to mimic eggs in a bounty of different ways.
Tofu can be crumbled and scrambled. Even Eggs Benedict can be veganized, with tofu in place of the egg, topped with a vegan hollandaise sauce. Genius.
Eggs also are less obvious in other dishes, but may have traditionally been detrimental to form and texture, as a thickening agent, binder, and so on. Read more about how to replace eggs in various supporting roles:
Whilst puddings, custards, and curds would conventionally have been curdled using both egg whites and yolks, vegan alternatives do exist.
Silken tofu can easily be blended and used in pies and mousses that beg smooth and velvety textures. Chia seeds also are perfect in both breakfast and dessert puddings, as a healthy alternate thickening agent, which absorb moisture and expand.
Xantham gum also can be used as a thickener in sauces and other recipes.
The thought of losing breakfast options like pancakes and French toast is perhaps one of the hardest to cope with when considering an egg-less lifestyle, however, this thought does not have any reasonable basis for existence.
Mashed bananas are an excellent replacement to soak, moisten, and thicken bread before frying and creating the perfect French toast.
With the abundance of vegan food blogs, and recipes right here on One Green Planet, it’s a no-brainer that going eggless for baking is achievable today.
Egg replacements in powdered forms, such as the Follow Your Heart VeganEgg and Ener-G can be bought from health food stores. As derivatives of potato starch, they can be used as eggs would in recipes after the addition of water.
However, the call for eggs in recipes can also be substituted with other ingredients that you may have on hand in your kitchen. Bananas, applesauce, and avocados are good replacements in cakes and breads. However, be sure to make your decision based on the moisture needed for each recipe.
Flax seeds and chia seeds can also be used as one would an egg, which, when activated in water, will act as a binder.
Check out OGP’s Beginner’s Guide to Vegan Baking for more tips.
With all of these tips, it won’t be long until you’re no longer missing eggs!
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Image source: Vegan Benny and Flo