Monday, April 26, 2010

Meatless Monday - Egg Alternatives

I’m the baker, I love to bake. My husband is the cook, so I let him cook – it is a good combo. But with all of our talk about attempting to go meatless I realize that baking vegan or without eggs is not my forte. Don’t get me wrong there are 100’s of blog out there with recipes so please excuse my ignorance on this post, but if you are like me and haven’t done this before maybe my research will spark an interest for you. For Meatless Monday this week I set off to learn more about egg substitute and here is what I have learned so far:
  • Fruit - I have tried replacing some recipes like muffins or pancakes with applesauce or bananas and that has works on most of the time- but was a disaster in my last brownie attempt
  • Tofu - I have seen silken tofu used in some recipes such as cake or even a quiche (about ¼ cup blended smooth per egg) – I even saw a frittata recipe out there - Oh and don’t forget the BLENDED SMOOTH part here!
  • Egg replacers - This is where I start to lose touch. I don’t know anything about these so I had to do some research and sure enough – my beloved Bob’s Red Mill right here in OR has an all natural eggg replacer - you basically mix with water and one bag will go a long way. So I’m going to try this next as I think for cookies and brownies this might be my best bet. The most popular though seems to be Ener-G egg replacer which is a site with a TON of recipes as well (oh, can’t wait to try zucchini bread this summer with the zuc’s I just planted last week).
  • Flaxseed Meal – basically as far as I can tell you mix with water just like the egg replacers mentioned above.
  • Soy Yogurt – don’t know why I didn’t think of this one and can’t wait to try it actually, it will probably taste awesome in some banana bread…mmmm

So from my own experience I would say that one egg is easy to replace (fruit or tofu is an easy one with just one egg) but three or more is more difficult and you really need to match the egg consistency better (so egg replacer may be the way to go). Also, this list isn’t exhaustive, I saw several posts about potato starches and baking sodas, etc… so I’m sure there is more to it than just this but I think this will get me started!

FYI some cakes and breads like banana bread also call for milk, that’s easy – just opt for soy or rice milk and with butter you could opt for vegi or canola oil (but reduce the amount a little - it isn't a straight conversion from butter), shortening (think Crisco but this probably isn't the healthiest option), Earth’s Best, or something like apple or pear butter… but then maybe that is a whole other post.


  1. I feel like this post is directed at me! ;)

    Early on in my non-illustrious vegan baking career I decided that I really didn't want to fuss around with substitutes most of the time. I had read a great food science book that went into all the special properties of eggs in particular and I realized that there was no way that I would ever be able to make a meringue or a souffle, for instance. At the same time, I also realized that I would never particularly miss meringue either, so it didn't matter. In the years that I have been vegan, I have made a ton of baked goods and haven't missed using eggs one bit.

    I looked for egg-free recipes for cakes and things and I looked for cookbooks and written by vegans with recipes that seemed tried and true. I can point those to you if you like.

    In the meanwhile, there's a little global shindig going on that you might be interested in - it's called the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale and they will be having an event on April 29 - 4pm – 9pm at 1327 NE Alberta Street. Portland has at least one vegan bakery and one vegan donut shop, too, so you can sample good vegan food. There's even at least one vegan food cart, too.

  2. Thanks for the tips Jeannie. I think I know both places you are talking about and I also enjoy some vegan cupcakes from St. Cupcakes here locally (though they ship now). I don't think my whole family will be vegan any time soon but I enjoy trying to eat less meat and make more impact when we can.