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13 Effective Substitutes for Eggs

Eggs are
incredibly healthy
and versatile, making them a popular
food for many.

They’re especially common in baking, where nearly every recipe
calls for them.

But for various reasons, some people avoid eggs. Fortunately,
there are plenty of replacements you can use instead.

This article explores the various ingredients that can be used
as egg alternatives.

Whipped Aquafaba

Reasons Why You Might Need to Replace Eggs

There are various reasons why you may need to find a substitute
for eggs in your diet. Allergies and dietary preferences are
two of the most common.

Egg Allergy

Eggs are the second most common food
allergy
in infants and young children (1).

One study indicated that 50% of children will outgrow the
allergy by the time they are three years old, with 66%
outgrowing it by the age of five (2).

Other studies suggest it may take until age 16 to outgrow an
egg allergy (3).

While most children who are allergic to eggs become tolerant
over time, some individuals remain allergic their entire lives.

Vegan Diet

Some individuals follow a vegan
diet
and choose not to eat meat, dairy, eggs or any other
animal products.

Vegans avoid consuming animal products for various reasons,
including health purposes, environmental concerns or ethical
reasons regarding animal rights.

Summary: Some people may need to avoid eggs
due to egg allergies, while others avoid them for personal
health, environmental or ethical reasons.

Why Are Eggs Used in Baking?

Eggs serve several purposes in baking. They contribute to the
structure, color, flavor and consistency of baked goods in the
following ways:

  • Binding: Eggs help combine ingredients and
    hold them together. This gives food its structure and
    prevents it from falling apart.
  • Leavening: Eggs trap pockets of air in
    foods, causing them to expand during heating. This helps
    foods puff up or rise, giving baked goods like soufflés,
    angel food cake and meringues their volume and light, airy
    texture.
  • Moisture: The liquid from eggs is absorbed
    into the other ingredients in a recipe, which helps add
    moisture to the finished product.
  • Flavor and appearance: Eggs help carry the
    flavors of other ingredients and brown when exposed to heat.
    They help improve the taste of baked goods and contribute to
    their golden-brown appearance.

Summary: Eggs serve several purposes in
baking. Without them, baked goods might be dry, flat or
flavorless. Fortunately, there are plenty of egg
alternatives.

1. Applesauce

Apple Sauce in a Ramekin

Applesauce is a purée made from cooked apples.

It’s often sweetened or flavored with other spices like nutmeg
and
cinnamon
.

Using one-fourth cup (about 65 grams) of applesauce can replace
one egg in most recipes.

It’s best to use unsweetened applesauce. If you’re using a
sweetened variety, you should reduce the amount of sugar or
sweetener in the recipe itself.

Summary: Unsweetened applesauce is a great
substitute for eggs in most recipes. You can use one-fourth
cup (about 65 grams) to replace one egg.

2. Mashed Banana

Mashed banana is
another popular replacement for eggs.

The only downside to baking with bananas is that your finished
product may have a mild banana flavor.

Other puréed fruits like pumpkin and
avocado
work too and may not affect the flavor as much.

Whichever fruit you choose to use, you can replace each egg
with one-fourth cup (65 grams) of purée.

Baked goods made with puréed fruits may not brown as deeply,
but they will be very dense and moist.

This substitution works best in cakes, muffins, brownies and
quick breads.

Summary: You can use mashed banana or other
fruits like pumpkin and avocado to replace eggs. Use
one-fourth cup (65 grams) of fruit pureé for each egg you
want to replace.

3. Ground Flaxseeds or Chia Seeds

Cup of Ground Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds
and
chia seeds
are both tiny seeds that are highly nutritious.

They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and other unique
plant compounds (4, 5, 6, 7).

You can grind the seeds yourself at home or buy ready-made seed
meal from the store.

To replace one egg, whisk together 1 tablespoon (7 grams) of
ground chia or flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of water
until fully absorbed and thickened.

Doing so may cause baked goods to become heavy and dense. Also,
it may result in a nuttier flavor, so it works best in products
like pancakes, waffles, muffins, breads and cookies.

Summary: Ground flaxseeds and chia seeds
make great egg substitutes. Mixing 1 tablespoon (7 grams) of
either with 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of water can replace one
egg.

4. Commercial Egg Replacer

There are a variety of commercial egg replacers on the market.
These are typically made from potato starch, tapioca starch and
leavening agents.

Egg replacers are suitable for all baked goods and should not
affect the flavor of the finished product.

Some commercially available brands include Bob’s Red Mill,
Ener-G and Organ.

Each brand comes with its own instructions, but typically you
combine 1.5 teaspoons (10 grams) of powder with 2–3 tablespoons
(30–45 grams) of warm water to replace one egg.

Summary: A variety of commercial egg
replacers are available. Combine 1.5 teaspoons (10 grams) of
powder with 2–3 tablespoons (30–40 grams) of water to replace
each egg.

5. Silken Tofu

Silken Tofu in a Bowl and on a Wooden Spoon

Tofu
is condensed soy milk that has been processed and pressed into
solid blocks.

The texture of tofu varies based on its water content. The more
water that is pressed out, the firmer the tofu gets.

Silken tofu has a high water content and is, therefore, softer
in consistency.

To replace one egg, substitute one-fourth cup (about 60 grams)
of puréed, silken tofu.

Silken tofu is relatively flavorless, but it can make baked
goods dense and heavy, so it’s best used in brownies, cookies,
quick breads and cakes.

Summary: Silken tofu is a great substitute
for eggs, but may lead to a heavier, denser product. To
replace one egg, use one-fourth cup (about 60 grams) of
puréed tofu.

6. Vinegar and Baking Soda

Mixing 1 teaspoon (7 grams) of baking soda with 1 tablespoon
(15 grams) of vinegar can replace one egg in most recipes.

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Apple cider vinegar
or white distilled vinegar are the most
popular choices.

When mixed together, vinegar and baking soda start a chemical
reaction that produces carbon dioxide and water, which makes
baked goods light and airy.

This substitution works best for cakes, cupcakes and quick
breads.

Summary: Mixing 1 teaspoon (7 grams) of
baking soda with 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of vinegar can
replace one egg in most recipes. This combination works
especially well in baked goods that are meant to be light and
airy.

7. Yogurt or Buttermilk

Greek Yogurt in a Blue Bowl

Both yogurt and
buttermilk are good substitutes for eggs.

It’s best to use plain yogurt, as flavored and sweetened
varieties may alter the flavor of your recipe.

You can use one-fourth cup (60 grams) of yogurt or buttermilk
for each egg that needs to be replaced.

This substitution works best for muffins, cakes and cupcakes.

Summary: You can use one-fourth cup (60
grams) of plain yogurt or buttermilk to replace one egg.
These substitutions work especially well in muffins and
cakes.

8. Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot is a South American tuber plant that is
high in starch. The starch is extracted from the roots of the
plant and sold as a powder, starch or flour.

It resembles corn starch and is used in cooking, baking and a
variety of personal and household products.

A mixture of 2 tablespoons (about 18 grams) of arrowroot powder
and 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of water can be used to replace
one egg.

Summary: Arrowroot powder is a great
replacement for eggs. Mix 2 tablespoons (about 18 grams) of
it with 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of water to replace one egg.

9. Aquafaba

Chickpeas in a Strainer

Aquafaba is the liquid left over from cooking
beans or legumes.

It’s the same liquid that is found in canned chickpeas or
beans.

The liquid has a very similar consistency to that of raw egg
whites, making it an excellent substitution for many recipes.

You can use 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of aquafaba to replace one
egg.

Aquafaba works especially well in recipes that call for just
egg whites, such as meringues, marshmallows, macaroons or
nougat.

Summary: Aquafaba is the liquid found in
canned beans. You can use 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of it as a
substitute for one whole egg or one egg white.

10. Nut Butter

Nut butters like peanut,
cashew or almond
butter
can also be used to substitute eggs in most recipes.

To replace one egg, use 3 tablespoons (60 grams) of nut butter.

This may affect the flavor of your finished product, and it’s
best used in brownies, pancakes and cookies.

You should also make sure to use creamy nut butters, rather
than chunky varieties, so that everything mixes properly.

Summary: You can use 3 tablespoons (60
grams) of peanut, cashew or almond butter for each egg you
want to replace. However, it may result in a nuttier flavor.

11. Carbonated Water

Two Bottles of Carbonated Water

Carbonated
water
can add moisture to a recipe, but it also acts as a
great leavening agent.

The carbonation traps air bubbles, which help make the finished
product light and fluffy.

You can replace each egg with one-fourth cup (60 grams) of
carbonated water.

This substitution works great for cakes, cupcakes and quick
breads.

Summary: Carbonated water makes a great egg
replacement in products that are meant to be light and
fluffy. Use one-fourth cup (60 grams) of it to replace each
egg.

12. Agar-Agar or Gelatin

Gelatin is a gelling agent that makes a great substitute for
eggs.

However, it’s an animal protein that is typically derived from
the collagen of pigs and cows. If you avoid animal products,
agar-agar is a vegan alternative obtained from a
type of seaweed or algae.

Both can be found as unflavored powders in most supermarkets
and health food stores.

To replace one egg, dissolve 1 tablespoon (about 9 grams) of
unflavored gelatin in 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of cold water.
Then, mix in 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of boiling water until
frothy.

Alternatively, you can use 1 tablespoon (9 grams) of agar-agar
powder mixed with 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of water to replace
one egg.

Neither of these replacements should affect the flavor of your
finished product, but they may create a slightly stiffer
texture.

Summary: Mixing 1 tablespoon (9 grams) of
gelatin with 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of water can replace
one egg. You can also mix 1 tablespoon (9 grams) of agar-agar
with 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of water.

13. Soy Lecithin

Soy Lecithin Powder in a Bowl

Soy
lecithin is a byproduct of soybean
oil and has binding properties similar to that of eggs.

It’s frequently added to commercially prepared foods because of
its ability to mix and hold ingredients together.

It’s also sold in powder form in most health food stores.

Adding 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of soy lecithin powder to your
recipe can replace one egg.

Summary: 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of soy
lecithin can be used to replace one whole egg or one egg yolk
in most recipes.

What If a Recipe Calls for Egg Whites or Yolks?

The ingredients shared in this article are great substitutes
for whole eggs, but some recipes call for just egg
whites
or egg
yolks
.

Here are the best replacements for each:

  • Egg whites: Aquafaba is the best option. Use
    3 tablespoons (45 grams) for each egg white you want to
    replace.
  • Egg yolks: Soy lecithin is a great
    substitute. You can replace each large egg yolk with 1
    tablespoon (14 grams).

Summary: Aquafaba is a great substitute for
egg whites, whereas the best substitute for egg yolks is soy
lecithin.

The Bottom Line

Eggs contribute to the overall structure, color, flavor and
consistency of baked goods.

Unfortunately, some people cannot eat eggs, or simply choose
not to. Luckily, plenty of foods can replace eggs in baking,
though not all of them act the same way.

Some egg alternatives are better for heavy, dense products,
while others are great for light and fluffy baked goods.

You may need to experiment with various egg alternatives to get
the texture and flavor you desire in your recipes.

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