Before we knew that Reese had EOE, we found out that he had an allergy to eggs. Unlike his EOE reaction, eggs cause a skin reaction (and once his lips swelled up like a poorly done Kylie Jenner challenge). So we have been on a quest to find effective replacements for eggs.
The problem is that eggs have so many different functions in recipes. They can bind, add moisture, improve color, serve as leavening or structure… the challenge is knowing how what the eggs do in your recipe so you can effectively replace them. THAT particular challenge is something I’m still learning how to deal with. I have a tried a few things, but I’m always afraid that I’ll try something and it will turn to trash and I will have wasted all that time (and more importantly, all those ingredients!)
But that’s why I’m here: to explore, to learn, and to share. So without much further ado, here are some things that have proven to be effective egg replacers, all safe for my EOE/allergy kiddo.
Ener-G Egg Replacer
So far, this commercial egg replacer is my favorite.
It’s made primarily of potato starch and tapioca flour. Mixed with some warm water, it makes a very effective replacement for eggs in baked goods. It provided leavening and helps bind ingredients. It does have limitations, though. It’s great in scratch recipes, but if you are using a boxed mix (eg. for brownies), it’s a bit hit or miss. Ener-g owns this, though, and even warns on its package that you need to try to see if it will work for your particular mix. I have made excellent cakes, and lousy brownies. Try it out – it has been a great egg replacer for us. (Check out my recipe for chocolate oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to see it action!)
Flax seed/Chia seed
It may look a bit like frog eggs, but chia seeds and flax seeds both make very effective egg replacers. Stir together 1 tablespoon of seeds (whole for chia, ground for flax) and 3 tablespoons of water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes; it will become a gooey, gel consistency, about like a the thick part of an egg white. This is the equivalent of one egg, and it works great in baked goods, and adds a boost of nutrition, adding extra fiber and omega-3s and all that stuff you are supposed to get. It will not trap air, though, so it is no good for meringues and other foams.
Take a super-ripe banana, cut it in half, and smash it up. Mash it as thoroughly as possible. This is equal to one egg, and gives a good bit of structure as well as binding.
Mashed banana works particularly well for pancakes (in my opinion). It lends a light banana flavor, so don’t use it in something that shouldn’t have that flavor. My favorite way to do it is in banana pancakes with coconut syrup. Makes me think of a Jack Johnson song. Or try it in brownies to give you the chocolate-covered banana flavor. You can also use no-sugar-added applesauce, which is less likely to carry extra flavors. Applesauce adds a lot of moisture, so your final product might need a little extra structure (perhaps by adding more flour). I accidentally used the cinnamon kind in some brownies, and it turned out pretty good, but double check to make sure you don’t mess up a recipe.
This is one I have yet to try, but I’m super excited about it. Aquafaba is pretty new word for an old, forgotten product. Not only should you not throw the baby out with the bathwater, you apparently shouldn’t even throw out the bathwater! It’s essentially the water from cooked legumes, usually chickpeas. Rather than draining a can of chickpeas and dumping the water, save it and use it as an egg replacer! Supposedly this is great for egg-free meringues. It whips up into peaks just like egg whites. I hope to try it out soon. Right now, I’m thinking maybe meringue cookies with Enjoy Life chocolate chips……….. I’ll let you know how it goes. (*edit: I have been told that this has a distinct “bean-y” flavor. When I try it, I’ll let you know what I find out.)
I know there are others (baking soda and vinegar, silken tofu (which I can’t use because of soy restrictions), arrowroot powder…), but I haven’t tried them. What are some things you have used? Do you have any tricks to replace eggs when you’re cooking or baking? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll try them out!