Starting a vegan diet may seem tricky at first, and perhaps the biggest challenge for many people is to find the right substitutes to fit your new diet. Eggs are an integral ingredient for a lot foods, such as: cakes, muffins, and breads and much more. Going vegan means eating only plant-based products and plants, which unfortunately means that you might have to give up on almost all desserts and pastries served at your favorite restaurants or sold at your local bakeries.
The good news is that you can still eat all of your favorite desserts, breads and baked goodies. Even better, you can make it fresh at home with organic and wholesome ingredients. I will be discussing some of the best vegan egg substitutes you can use to prepare your favorite pastries.
The Role of Eggs in Baking
Eggs play a very specific role in creating our favorite baked goods, such as: bread and cookies. They are used specifically for their ability to do the following in producing the final result of the baking process:
· Flavor and color. Baked goods are made of several delicious ingredients that contribute to its magical flavor, such as chocolate and sugar. Eggs are able to absorb and carry these flavors, and then turn brown after being heated in the oven. Eggs are the secret behind the golden brown glow on your baked goodies.
· Moisture. Cakes, cupcakes, and muffins should not be too dry. Eggs ensure there is more moisture after baking.
· Binding. At the start of any baking recipe, one has to bind dry ingredients, such as: flour with liquid ones, like butter and vanilla extract. Eggs enable the seamless combination of all ingredients involved, so that they can come together under the heat and not break apart while baking.
· Leavening. Breads need to leaven in order to rise and result in their final form. Eggs are responsible for trapping pockets of air that allow the combined ingredients to expand under heat. Apart from bread, eggs help in expanding for example, meringues and soufflés.
So what can a vegan diet practitioner use to recreate the same effects and still come up with a delicious cake or fluffy loaf of bread? Moreover, besides substituting eggs, it is also important to replace sugar with healthier alternatives. Butter is another important component of baking, which could also contain animal products. So make sure you look for other replacements in order to bake your favorite pastry, cake, or breads in a vegan-friendly manner.
The Best Egg Substitutes for a Vegan Diet
Eggs play multiple roles in baking, but their function will depend on what you are baking and how the recipe is implemented. Remember that one substitute will not necessarily work for another kind of baked good, as each replacement carries its own distinct properties. Make sure to determine which egg substitute works best for the food you want to make.
1. Chia Seeds & Ground Flaxseeds
Chia seeds and flaxseeds are great egg substitutes for the following baked products:
These substitutes contain omega-3 fatty acids that will bind all other ingredients together. They also contain fiber, as an additional nutritional ingredient to help in your diet. You can measure the seed replacement according to the number of eggs in the original recipe. One egg can be replaced with three tablespoons of flaxseeds or one tablespoon of chia seeds in water. Wait until all the seeds are thick and have fully absorbed the water.
2. Baking Soda and Vinegar
This substitute works best for the following baked products:
· Quick breads
Baking soda and vinegar contain compounds that produce water and carbon dioxide. This chemical reaction results in the baked product appearing airy and light in texture. You can replace one egg, with a teaspoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of baking soda. You can either use white distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
3. Pureed Banana
Puréed or mashed bananas are also a great substitute for eggs. This substitute works best for the following baked goods:
· Quick breads
Substitute one egg, with one-fourth cup of the puréed banana. The only downside to this replacement is that your food may retain some of the banana flavor. You could use more neutral fruits, like avocado and pumpkin instead if you don’t want a banana flavor. But a banana flavor could work for your bread and muffins.
As a vegan, you are probably cooking and consuming a lot of beans and legumes. The process leaves a liquid called aquafaba, which also works as a substitute for eggs in baking. The liquid’s consistency is similar to egg whites, making it a suitable replacement for those who want to bake the following:
· Fluffier brownies
The proteins and starches within the aquafaba, are said to be similar to the ones in egg whites. You can replace one egg with three tablespoons of aquafaba.
5. Carbonated water
If your recipe requires leavening and moisture, carbonated water is the best substitute for eggs. Just like eggs, the carbonation traps the air, so that you can produce the following baked goods in their light and fluffy forms:
· Quick breads
Use one- fourth cup of carbonated water to replace one egg.
6. Nut Butter
Vegans consume almond, peanut, and cashew butter as alternatives to the dairy kind. You can can use nut butters to replace eggs in the following recipes:
Three tablespoons of nut butter can replace one egg. Go for the creamy nut butters as their texture enables all ingredients to combine accordingly.
7. Ener-G Egg Replacer
If you prefer to just purchase a commercial egg substitute, I recommend the Energ-G Egg Replacer. This egg substitute is gluten- and wheat-free. It also contains no preservatives, sugar, or artificial preservatives, a huge plus to the serious, organic vegan eater. Ener-G can also be used to make many baked goods such as:
· Yeast breads
· Quick breads
Unlike banana and other substitutes, this also will not affect the final flavor. The amount depends on the instructions, but you can expect to substitute one egg with 1.5 teaspoons of powder, mixed into 2-3 tablespoons of warm water.
Egg Substitutes To Avoid
It is very important to make sure the egg substitute you use, does not cause any allergies and are completely GMO-free. Moreover, please ensure you check all labels of other commercial egg-substitutes, on whether they contain a small amount of egg whites or other animal-based products.
To avoid the anti-vegan properties in other egg substitutes, stick to replacements that come from plants or plant-based sources, and be sure to check the practices of the product’s respective farm. All the previously listed egg replacements are completely vegan-friendly and are easy to acquire from any store. Substitutes, like aquafaba are sustainable if you cook a lot of legumes, while apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and water are easily available in any supermarket.