When I first started writing my cookbook, I got pretty deep into the whole vegan egg substitutes scene.
Oh, yeah, it’s a scene.
So, here’s the thing about eggs: you might think of them as those little protein bombs that you eat for breakfast (and they are, unless you’re vegan). But eggs in baking serve an important purpose which makes them difficult to omit.
First off, eggs bind. They’re wet and a little viscous, and those qualities help to bind dry ingredients like flour and sugar together, and make a smooth and homogeneous mixture. Secondly, eggs (especially egg whites), help to leaven baking. Leave the eggs out, and you’re often faced with heavy, brick-like baking, which is exactly nobody’s favorite.
So, when you are baking vegan, you can’t just leave the eggs out and proceed with the recipe. You really need to replace the eggs in your recipe with something.
Here are some options:
- Banana: ripe, mashed banana has a similar consistency to eggs, it actually works pretty well as a binder.
- Seeds + water: you have a few different options here. Ground flax and chia seeds both work really well; just take 1 tbsp of the seed and mix it in a small bowl with 3 tbsp of water. Mix it well together and then pop it in the fridge for about 15 minutes. It will create this kind of gummy paste that works really well for binding dry ingredients. I also use psyllium husk for this sometimes, when I have a more delicate dish that I want a finer mouthfeel for.
- Aquafaba: duh. I mean I wrote the book on this one. Literally. I use aquafaba in two ways: I’ll add a few tablespoons of it, straight-up to my recipe as an egg replacer. I use it in this way in recipes like cookies or brownies. If I am baking something that requires some ariness, like a cake or waffles, I whip the aquafaba first, then carefully fold it in at the last moment. It basically acts like a meringue.
Here’s a cool infographic I found with some other ideas you can use for egg substitutes.
By the way, my book, Aquafabulous!: 100+ Egg-Free Vegan Recipes Using Aquafaba (Bean Water) will be published later this month! It’s jam-packed with tons of yummy, delicious vegan recipes featuring Aquafaba.