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.
Aquafaba literally means bean water — the water that’s drained off neutral-colored beans like chickpeas, white beans and cannellini beans.
Vegans have had limited choices when it came to baked goods. The existing substitutes did not have the chemical properties of eggs which made them integral for binding and leavening. But now there is the perfect substitute, and it’s aquafaba. And it’s blown open the world of vegan baking.
This collection of recipes, however, is not only for vegans. It is great for anyone who has an allergy to dairy and eggs. It’s proof that you can go egg-free and still enjoy delicious recipes. You will never miss eggs again. The general rule of thumb is 3 tbsp of aquafaba equals one egg. The protein in aquafaba, when mixed with some sugar and a pinch of cream of tartar, perfectly simulates egg whites. Neutral in taste, you don’t have to worry about your dishes tasting beany.
All your breakfast and brunch favorites are here–from omelettes, French Toast and pancakes to scones and crepes. You’ll enjoy satisfying and sumptuous Vegan Shepherds Pie, Vegan Mac and Cheese or for lunch or dinner. And you can once again enjoy Alfredo Sauce over your pasta. And the meringue desserts are not to be missed — Fruit Pavlova and Sweet Potato Pie to Lemon Meringue Pie. Chocolate Chip Cookies, S’mores Bars, Snickerdoodles and Chocolate Ice Cream are perfect for those children’s birthday parties where allergies are now a prevailing concern.
Now you no longer have to live without the culinary wonders that eggs and egg whites produce. All you need to do is open up a can of chickpeas, drain the water and you’re ready to go.