Whether it is the case that you need to find a replacement for eggs or due to dietary requirements, eggs can be a tough ingredient to adequately substitute. In some cases, the egg in the original recipe will act as a binding agent. In others, it will be a requirement for baking. However, in some cases it will be simply for its flavour.
Thankfully, the vegan egg substitute market has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years as more and more people are becoming either vegan or extra health conscious – or both! Because of this, we have a rather long shortlist from which to select the best ones. Unfortunately, however, substituting for such a versatile and multipurpose ingredient as the egg.
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Are there substitutes that will work for a fried egg?
There are plenty of commercially manufactured vegan substitutes for an egg out there. Typically, they are made from things such as potato starch, tapioca, leavening agents and other such ingredients. To use these, generally all the consumer needs to do is add water to a powdered mix in order to generate an egglike texture. Commonly available brands include Organ, Ener-G, and Bob’s Red Mill. Unfortunately, most of these will get you close to the scrambled egg texture but not quite that close to a fried egg. However, there are a few recipes out there, designed by a few innovative individuals, that can actually mimic the fried egg!
Substitutes for Eggs for Vegans
While it is true that there is a huge amount of egg substitutes out there, it is important to note that it is not possible to substitute each of these suggestions in each instance. Some will only work for baking, as a leavening agent. Others will be better suited to act as a binder, for example, in custard.
Because of this, it is worth taking note of exactly what you need your egg substitute to do. In some occasions, trying to use a substitute as an all-rounder can yield dramatically bad results. Entertaining, yes – but remotely edible? Not quite. So, without further ado, here’s our rundown of the best vegan substitutes for eggs:
For those of you who may not be familiar with this ingredient, aquafaba is the viscous liquid that often gets poured down the sink when opening a can of chickpeas. Yep, that’s it! So, what better solution is there when you haven’t got the time to make it to the store than simply cracking open a can and reaping its harvest.
This egg substitute, due to its gooey texture, makes an ideal substitute for when your recipe calls for whipped eggs. This being a relatively recent culinary discovery, there is much enthusiasm regarding its uses. Some are making meringues using it, while a whole new generation of cocktail aficionados are using it in place of egg-whites to generate the foamy texture that many posh cocktails call for. In terms of substituting it directly for a fried egg, it isn’t going to be much good, but when it comes to pancakes, waffles, meringue, and mayonnaise, it’s pretty much perfect! In fact, many won’t be able to tell the difference. To save you opening all your tins of chickpeas, manufacturers have begun selling just aquafaba though these can be quite difficult to find.
- Amazingly simple and versatile ingredient
- Can probably be found within your own home
- Quite easy to work with
- Not as easily found as it could be.
Next up is another substitute which won’t quite replace eggs in every given situation but will suffice in quite a few; mashed banana, or indeed applesauce. This is yet another example of how you can make use of what may already be in your home. So, get ready to save yourself a trip to the shop and let’s talk about how a banana can be a substitute for an egg!
Ideally, what you are looking for with this substitute is bananas that are gone beyond ripe. They need to be mushy, almost to the point where you would otherwise consider throwing them out. In this state, they can be utilised as a substitute in pancakes and a whole variety of baked goods. They provide the desired texture and while doing so they also add a nice touch of sweetness. To substitute, use one banana for every egg that the recipe calls for. We’d recommend trying this substitute at least once as you will most likely be very pleased with the results!
3. Flaxseed Meal
Flaxseed is an option that, if you don’t already have it at your disposal, you’ll easily be able to source at your local health food store or supermarket. In addition to their accessibility, they are also very healthy and rich in Omega-3. To use, simply place the desired amount of flaxseed (chia also works) into a food processor until it forms into a meal.
From here, all you need to do is add three tablespoons of water per one tablespoon of meal. Each of these combinations will serve to replace one egg in your recipe and will also add a pleasant nutty flavour to your recipe. This substitute is best used for waffles, pancakes, breads, and cookies. Flax is quite popular and thus easy to get a hold of.
For those of you who have tried and enjoyed a restaurant quality scrambled tofu breakfast, you will know exactly why tofu has made this list. Naturally, it isn’t going to be any good whatsoever when it comes to attempting to assimilate it into a custard as a binding agent – it just won’t work! However, it can actually function as a leavening agent in your bread baking exploits. Just remember to remove that excess water by pressing your tofu.
Tofu, as many of you may already be aware, is a pressed soybean curd. It is wildly popular among those who are already vegetarian/vegan, but also used by those who still consume meat. This is quite the testament to its usefulness as an ingredient. Because of its widespread use, this substitute can be found pretty much anywhere at this point. As a bonus, it is also quite cheap compared to many of the other options.
We hope that you found this guide to substituting for eggs to be a valuable and informative resource when you need an alternative option. As you can see, there are several viable options out there – one of which may well be lurking in your pantry!