Eggs are incredibly healthy and versatile, making them a popular food for many.
They’re especially common in baking, where nearly every recipe calls for them.
But for various reasons, some people avoid eggs. Fortunately, there are plenty of replacements you can use instead.
This article explores the various ingredients that can be used as egg alternatives.
Reasons Why You Might Need to Replace Eggs
There are various reasons why you may need to find a substitute for eggs in your diet. Allergies and dietary preferences are two of the most common.
One study indicated that 50% of children will outgrow the allergy by the time they are three years old, with 66% outgrowing it by the age of five (2).
Other studies suggest it may take until age 16 to outgrow an egg allergy (3).
While most children who are allergic to eggs become tolerant over time, some individuals remain allergic their entire lives.
Some individuals follow a vegan diet and choose not to eat meat, dairy, eggs or any other animal products.
Vegans avoid consuming animal products for various reasons, including health purposes, environmental concerns or ethical reasons regarding animal rights.
Summary: Some people may need to avoid eggs due to egg allergies, while others avoid them for personal health, environmental or ethical reasons.
Why Are Eggs Used in Baking?
Eggs serve several purposes in baking. They contribute to the structure, color, flavor and consistency of baked goods in the following ways:
- Binding: Eggs help combine ingredients and hold them together. This gives food its structure and prevents it from falling apart.
- Leavening: Eggs trap pockets of air in foods, causing them to expand during heating. This helps foods puff up or rise, giving baked goods like soufflés, angel food cake and meringues their volume and light, airy texture.
- Moisture: The liquid from eggs is absorbed into the other ingredients in a recipe, which helps add moisture to the finished product.
- Flavor and appearance: Eggs help carry the flavors of other ingredients and brown when exposed to heat. They help improve the taste of baked goods and contribute to their golden-brown appearance.
Summary: Eggs serve several purposes in baking. Without them, baked goods might be dry, flat or flavorless. Fortunately, there are plenty of egg alternatives.
Applesauce is a purée made from cooked apples.
It’s often sweetened or flavored with other spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.
Using one-fourth cup (about 65 grams) of applesauce can replace one egg in most recipes.
It’s best to use unsweetened applesauce. If you’re using a sweetened variety, you should reduce the amount of sugar or sweetener in the recipe itself.
Summary: Unsweetened applesauce is a great substitute for eggs in most recipes. You can use one-fourth cup (about 65 grams) to replace one egg.
2. Mashed Banana
Mashed banana is another popular replacement for eggs.
The only downside to baking with bananas is that your finished product may have a mild banana flavor.
Other puréed fruits like pumpkin and avocado work too and may not affect the flavor as much.
Whichever fruit you choose to use, you can replace each egg with one-fourth cup (65 grams) of purée.
Baked goods made with puréed fruits may not brown as deeply, but they will be very dense and moist.
This substitution works best in cakes, muffins, brownies and quick breads.
Summary: You can use mashed banana or other fruits like pumpkin and avocado to replace eggs. Use one-fourth cup (65 grams) of fruit purreé for each egg you want to replace.
3. Ground Flaxseeds or Chia Seeds
You can grind the seeds yourself at home or buy ready-made seed meal from the store.
To replace one egg, whisk together 1 tablespoon (7 grams) of ground chia or flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of water until fully absorbed and thickened.
Doing so may cause baked goods to become heavy and dense. Also, it may result in a nuttier flavor, so it works best in products like pancakes, waffles, muffins, breads and cookies.
Summary: Ground flaxseeds and chia seeds make great egg substitutes. Mixing 1 tablespoon (7 grams) of either with 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of water can replace one egg.
4. Commercial Egg Replacer
There are a variety of commercial egg replacers on the market. These are typically made from potato starch, tapioca starch and leavening agents.
Egg replacers are suitable for all baked goods and should not affect the flavor of the finished product.
Some commercially available brands include Bob’s Red Mill, Ener-G and Organ.
Each brand comes with its own instructions, but…