How to substitute eggs with flaxseeds & silken tofu

How to substitute eggs with flaxseeds & silken tofu

One thing that’s changed about my vegetarian diet in the last two years is that I dropped the ovo from my lacto-ovo-vegetarianism. This now makes me a lacto-vegetarian, meaning I’m a vegetarian that abstains from eating eggs, but still eats dairy products (i.e., milk, cheese, yogurt).

I never noticed how many recipes included eggs until I gave them up, especially in baking. Many perfectly good recipes that wouldn’t need eggs seem to have one or two thrown in for the sake of it. The good news is that there are so many alternatives to using eggs in cooking that it’s very easy to use a substitute to reach the same, if not similar, end.

How to substitute eggs with flaxseedsIt’s arguable whether or not egg substitutes properly reproduce the exact taste or consistency that eggs do. As I see it, you have two choices when it comes to wanting to cook something that calls for eggs: you forget about the recipe and don’t make it, or you find a way around it!

If you’re into finding a way around it — whether you’re a vegan, lacto-vegetarian or simply trying to reduce your cholesterol — then here are Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s tips from Vegan with a Vengeance on how to replace eggs in baking:

  • Flaxseeds
    • How to use it: 1 tablespoon flaxseeds plus 3 tablespoons water = 1 egg.
      • Finely grind 1 tablespoon whole flaxseeds in a blender or coffee grinder, or use 2 tablespoons pre-ground flaxseeds. Transfer to a bowl and beat in 3 tablespoons of water using a whisk or fork. It will become very gooey and gelatinous, much like an egg white. In some recipes, you can leave the ground flaxseeds in the blender and add the other wet ingredients to it, thus saving you the extra step (and dish) of the bowl.
      • When it works best: Flaxseeds have a distinct earthy granola-y taste. It tastes best and works well in things like pancakes, and whole-grain items such as bran or corn muffins. It is perfect for oatmeal cookies, and the texture works for cookies in general, although the taste may be too pronounced for some. Chocolate cake-y recipes have mixed results, I would recommend only using one egg’s worth of flaxseed replacement in those, because the taste can be overpowering.
      • Tips: Always store ground flaxseeds in the freezer because they are highly perishable. This mixture is not only an excellent replacement for eggs, but it also contributes to vital omega-3 fatty acids.
      • Where to get flaxseeds: Health food stores
  • Silken Tofu

    • How to use it: 1/4 cup blended silken tofu = 1 egg.
      • Whiz in a blender until completely smooth and creamy, leaving no graininess or chunks. You will want to add other wet ingredients to this mixture to get it to blend properly. I recommend vacuum-packed extra-firm silken tofu, such as Mori-Nu.
      • When it works best: Silken tofu works best in dense cakes and brownies, and in smaller quantities for lighter cakes and fluffy things (if the recipe calls for 3 eggs, use only 2 “tofu eggs”). Whizzed tofu leaves virtually no taste, so it’s an excellent replacer in delicate cake recipes where flaxseeds would overpower the flavor. In cookie recipes, it may make the cookie more cake-y and fluffy than anticipated, so add 1 teaspoon of starch (such as arrowroot or cornstarch) to the recipe to combat that. Silken tofu may make pancakes a little heavy, so it’s not recommended for those, although it could work well with a little experimentation.
      • Where to get it: Health food stores, and in most supermarkets (look in the produce section).

In addition to these items, Isa published a few other helpful alternatives that can be used. I’ll publish those on Wednesday, so stay tuned!