When you can’t have eggs, these natural alternatives are the next best thing
Three years ago Susie Hall discovered that she was gluten intolerant and went gluten free. Six months later she experienced a rash and heartburn, which went away after she removed milk, soy, and corn from her diet. Recently, she also found that she’s sensitive to eggs.
“I ate eggs all of my life and I couldn’t imagine they were causing the problems I had with constipation,” says Hall. But that problem disappeared when she stopped eating eggs.
Some scientists believe that the number of people with food allergies is on the rise, as is the number of foods to which they are allergic—and eggs are one of the top eight food allergens. They can cause delayed-onset symptoms, such as what Hall experienced, as well more immediate symptoms, such as skin rashes, hives, nasal inflammation, vomiting, or even anaphylaxis.
Eating dinner leftovers for breakfast is an easy way to avoid eggs in the morning. But how can you make gluten-free baked goods, desserts, and even dishes such as meatloaf without eggs? Try these handy egg substitutes:
Commercial Egg Replacer. The most common brand is Energ-G Egg Replacer, which is vegan and gluten free. Made from potato and tapioca starch with leavening agents, it mimics what eggs do when mixed with water, helping make baked goods light and fluffy.
Ground Flaxseed Mixed in Water. Flaxseeds, which are rich in the anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, do not leaven like eggs for souffles, but they can bind patties, meatloaf, cookies, and cakes.
To replace one large egg, mix 1 Tbs. ground flaxseeds and 3 Tbs. hot water and let stand 5 minutes, until an egg- like consistency is reached. Or, blend whole flaxseeds in a blender to a fine meal, add warm water, and blend again. Ground and whole flaxseeds are available from Bob’s Red Mill. If you prefer sprouted flaxseed powder, look for Organic Bio-Flax from Bio International.
Chia Seeds Soaked in Water. Chia seeds are highly gelatinous when mixed with water, and some say they produce higher-rising baked goods than flaxseeds. To replace a large egg, soak 1 Tbs. chia seeds in 3 Tbs. water for 5 minutes until the mixture has the texture of a raw egg. Sources for chia seeds include Nutiva and Foods Alive. If you’d like white chia seeds, look for Salba, a trademarked variety of chia.
Puréed Fruit or Vegetables. Applesauce, mashed banana, even puréed acorn squash can replace eggs in baked goods: To replace one egg, use 3 Tbs. or ¼ cup fruit or vegetable purée and add roughly ½ tsp. more baking powder to compensate for the egg’s leavening effect. You may also need to reduce the sweetener used in the recipe, depending on the sweetness of the purée.
Lemon Juice and Baking Soda. Combining an acidic substance, such a lemon juice (or vinegar), with baking soda, which is alkaline, produces leavening action in baked goods. For a cake or sweet bread, try 2 Tbs. lemon juice mixed in the liquid cake ingredients, and 1 tsp. baking soda mixed with the dry ingredients. When you whisk the liquid and dry ingredients together, mix quickly, and pop into the oven to get a baked good that rises without the eggs.
Egg-Free Almond Pancakes
Makes 16 pancakes Here’s a delicious egg-free, grain-free pancake recipe in which chia gel (chia seeds soaked in water) is used as the egg substitute. You’ll never know that the pancakes don’t contain eggs.
2 Tbs. organic chia seeds
6 Tbs. water
¼ cup organic unsweetened applesauce
½ cup unsweetened organic almond milk
1½ tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract or vanilla flavor
1½ cups blanched almond flour
1½ tsp. arrowroot powder
½ tsp. unrefined sea salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbs. chopped pecans
Organic extra virgin coconut oil
- Place chia seeds in bowl, add water, and let sit 5—10 minutes until mixture reaches consistency of raw egg. Mix in applesauce, almond milk, and vanilla, and set aside.
- Mix almond flour, arrowroot, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and pecans together in separate bowl. Form a well in center of dry ingredients, and pour in wet ingredients. Mix together, but do not overmix.
- Heat coconut oil in large skillet on medium-low heat. Drop 1½ Tbs. batter into pan, and spread out batter slightly for each pancake. Cook pancakes 3—4 minutes, until bottoms have browned, then flip and cook 1—2 minutes more. Add more oil to pan, and repeat with remaining batter.
* Recipe reprinted from the Going Against the Grain Group, 2012.
PER SERVING: 90 cal; 3g pro; 8g total fat (2g sat fat); 4g carb; 0mg chol; 89mg sod; 2g fiber; 1g sugar
Copyright ©2012 Melissa Diane Smith. This article and recipe may not be reprinted on other sites without written approval and permission from the author. For more information, please email reprints@againstthegrai nnutrition.com.