How to substitute eggs with egg replacement, banana or yogurt

A few days ago, I discussed how eggs could be replaced using flaxseeds and silken tofu. Tonight, I have the rest of Isa Chandra Moskowitz's tips from Vegan with a Vengeance on how to replace eggs in baking:

  • Ener-G Egg Replacer
    • How to use it: 1 1/2 tablespoons Ener-G + 2 tablespoons water mixed well = 1 egg.
      • Isa's note: Many people swear by this egg replacer. I think it is good to use in a pinch, in all baking that requires a few eggs. However, I can definitely taste it in cakes and cookies (tastes chalky), and I'm not crazy about the dense texture it turns out.
      • Cracked egg shell with a red slash through itAshley's note: I agree here. It's ideal if you can find recipes that don't call for eggs at all, but if you want to use a substitute, then my go-to is this one.
    • When it works best: It seems to work best in cookies, or things that are supposed to be a little crispy.
    • Where to get it: Health food stores, some supermarkets (look in baking or ethnic food sections).
  • Banana
    • How to use it: 1/2 banana blended until smooth or mashed well = 1 egg.
      • Isa's note: Bananas work wonders as an egg replacer in baking, which is the reason many banana bread recipes don't require eggs. They hold the air bubbles well, making things nice and moist, and impart a nice flavor. However, you don't want everything tasting like banana, so use in things where the taste won't be intrusive. I've also noticed that baked goods using banana brown very nicely, but something you don't want your recipe to come out that brown.
    • When it works best: Quick breads, muffins, cakes, pancakes
    • Tip: Make sure bananas are nice and ripe and have started to brown.
  • Soy Yogurt
    • How to use it: 1/4 C soy yogurt = 1 egg.
      • Isa's note: Soy yogurt works a lot like whizzed tofu as an egg replacer. It makes things moist and yummy.
    • When it works best: Quick breads, muffins, cakes
    • Where to get it: Health food stores, yuppyish supermarkets

And that's the full list. I've seen some bloggers use chia seeds, and I'm sure there are other alternatives outside this list, but it's a good framework to start with. If you have a favorite egg substitute that isn't listed in either of these posts then please feel free to tell readers about it in the comments.


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.

Raw egg sitting in a cracked shellIt'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!