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What can I use to substitute for eggs in a recipe?

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What can I use to substitute for eggs in a recipe?
What can I use to substitute for eggs in a recipe?

Question: What can I use to substitute for eggs in a recipe?

Whether you're allergic to eggs, trying to go vegan or just trying to reduce your cholesterol, there's a number of reasons to use an egg substitute in a recipe, particularly in baked goods and vegan desserts, where you won't even miss it. But how do you know what to use, and which egg substitute will work best? Read on to learn how to accommodate egg allergies and use egg substitutes to reduce cholesterol. See also: Are eggs vegetarian?

Answer: Although the good news is that just about any recipe that calls for eggs can be made vegan by using the proper egg substitute, there's no single answer to what the best substitute will be. Eggs perform a different function, depending on what you're making, so you may also need a different egg substitute, depending on the dish.

Several brands of store-bought egg replacers can be used in baking, or anytime a recipe calls for egg replacer. Two trusted brands are Ener-G brand or Bob's Red Mill. Here's how to substitute eggs in just about any of your favorite traditional recipes:

How do you know which egg replacer to use? In a cake, the eggs serve as a leavening agent, helping to make the cake light and fluffy. In baked goods such as cookies and muffins, the eggs add moisture and act as a binder, gluing all the other ingredients together. And, if you're looking to substitute eggs in a quiche or a mayonnaise, where eggs are central to the finished product, you'll probably need something like tofu to mimic the consistency of the eggs, while making other adjustments to the recipe as well to add flavor and body.
See also:
Vegan cake recipes
Vegan cookie recipes
Egg-free mayonnaise recipe

As a general rule, the fewer eggs a recipe calls for, the easier they will be to substitute. So, if a cookie recipe calls for one egg, using an egg substitute will work much better than in a recipe that requires three or four eggs. Also consider how the substitute will affect the overall taste of the finished dish. Bananas, for example, may add a welcome hint of fruity sweetness to pancakes and cookies, but if you are making a casserole or another savory dish, you will want to use something else.

Here's a few of the most useful egg substitutes, as well as suggestions for their use.

Commercial Egg Replacer

Ener-G is an incredibly versatile and easy to use commercial egg replacer available in most health food stores and larger well-stocked grocery stores. I find that despite the instructions on the package to mix Ener-G with two tablespoons of water, some recipes will need a bit more moisture when replacing eggs using Ener-G, so you may need to compensate with an extra tablespoon of water or soy milk. Ener-G and other store-bought egg substitutes are relatively flavorless and work best in baked goods, such as cookies, muffins and cakes, and can also be used to bind ingredients together in a vegan casserole or loaf. Ener-G is vegan and certified kosher, but be sure to read the labels carefully on other brands, as some may contain egg whites.
Sample recipe: Vegan Cake Mix Cookie Recipe

 

Bananas and Applesauce

Smash up or blend about a half a banana or 1/4 cup applesauce to use as an egg replacer in baked goods such as muffins, pancakes or yeast-free quick breads, such as pumpkin bread, and of course, banana bread! Bananas and applesauce add the perfect amount of thick moisture, like eggs, but they won't help your dishes rise or turn out light and fluffy, so be sure the recipe you are using includes a bit of baking powder or baking soda to help it rise if needed.
Sample recipe: Egg-free French Toast Recipe With Bananas

 

Tofu

Tofu is the best way to substitute eggs in dishes such as a quiche, fritatta or egg salad. The texture of silken tofu or crumbled regular tofu is surprisingly similar to boiled or cooked eggs when used in a similar recipe and, by adding a bit of mustard, turmeric or nutritional yeast to your dish to give it a yellow hue, your eyes will be tricked as well as your taste buds! Because other recipe adjustments are probably needed to make an egg-free fritatta, for example, its best to follow a recipe rather than just replacing the eggs with tofu.
Sample recipe: Egg-free Tofu "Egg" Salad Recipe
 

Silken tofu is also an appropriate egg substitute in baked goods. To use, blend 1/4 cup silken tofu with liquid ingredients until tofu is smooth and creamy. While it won't alter the flavor of a recipe, using tofu as an egg substitute will make baked goods a bit on the heavy and thick side, so it works well in brownies and pancakes, but wouldn't work well in something like an angel food cake that needs to be light and fluffy.
See also: What to do with silken tofu?

Other Substitutes

In a pinch, or with a good recipe, vinegar mixed with water or even plain run-of-the-mill soda can work as a decent egg replacer. For savory entrees such as a vegetarian casserole or a loaf, try using 2-3 tablespoons of bread crumbs or oats.
Sample recipe: Soda Cake Recipe
Sample recipe: Raspberry Mocha Cake Recipe with Vinegar
 

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