Eggs are packed with goodness and are suitable for a wide range of dishes. Delicious as a meal on their own, they also play an essential role in the kitchen. Eggs are instrumental for binding beef patties, emulsifying dressings, and leavening soufflés. They also add moisture, stability, color, taste, and structure to most baked goods.
Finding a substitute for egg yolks is crucial if you can't, or won't, eat eggs. This article will arm you with some ideas to make vegan egg yolks. We'll also show you how to replace the entire egg in a recipe.
Recommended egg yolk substitutes
There are plenty of alternatives to egg yolk that you can use for cooking. You need to get a little creative using some common ingredients.
The easiest option for replacing egg yolk is to use lecithin. It's a flavorless binding agent that is made from soybeans. It has the added benefit of giving off no odor. Take a visit to your local health store or well-stocked supermarket and buy yourself a bag.
How to use:
Measure 1 Tbsp of lecithin to replace one egg yolk.
2. Flour blend
Using a mixture of wheat flour, chickpea flour, water and oil will produce a suitable egg yolk replacement. Once you are happy with the consistency, use it in the recipe or add it to an airtight container. Refrigerate until needed.
Here's how to make it.
Yield: the equivalent of 4 egg yolks.
- 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 4 Tbsp chickpea flour
- 1 cup water
- 4 tsp vegetable oil
- Mix flours together in a large bowl then whisk in water until well combined.
- Microwave the mixture on high for 60 seconds, whisk, then heat for a further 60 seconds.
- Whisk in oil, a little at a time until the texture looks like a beaten egg.
In the original recipe, do the egg yolks add color to the dish? If yes, you can add a few drops of yellow food coloring to create the same visual appearance. Don't go overboard with the coloring though – your food will look unnatural.
3. Silken tofu
The beauty of tofu is that it has a mild flavor profile so it won't overpower the dish. Tofu should be used for its binding capabilities. You could blend and add to beef patties to help bind the meat. Or add to a chocolate tart, pound cake, custard, mousse or quiche.
How to use: Use ¼ cup blended tofu to replace the egg yolk.
Do you know the difference between a frittata and a quiche? Find out now!
Need to replace the whole egg?
Applesauce is a puree of cooked apple. You can either make your own or buy it from the store. But, if you decide to buy it, check that it doesn't have added flavors and spices. They may not work well with what you're cooking. If it's sweetened, you're best to reduce the sugar in your recipe to avoid an over-sweet result.
How to use: Measure ¼ cup applesauce to replace one egg.
2. Mashed banana
Mashed banana is another common ingredient that works well as an egg replacer. It is well suited to baked goods like cakes, biscuits, and brownies. The result will be a denser cake that's moist so long as it isn't overcooked.
Banana has a strong flavor that can overwhelm or detract from the other ingredients. If you're baking for someone that hates banana, this option may be best to avoid.
How to use: Measure ¼ cup mashed banana to replace one egg.
3. Chia seeds (or flax seeds)
Chia seeds have a gelatinous texture when added to water. They have a similar consistency to eggs and are a popular option for baking.
First, use a mortar and pestle to grind the chia seeds into a powder. If you want a simpler option, buy chia powder from a health store. Then add it to water and leave for 15 minutes to combine. Mixing isn't necessary.
Chia seeds are a good option when you're baking muffins, bread, cookies, and pancakes. I find they don't work as well when you need a light, airy cake with lift. The chia mixture tends to result in a denser final product.
How to use: Measure 1 Tbsp of chia seeds with ¼ cup water to replace one egg.
4. Store bought egg replacer
There are mixed reviews about the effectiveness of egg replacers. They can work well in some baked foods, but don't expect them to be a magic bullet that works in every recipe.
Research, combined with trial and error, will play a big part in your learning. You'll soon discover which brands work best and their application in the kitchen.
How to use: The quantities will differ depending on the brand.
Watch the quick video to get answers
Why maintain an egg-free diet?
Not everyone can eat eggs, and people have their reasons. Egg allergies are prevalent in children. Although most will eventually outgrow it, some will never shrug off their egg allergy.
The adoption of plant-based diets is on the increase in many parts of the world. Reasons include health benefits, animal welfare, and environmental preservation. Whatever the cause - eggs must be avoided.
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Eggs play a vital part in the kitchen, but not everyone can eat them. If you're looking for an egg yolk substitute, then the above options will serve you well.
Using a blend of wheat and chickpea flour combined with water and oil is a useful option.
If you're looking to replace the whole egg, then crushed chia seeds mixed with water will do the job in many baking applications.
Getting it right every time you substitute eggs is a real challenge. They're a unique ingredient and not easily replicated. Get used to the idea of having an occasional failure in the kitchen, and you'll be fine. Trial and error will help you learn what's best for your favorite recipes.
What do you use to replace egg yolks in recipes? Share it with us in the comments below.