Eggs work as a binder in many recipes, and they also supply a little extra moisture to baked goods like cakes, cookies and muffins. However, if you've cut eggs out of your diet or don't have any on hand, you can still make delicious baked goods. There are quite a few alternatives that you can use as egg substitutes when baking. These alternatives are vegan-friendly, low in calories and fat, and, in some cases, add some extra vitamins, minerals and fiber to the baked goods.
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Pumpkin puree, most frequently used to make pumpkin pies during the holidays, can also serve as an egg substitute in baked goods. It works especially well in dense, moist items, such as sweet breads and muffins. Trade 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree for each egg in the recipe. Make sure to purchase unsweetened, packed pumpkin puree for this purpose. Avoid the seasoned, sweetened pumpkin pie filling that's often sold in the same aisle. Pumpkin puree delivers significant amounts of vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, iron and fiber, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database.
When combined with water, chia seeds form a thick gel that is very similar in texture to raw eggs. Chia imparts virtually no flavor to baked goods and rarely changes the texture, making it a good egg substitute for more delicate cookies and cakes. Mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of warm water for each egg in the recipe. Stir the chia seeds and water gently and wait about five minutes. Once the mixture forms a gel, add it to the dough or batter mixture. Chia seed, and the gel made from chia, is loaded with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, phosphorous, calcium and manganese.
Applesauce lacks the sticky, thick binding agents that are present in eggs, but it's a good substitute for recipes that rely on eggs for moisture. It works especially well in fluffy dishes that need a lighter substitute than pumpkin puree, such as pancakes. Applesauce will add a touch of sweetness and fruity flavor to the baked goods. To minimize this effect, use unsweetened applesauce that contains no cinnamon or other spices. Substitute 1/4 cup of applesauce for each egg in the recipe. Applesauce is high in vitamin C and fiber.
Baking Powder and Oil
Baking powder and vegetable oil mixed with a little water is a good egg substitute in a pinch, especially if none of the other substitutes are available. This mixture will yield a light, fluffy product, and it works well in cake recipes. For each egg in the recipe, combine 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 2 teaspoons of baking powder with 1 tablespoon of water. Using baking powder and oil will actually increase the calorie and sodium content of your food dish.
- PETA.org: Egg Replacements
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Baking; Donna Diegel
- Crazy Sexy Diet; Kris Carr, et al.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Pumpkin, Canned, Without Salt
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Seeds, Chia, Dried
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Applesauce, Canned, Unsweetened