A Guide to Vegan Egg Substitutes

Publish Date August 14, 2023 5 Minute Read

Finding the Right Replacement

One of the most challenging parts of following a vegan diet is the amount of otherwise compliant foods that have eggs in them. You can find eggs in most baked goods, as a binder in a variety of foods, as a dredge for fried foods and as a wash to add color and crisp. As popular as veganism is becoming, there are an increasing number of bakeries serving up egg-free options, but many people still don’t have access to great vegan eateries near them.

The main difference in using an egg replacement versus a real egg is that most replacements have certain recipes they work best in. A vegan egg substitute that works well in a cookie probably won’t be the best option for a savory dish. So how can you learn to tell what will work in what dish?

Here are a few hints that may help you make those adjustments with more confidence.

Eggs are often used in baking to add structure, create a certain texture or sometimes as a leavening agent. When cooking, it’s important to keep in mind what the texture of the egg in the recipe is. If egg is a main ingredient, you’ll want to look for something that mimics it versus a dredge or wash. Keep in mind what flavors the replacements are bringing to the dish and pair savory with savory and sweet with sweet. And don’t worry - there are many vegan egg replacements that don’t have a strong taste on their own and can be used in a variety of dishes.

Intro to Egg Substitutes

So, what are some good vegan egg substitutes? What sort of egg alternatives can be used for which recipes? Read on to find out everything you

need to know about vegan egg substitutes and how to use them.

Vegan Egg White Replacements

The key to choosing the correct egg white replacement for your recipe is to figure out why the recipe needs the egg white. Most of the time, egg

whites are used to add volume and air to a recipe. In cooking, they’re mostly there for structure.

  • Aquafaba: Aquafaba is the liquid found in a can of chickpeas. It has little to no taste of its own. It can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Aquafaba is the best way to make a vegan meringue or to incorporate air into a recipe.
  • Flaxseed: Ground flaxseed mixed with water can be used as a vegan egg white replacement. Flaxseed has a very mild, nutty flavor that can mix well with a lot of dishes. Flaxseed is also loaded with Omega-3 and fiber to give your recipes some hidden health benefits.
  • Agar: Agar is extracted from seaweed and turned into powder, sheets or flakes. To use it as a vegan egg replacement, opt for the powder and mix it with water. It will form a gelatinous mixture that can be used as a thickening agent. It has no taste but is packed with nutrients.
  • Chia Seeds: Chia seeds mixed with water will also create a gelatinous thickening agent for use in recipes. Just remember that there will be some texture, since the chia seeds only get soft but don’t dissolve. Chia seeds are also packed with Omega-3, fiber and protein.

Vegan Egg Yolk Replacements

Egg yolks appear in most recipes to bind liquids and fats together (to prevent separating or to add a creamy texture).

  • Tofu: Once puréed, tofu makes an excellent vegan egg yolk alternative. Tofu has almost no taste and easily absorbs the flavors it’s paired with. You can make a mousse with silken tofu, while soft or firm tofu can be used in most other recipes. As an added plus, tofu has a ton of protein.
  • Agar: To change this from an egg white alternative to a yolk, just add less water to create a thicker gel.
  • Avocado: Purée an avocado to create a nutrient-dense egg yolk alternative. Be cautious of flavor though, since avocado does have a distinct taste that tends to work better in sweet dishes.
  • Bananas: Again, it’s probably best to save this one for baking.
  • Chia and Flax: As with agar, simply add less water to create a thicker replacement.
  • Nut Butter: This is also a great way to add healthy fats and protein to your recipe. Using nut butters as a substitute is exclusive to sweet dishes.
  • Chickpea Flower or Cornstarch: Both options work as a great neutral egg yolk replacement when mixed with water.

Vegan Whole Egg Replacements

In most recipes, a whole egg is needed to bind everything together and to add structure. Here are some options that can be used to replace a whole egg:

  • Unsweetened Applesauce: Even though it’s unsweetened, you should stick to sweet dishes with this one. It can help to thicken and add structure to your baked goods.
  • Plain Vegan Yogurt: Soy yogurt can replace an egg in many savory dishes, while a coconut yogurt may be better for baking.
  • Silken Tofu: This very soft tofu can be blended or mixed in to replace an egg and add structure to your dish. It’s mild in flavor and adapts to the flavors it’s paired with, making it an ideal candidate for a replacement.
  • Commercial Egg Substitutes: Sometimes, you just need an egg. The best option to recreate an egg-based dish is one of the many egg alternatives available in stores. Use these to create out-of-this-world omelets or succulent scrambles.

Whether you’re vegan or just trying to cut back on animal products, there are many versatile vegan egg replacements to explore. Once you identify the role of the egg in your recipe, finding the perfect dupe will be a breeze.

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