What can you substitute for eggs?

In this short article, we are going to provide an answer to the question, “What can you substitute for eggs?” with an in-depth analysis of some substitutes of eggs and why we need to replace eggs.  

Why do you need to replace eggs?

There are a number of reasons why you might need to choose an egg alternative in your diet. Two of the most prevalent are allergies and dietary choices. In newborns and young children, eggs are the second most frequent food allergy. After cow’s milk, hen’s egg allergy is the second most common food allergy in infants and young children. A recent meta-analysis of the prevalence of food allergy estimated that egg allergy affects 0.5 to 2.5% of young children (2).

Some people prefer to avoid eating meat, dairy, eggs, and other animal products by following a vegan diet. Vegans abstain from eating animal products for a variety of reasons, including health, environmental issues, and ethical concerns about animal rights. Vegan diet is based on cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Vegans do not eat meat, fish, seafood, eggs, milk, dairy products, and honey threads carrying things made of fur, wool, bones, leather, coral, pearls or any other materials of animal origin (3).

Currently, 69% of eggs produced in the United States are consumed as a shell egg and 31% as processed eggs (1).

Some substitutes for eggs:

Eggs play significant roles in foods, owing to its gelling, foaming, and emulsification features. Eggs are versatile products available in the market in dry and liquid forms as whole eggs, egg whites, and egg yolks. Besides their functionality, eggs are of particular interest from a nutritional point of view since they contain proteins, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and other micronutrients (4).

Eggs can be replaced in a variety of ways. Choosing an egg alternative depends on whether the egg was utilized as a binder or leavener in the recipe, or just as a moisture supplier. Some substitutes for eggs are mentioned below;

Aquafaba:

Aquafaba, the liquid from canned beans or cooking beans The liquid has a viscosity that is extremely similar to raw egg whites, making it a great substitute for many recipes. Meringues, marshmallows, macarons, and nougat are just a few examples of dishes that use Aquafaba instead of egg whites.

Canned chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, and the liquid left behind after rehydrating dried beans are all excellent egg substitutes.

Aquafab  is gaining interest as an egg substitute due to its foaming, emulsifying, thickening, and gelling properties. This is attributed to its composition, namely protein, water-soluble/insoluble carbohydrates, coacervates, saponins, and phenolic compounds. The main limitation for the commercialization of aquafaba is the lack of product standardization due to the high variability in chickpea properties (differences in the composition and genotypes) and processing conditions (temperature, pressure, and cooking time) (4).

If you want to replace one egg, use 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of Aquafaba.

Yogurt or buttermilk:

Buttermilk can be used to replace eggs due to its good emulsification and good water-holding capacity. Whey proteins and milk fat globule membranes in buttermilk possess inherent emulsifying properties. Buttermilk has been used in bakery, chocolate, cheese, yogurt, and for the delivery of bioactives as wall material for encapsulation. Buttermilk improved crumb texture and enhanced water-holding capabilities of yogurt (5).

Yogurt contains casein. Sodium caseinate is a valuable food ingredient with its high protein content and functional properties of emulsification, water binding, and texture improvement (6).

Eggs can be replaced with either yogurt or buttermilk. Plain yogurt is preferred over flavored or sweetened ones, as they may affect the flavor of your dish. This substitution works perfectly for muffins, cakes, and cupcakes. It can be utilized for effective moisture and binding.

For each egg that needs to be replaced, use one-fourth cup (60 grams) of yogurt or buttermilk.

Nut butter:

The creamy consistency of nut butter acts as a binding agent. In most recipes, nut butter such as peanut, cashew, or almond butter can be used to replace eggs. Nut butters have high water-retaining properties and good fat-retention and fat-emulsifying capacities in relation to liquid oils. In addition, it is known that highly-disperse powders can act as solid emulsifiers (7).

One egg can be replaced with 3 tablespoons (60 grams) of nut butter.

Silken Tofu:

Tofu is made from dehydrated soy milk that has been compressed into solid slabs. Tofu’s texture varies, depending on how much water it contains. The tofu becomes firmer as more water is squeezed out. 

Soy protein ingredients are used to aid formation and stabilization of emulsion for many food products including cake batters. Generally, the emulsifying capacity of soy protein products increases with increasing solubility and interfacial tension is progressively reduced as concentration is increased (8).

Silken tofu is best used as a binder or to give moisture to baked goods that already contain a leavening agent, such as baking soda or baking powder, or in rich desserts like cakes or brownies.

One-fourth cup (approximately 60 grams) of pureed, silken tofu can be used in place of one egg.

Mashed banana:

Another popular egg substitute is mashed banana. Any baking recipe will benefit from the flavor and sweetness of mashed bananas. Although this egg substitute will not help your baked goods rise, it will add a lot of moisture.

Studies show that bananas have the ability to form foam and act as egg substitute (9).

Depending on which fruit you use, one-fourth cup (65 grams) of puree can be substituted for each egg.

Grounded chia and flax seeds:

Flaxseeds and chia seeds are both incredibly nutritious small seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and other unique plant chemicals exist in them. Flaxseeds and chia seeds can be combined to make egg substitutes that are quick and versatile.

Chia can form gum, which has good functional properties. Thereby, they improve the functional properties of its food products as emulsifiers and stabilizer agents (9).

Water-soluble flaxseed polysaccharides, commonly referred to as flaxseed gum, are of special interest due to their functional properties when included in aqueous solutions. Solutions of flaxseed gum have considerable viscosity and readily form stable emulsions, gels and foams (11).

Mix 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal with 2 and a half teaspoons of water to form a flax egg that is similar to one chicken egg.

Applesauce:

Applesauce is a puree made from cooked apples. It is often sweetened or flavored with other spices like cinnamon This egg substitute is mostly utilized for binding and moisture in baked items where an additional leavening agent is present.

In a study, apple products were found to have very useful emulsifying properties (10).

Applesauce, unlike mashed bananas, has a more neutral flavor and adds fewer flavor elements to baked foods. One-fourth cup (about 65 grams) of applesauce can be substituted for one egg in most recipes.

Commercial egg replacer:

Egg substitutes are suitable for all baked items and should not influence the final product’s flavor. To replace one egg, mix 1.5 teaspoons (10 grams) powder with 2–3 tablespoons (30–45 grams) of warm water, depending on the brand.

Vegan eggs can be formulated by one plant-based ingredient or a combination of ingredients to recreate the functionality of eggs. Pulses are ingredients rich in proteins, starches, and fibers, as well several health beneficial ingredients (4).

Vinegar and Baking Soda:

Vinegar and baking soda can be temperamental. It produces the same results as many other substitutions, but it is more likely to fail. Look for recipes that expressly call for vinegar and baking soda if you wish to make an egg substitution.

One egg can be replaced with a mixture of one teaspoon (7 grams) baking soda and one tablespoon (15 grams) vinegar.

Arrowroot Powder:

Arrowroot is a starch-rich tuber plant native to South America and is rich in starch. The plant’s roots are used to extract the starch, which is then marketed as a powder, starch, or flour.

Starch has two major components: amylose and amylopectin. These polymers are very different structurally, amylose being linear and amylopectin highly branched – each structure playing a critical role in the ultimate functionality of the native starch and its derivatives. Viscosity, shear resistance, gelatinization, textures, solubility, tackiness, gel stability, cold swelling and retrogradation are all functions of their amylose/amylopectin ratio. In food applications, starches, such as arrowroot, have the capacity to act as emulsion stabilizers (12).

One egg can be replaced with a mixture of 2 tablespoons (approximately 18 grams) of arrowroot powder and 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of water.

Carbonated Water:

It may be used to add moisture to a recipe as well as a fantastic leavening agent. The carbonation traps air bubbles, resulting in a light and fluffy finished product. Cakes, cupcakes, and slices of bread benefit greatly from this alternative.

In a study, carbonated water and chickpea flour were used to substitute eggs to produce biscuits. Gas bubbles in carbonated water improved the structure of the biscuit, giving it a uniform porosity, stable shape and volume (13).

One-fourth cup (60 grams) of carbonated water can be substituted for each egg.

Other FAQs about Eggs that you may be interested in.

Can you get sick from eating raw eggs?

What can I use instead of eggs?

What can I substitute for eggs in cakes?

Conclusion:

In this short article, we have answered the question, “What can you substitute for eggs?” with an in-depth analysis of substitutes of eggs and why do we need to replace them.

References:

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  2. Caubet, Jean-Christoph, and Julie Wang. Current understanding of egg allergy. Pedia Clin, 2011, 58, 427-443.
  3. Jovandaric, Miljana Z. Veganism: A New Approach to Health. Veganism-a Fashion Trend or Food as a Medicine. IntechOpen, 2021. 
  4. Boukid, Fatma, and Mohammed Gagaoua. Vegan egg: a future-proof food ingredient?. Foods, 2022, 11, 161. 
  5. Zhao, Lili, Ran Feng, and Xueying Mao. Addition of buttermilk powder improved the rheological and storage properties of low‐fat yogurt. Food Sci Nutr, 2020, 8, 3061-3069.
  6. Isleten, M., and Y. O. N. C. A. Karagul-Yuceer. Effects of dried dairy ingredients on physical and sensory properties of nonfat yogurt. J dairy sci, 2006, 89, 2865-2872.
  7. Shydakova-Kameniuka, Elena, et al. Estimation of technological properties of nut meals and their effect on the quality of emulsion for butter biscuits with liquid oils. Восточно-Европейский журнал передовых технологий, 2019, 2, 56-64.
  8. Jideani, V. A. Functional properties of soybean food ingredients in food systems. Soybean-Biochemistry, chemistry and physiology, 201, 345-366.
  9. Saleh, Samaa. Zucchini Puree as a Novel Egg Substitute in Cake: Comparing with Other Substitutes. Alexan Sci Exch J, 2022,43, 219-228.
  10. Huc-Mathis, Delphine, et al. Emulsifying properties of food by-products: Valorizing apple pomace and oat bran. Colloids Surf A Physicochem Eng Asp, 2019, 568, 84-91.
  11. Liu, Jun, et al. Conlinin in flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum L.) gum and its contribution to emulsification properties. Food Hydrocoll, 2016, 52, 963-971.
  12. Satin, Morton. Functional properties of starches. Spolight tropical starch misses market. AGSI report, Agriculture21. FAO-Magazine, 1998, 11.
  13. Pyanikova, E. A., et al. Justification of recipe-component solutions in the production of dietary biscuit. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 2022,. 981.