Eggs are a very important source of protein. They can be boiled, fried, scrambled, and also eaten raw. Usually, chicken eggs are used for human consumption, though duck eggs, goose eggs, quail eggs, gull eggs, and emu eggs are also consumed by a large section of the population.
Apart from being a common food, eggs are an important ingredient in many dishes; both sweet and savory. They are mainly used as an emulsifier and a binding material in cooking. Eggs can be quite hard to replace in some recipes. But they cannot be consumed by people having egg allergy, as well as those who follow a vegetarian diet. However, it is still possible to relish the delicious dishes that require eggs, by using the following substitutes.
Alternatives to Eggs
While substituting eggs in a particular recipe, first of all, one needs to figure out which part has to be replaced. Some recipes call for the whole egg, while others require only the white portion or the yolk. The second important point to be considered is the role that eggs play in a recipe, i.e., whether they are used as an emulsifier, or as a rising, binding, or leavening agent.
There are a number of products, including the commercial egg substitutes that can be used to replace eggs in a recipe. However, you can also substitute them with some readily available products in your kitchen. Eggs can be substituted with milk, ground flaxseed, bananas, applesauce, tofu, soy milk, cornstarch, and mayonnaise.
In baking, you can replace eggs by using a mixture of baking powder, oil, and milk or water. To make this substitute, take equal amounts of oil for 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and add about 2 tablespoons of water or milk into the mixture. Here, baking powder acts as a rising material, while oil provides the stickiness of eggs. Milk, on the other hand, provides moisture.
Eggs can be replaced with silken tofu in recipes where several eggs are required. Use about ¼ cup of tofu for one egg. Like tofu, soy powder can also replace eggs. Use a mixture of 2 tablespoons each of soy powder and water to substitute one egg.
Ground flaxseed can work well in cakes. Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water, and simmer the mixture for a few minutes until it becomes thick. Another egg substitute that can be used in making cakes is buttermilk. You can replace an egg with ½ cup of buttermilk. However, be sure to reduce the amount of water for making the dough, if you are using buttermilk for replacing eggs.
Bananas and applesauce are two other common egg substitutes. You can use one banana to substitute one egg. Applesauce can be used in recipes that basically require eggs to add moisture. In addition to applesauce, you can also use milk and soy milk to replace eggs in such recipes.
Apart from these, you can use 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise to replace one egg, or make a substitute by mixing soy milk powder, cornstarch, and water. To substitute one egg, mix about 1 tablespoon of soy milk powder with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, and add 2 tablespoons of water to it to make a thick paste.
The success of substitution however, depends to a great extent on how many eggs are required for the particular recipe. If a recipe requires only one egg, then it is not so difficult to substitute it. But it might be a bit difficult to replace eggs in recipes that call for several eggs. The second important point is to determine the function of eggs in the particular recipe, i.e., whether they work as a rising agent or a binding and leavening agent. In other words, you need to be aware of the importance of eggs in a recipe in order to replace them efficiently.