Monday, August 27, 2012

Egg Substitutions, a work in progress...

Tonight I tried to make gluten-free, egg free (ie. Vegan) pancakes.  Epic fail.  First I tried just adding one TBS of coconut oil in place of the egg.  Fail.  Then I tried adding the "flax seed + boiling water" substitution.  Another fail.  I miss eggs!!!  Most of the recipes for Vegan Pancakes that I have found use banana as a substitute, which is not an option during the strict diet phase of the Candida Diet.  If anyone knows of a simple, easy, Vegan Gluten-Free pancake recipe, please let me know.  Or, I will just miss breakfast for the next three months.  

Below is a great overview of egg subs and how they are best used, most of which I either just haven't mastered or possibly don't work with a gluten free diet.  I'm guessing the "you can safely omit the egg" from pancakes part only applies to non-gluten-free pancakes.  I looked at the EnerG egg replacer at the grocery store and it had too many additive for my personal preference (including Sodium Carboxymethycellulose, Methylcellulose- neither of which I can pronounce and there for do not wish to consume).  And so my quest for a simple Vegan gluten-free pancake continues.  

General Egg Substitutions
1 egg = 2 heaped tbsp potato starch or arrowroot powder
1 egg = 1 small banana (or 1/2 big one)
1 egg = 2 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water
1 egg = 1/4 cup silken tofu
1 egg = 1/4 cup applesauce
1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds + 2-3 tbsp warm water
1 egg = 1 tbsp soy flour + 1 tbsp water
1 egg = 2 tbsp vinegar dissolved in 1/2 cup water
1 egg = 1/4 cup fruit puree + 1/2 tsp baking powder

In a cake, the eggs serve as a leavening agent, helping to make the cake light and fluffy. In baked goods such as cookies and muffins, the eggs add moisture and act as a binder, gluing all the other ingredients together. Sodepending on what you are baking, you may need to choose an egg-substitute that works the best.

Flat foods such as pancakes and cookies don't rely on eggs for lift, so you can safely omit the egg from the recipe; however, it's a good idea to add a tablespoon or two of additional liquid like milk, fruit juice, or water to restore the recipe to its original moisture content.

Savoury Recipes
Arrowroot starch, Potato starch, Cornstarch, Whole-wheat flour, unbleached, oat, or bean flour, Finely crushed breadcrumbs, cracker meal, Quick-cooking rolled oats or cooked oatmeal, Mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, or instant potato flakes are all great substitutes for eggs in savoury recipes like Casseroles, Patties/Cutlets, Breads and main Course entrees. Play around a little with these ingredients and experiment till you find the right balance. Try using 2-3 tbsp of any of these ingredients to replace 1 whole egg, and try choosing an ingredient that's already a part of your recipe so you do not alter the original taste a lot. Again, egg-replacerswork the best as they have no taste of their own.

Commercial Egg Replacer
Ener-G is an incredibly versatile and easy to use commercial egg replacer available in most health food stores and larger well-stocked grocery stores. Despite the instructions on the package to mix Ener-G with two tablespoons of water, some recipes will need a bit more moisture when replacing eggs using Ener-G, so you may need to compensate with an extra tablespoon of water or soy milk. Ener-G and other store-bought egg substitutes are relatively flavorless and work best in baked goods, such as cookies, muffins and cakes, and can also be used to bind ingredients together in a vegan casserole or loaf. Ener-G is vegan and certified kosher, but be sure to read the labels carefully on other brands, as some may contain egg whites.

Bananas and Applesauce
Smash up or blend about a half a banana or 1/4 cup applesauce to use as an egg replacer in baked goods such as muffins, pancakes or yeast-free quickbreads. Bananas and applesauce add the perfect amount of thick moisture, like eggs, but they won't help your dishes rise or turn out light and fluffy, so be sure to add 1/2 tsp extra of baking powder or baking soda to help it rise if needed.

Silken Tofu
Tofu is the best way to substitute eggs in savoury dishes such as a quiche, fritatta, sandwiches or salads. The texture of silken tofu or crumbled regular tofu is surprisingly similar to boiled or cooked eggs, and can lend a nice taste to the recipe.

Silken tofu is also an appropriate egg substitute in baked goods. To use, blend 1/4 cup silken tofu with liquid ingredients until tofu is smooth and creamy. While it won't alter the flavor of a recipe, using tofu as an egg substitute will make baked goods a bit on the heavy and thick side, so it works well in brownies, and pancakes, but wouldn't work well in something like an angel food cake which needs to be light and fluffy.

Flaxseeds or Whole Grains
Combine 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds with 3 tbsp boiling water in a small bowl for each egg you wish to replace. Let it stand approximately 10 minutes, until water is absorbed by flax, and then add to the recipe in place of egg

Egg substitutes are a preferred way to avoid eggs in your cooking. The lesser the amount of eggs a recipe needs, the easier it is to substitute them, without losing flavor or texture. Replacing eggs in recipes is also recommended at times to reduce fat and cholesterol content. So try these simple solutions for eggless recipes and experiment with them to find egg substitutes that work best with a recipe!

If you have a tried substitute that you'd like to share, please do so via comments and I'll update the post with your suggestions!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What I Have to Work With

Here is a list of Candida Diet approved foods, by category:

Vegetables (which will comprise the bulk of my diet for the next three months):

?Beet greens
-Brussel sprouts
-Collard greens
Dandelion greens
*Garlic (raw)
*Green beans
Kim Chi
**Lettuce (all types)
-Sauerkraut (raw)
Snow pea pods
Summer squash
-Swiss chard
Zucchini (only like it in baked goods)

Live Yogurt Cultures:
*Plain yogurt w/ Probiotics

Meat/ Fish:
?Wild Game
*Wild salmon

*Almond milk (unsweetened)
?Coconut Cream
**Coconut milk (unsweetened)
*Flax Seed
?Hemp Seeds
*Macadamia Nuts
-Pine Seeds
*Pumpkin Seeds
(No peanuts, cashews, or pistachios)

?Oat Bran
**Wild and brown rice

Oils (extra virgin, cold pressed):
**Virgin Coconut Oil
**Olive Oil
Sesame Oil
?Pumpkin seed oil
?Macadamia Oil
?Almond Oil
Flax Oil
Safflower Oil
Sunflower Oil
Coconut butter
Organic butter

Black Pepper
**Sea Salt
**Lemon Juice
?Coconut Aminos
**Apple Cider Vinegar (Organic, Raw, Unfiltered)
Mustard Powder
?Mustard made with apple cider vinegar

Chicory root coffee
*Cinnamon Tea
Clove Tea
*Chamomile Tea
Pau D'arco Tea
Peppermint Tea
*Ginger Tea
*Licorice Tea
*Lemongrass Tea


For a complete list of these foods and why to add them, plus a list of foods to avoid and why to avoid them, go to

*Like it, use it
**Love it, use it a lot
-Don't like it, try not to use it
--Really don't like it, avoid using it
?Haven't used it yet, any ideas?

Starting from the center of the maze

If you ever really want to make your life complicated, try eating healthy.  I mean REALLY healthy.  Let me warn you, the food industry and the FDA make this very difficult for the average American consumer.  (If I had my own private chef planning and cook meals  for me, and if I could afford said chef, things would be much more simple!)  There are toxins, chemicals, and unhealthy additives in nearly everything we eat.

If you want to make your life even more complicate, get tested for food allergies.  This is especially true if you are already experiencing symptoms such as digestive issues, fatigue, mental fogginess, headaches, and just about any other malady known to mankind.  I had been eating healthy, a "clean diet," and gluten free for over three months when I decided to get tested for food allergies to see if that would help clear up my acid reflux and migraines.  That's when my relationship with food got really complicated.

I won't go in to all the details, but I have sensitivities to gluten/wheat, eggs, and whey protein.  I have an overgrowth of yeast in my digestive system and I have a parasite (not contagious, thankfully).  Gluten free isn't all that difficult, I'd been doing fine for the past three months.  Removing eggs from the equation made it more difficult.  Removing all forms of sugar and anything that your body turns in to sugar (white rice, potatoes, fruits) is what really, really made things complicated.  The Candida Diet is not for the faint of heart.

For a fun exercise, go through your cupboards and look to see how many products you have that contain eggs.  (Soup, for example.  Chicken wild rice soup, with egg whites added for protein.)  Now try and see how many items you have in your pantry that are gluten free, egg free, sugar free (there are more than twelve different forms of sugar, including artificial), AND preservative free.  Not so fun, right?

So this blog is my way of keeping track of my journey out of the food maze and in to good health, while still attempting to preserve my sanity.  I plan on recording the good, the bad, and the ugly- just to warn you.  My sincere hope is that by doing this I can help someone else through this journey.  For the next three months I will be on the Candida Diet, after that if all goes well, I will simply remain gluten/egg/whey free.  I'm guessing by that point, being "only" gluten/egg/whey free will indeed be "simple."

Wish me luck, pray for me, let me know if you have any good Candida Diet recipes!
Thank you and God Bless~ Jenni