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!

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