A while back, I wrote a post about why eggs are inhumane, regardless of whether they’re caged, free-range or organic. At the end of that post, I promised to write one on how to stop eating eggs. So here it is!
What can you substitute for eggs?
What you use instead of eggs depends on what you’re making. In this post, I’ll take you through some of the most common uses for eggs and explain what you can use instead. You may be surprised by how easy it is!
There are two main ways to make vegan scrambled ‘eggs’ or omelette – tofu and gram flour. Tofu is closest to the real thing – I’ve heard of people feeding tofu scramble to their oblivious non-vegan friends without them even realising there’s no egg in it! Tofu replicates the texture of eggs very well, but you’ll have to season it yourself. You can even use kala namak salt to give it a sulphurous, eggy taste.
Gram flour (another name for chickpea flour) yields a denser omelette or scramble. It may be less convincing, but it’s still very satisfying and enjoyable.
You can also use either tofu or gram flour to make a vegan quiche. Again, tofu is most convincing, but both are nice. When using gram flour, I typically make the quiche crustless, as it’s filling enough on its own.
It may also be worth trying the VeganEgg for these types of dishes. I haven’t personally tried it, but I’ve heard it’s very realistic. It may not be the most budget-friendly option, however.
These are harder, but tofu seems to be the answer. There’s an intriguing recipe on the blog Mouthwatering Vegan Recipes which may be worth trying if you’re a big fried egg fan.
Again, what you use in baking depends on what purpose the eggs have in the recipe. In cakes, the egg is allegedly there as a binder, but many vegan recipes use no egg substitute at all and still hold together just fine – this one, for example. In fact, my grandma used to make eggless cakes during the war, when eggs were rationed. She would simply leave the eggs out and add extra liquid (usually milk) to make up for it. Wartime recipes like this boiled fruit cake don’t use any eggs.
Cheat sheets like this one give many examples of things which can be used to replace eggs. Perhaps the most straightforward is ground flaxseed (linseed) – 1 tablespoon mixed with 3 tablespoons of water equals one egg.
Personally, I’ve always found it more effective to search for a vegan recipe rather than attempt to modify a non-vegan one. If you do substitute flaxseed (or anything else) for eggs, add some extra baking powder. This is because eggs also help baked goods to rise. Your cake may come out a bit flat if you don’t do this!
You can buy egg replacer, but I’ve personally never bothered with it. However, feel free to try it if you think it would be useful.
Finally, some people like to brush egg on pastry to help it brown in the oven. Soya milk works just fine for this.
- Meringues: these deserve their own mention because they evaded vegan bakers for a long time! The solution they eventually discovered was aquafaba, otherwise known as the water from a tin of chickpeas. There’s now a whole Facebook group dedicated towards this! Of course, there are plenty of recipes out there too.
- Custard: I just use custard powder for this, and make it with soya milk.
- French toast: I’ve seen a variety of recipes for this, using everything from chia seeds to cornflour. Google ‘vegan French toast’ and you’ll find plenty of inspiration.
I’m not going to pretend you can exactly replicate every single egg-based dish – I’ve yet to see a substitute for boiled eggs, for example! But I hope I’ve shown you that it’s perfectly possible to do without them. If there’s anything I haven’t covered that you’re wondering about, please leave it in the comments. And if you’re going vegan, check out my post on cutting out dairy, and my free vegan meal plan below.