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Egg Replacers: When and How to Use

Natural egg replacersPhoto: Thinkstock

Eggs provide structure, rise and lift, work as an emulsifer, create tenderness, increase shelf life, and add moisture or color in baked goods. Knowing their function is the key to replacing them. Following are the more traditional egg substitutes.

Flaxseed or Chia Seed

Adds: moisture, increase shelf life; also adds density
Best for: quick breads, brownies, cookies, yeast bread
How to: 1 egg = 3 tbsp warm water + 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds or ground chia seeds. Let thicken before using; limit chia seeds to 1 egg to prevent gumminess.

Baking Powder Basic

Adds: lift, lightness, texture
Best for: yeast breads, quick breads, pancakes, cakes
How to: The combination of starch, leavening and a gum is common in gluten-free recipes. If a recipe already has starch, use: 1 egg = 3 tbsp fatty dairy-free beverage (e.g. coconut) + 1/4 tsp baking powder. For more eggs, multiply the milk beverage by the number of eggs, but only use 1/2 tsp baking powder. (e.g. 3 eggs = 9 tbsp liquid + 1/2 tsp baking powder).

Just Like Store-Bought

Adds: binding power, lift, structure; can taste slightly starchy
Best for: most baked goods
How to: Make your own version of commercial powdered egg replacer, which typically contains starch. If the gluten-free recipe you’re following doesn’t include a starch, use: 1 egg = 1 1/2 tbsp tapioca starch or arrowroot starch + the preceding Baking Powder Basic method.

Mashed Fruit/Vegetables
(applesauce, banana, pumpkin)

Adds: moisture, binding power (with bananas) and density
Best for: brownies, quick breads, pound cakes
How to: 1 egg = 1/4 cup mashed fruit

Cider Vinegar

Adds: tenderness, lightness
Best for: most baked goods, especially quick breads, yeast breads, cakes, pastry crust
How to: 1 egg = 1 tbsp vinegar, stirring into the batter right before pouring into the pan.

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