Eggs are ingredients widely used in cooking, both alone or together with flour and sugar to prepare delicious cakes. In fact, in addition to being versatile, the eggs are also characterized by interesting healthy properties. However, sometimes, as we will see, there is the need to replace them in the recipes. So let's try to understand better.
Eggs, properties and why you sometimes may prefer not to use them
Eggs are a source of proteins, distributed both in the egg whites and yolks. But eggs also bring lipids, vitamins, such as A, D, E, K and group B, and mineral salts, such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium and zinc, concentrated mainly in the yolk. Some substances contained in the egg white modulate the action of the immune system and counteract inflammation while yolks help to keep blood pressure at bay (Réhault-Godbert et al, Nutrients, 2019). Finally, for a long time the eggs have been considered responsible for raising cholesterol values. Nowadays, however, the eggs have been rehabilitated, since a correlation between egg intake and increased cholesterol values ??has not been demonstrated. On the contrary, it has been observed that a moderate consumption of eggs has a protective action on the cardiovascular system (Kim et al, Nutrients, 2018 - Chenxi Qin et al, Heart, 2018). In cooking recipes, eggs are used to combine ingredients, to emulsify and to make the dough fluffy and soft. Despite the properties we have just seen, it is sometimes necessary to look for alternative solutions to eggs and replace them in recipes with other ingredients. For example, an allergy to eggs may be present. Or you may have chosen a vegan diet and lifestyle. Another possibility is that you may want to prepare desserts and realize that you don't have eggs at home. Not only that, in people with a high cardiovascular risk or who have recently suffered a heart attack or stroke, it is possible that the doctor also decided to limit the intake of foods containing cholesterol, including eggs (Spence et al, Can J Cardiol, 2010). In short, there are many reasons why you are looking for egg substitutes even if it is not easy to find alternatives. However, this is possible, let's see in more detail on the basis of the type of recipe you want to prepare.
Cookies, cakes, brownies, pancakes
In this case the eggs can be replaced with apple puree, cooked, pureed and, if you like, enriched with cinnamon or other spices. A quarter cup of apple puree, about 65 grams, can replace an egg. Alternatively, you can also use banana puree, 75 grams for an egg, however, consider that the final flavor may be affected by bringing back a slight aroma of the fruit. Other possibilities are a quarter cup of avocado puree, about 60 grams, or silken tofu, 60 grams, with a more neutral flavor. The quantities indicated always replace an egg. You can also use a quarter cup of pumpkin puree, 55 grams. The combination given by chia seeds and water is widely used in biscuits. In this case, to replace an egg, you can pour a tablespoon of chia seeds into three tablespoons of water, stir vigorously and let it sit for about thirty minutes. If you don't have chia seeds, you can use finely ground flax seeds instead, the proportions remain the same.
Meringues or muffin covers (icing)
To replace the egg white, aquafaba, or chickpea water, is used. Aquafaba is the liquid where the legumes were cooked, generally chickpeas and cannellini beans. Two tablespoons of aquafaba replace the white of an egg.
To replace an egg in cake recipes, you can mix a spoonful of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of baking soda together, then add to the other ingredients. Alternatively, you can use, instead of an egg, two tablespoons of arrowroot, a type of starch, in 3 tablespoons of water or 1 tablespoon of soy lecithin dissolved in the milk specified in the recipe. Indeed, based on research (Hedayati et a, Food Sci Nutr, 2018), the addition of soy lecithin has allowed to obtain soft sweets, which, in terms of taste, color and softness, were very similar to the same cake obtained using eggs.
Veggie balls, burger
For savory recipes, such as veggie balls or burgers, you can use this combination, which always replaces an egg, 2 tablespoons of wheat starch mixed with 3 tablespoons of water. Alternatively, you can use 3 tablespoons of peanut butter or a butter obtained from other types of dried fruit. For this purpose, chickpeas or cooked beans or boiled rice are also excellent alternatives to eggs.