I recently mentioned that I no longer eat eggs and got a lot of questions about this. Unfortunately, this was a little parting gift from my autoimmune disease, and isn’t just a preference (unlike my voluntary avoidance of bananas- the only food I won’t eat).
Eggs are a common allergen, second only to dairy allergies in children and egg allergies are on the rise. My most recent test showed that I had actually reversed my sensitivity to grains and dairy but still had a strong reaction to eggs.
Avoiding eggs can be inconvenient and difficult for the growing number of people with allergies. Many common baked goods, breaded foods and breakfast dishes contain eggs, but thankfully, there are great options for substitutes.
I feel a recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation.
When a variation of an egg-containing recipe becomes necessary due to an allergy, here are some of my favorite substitutions.
- 1 Tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1/4 cup of water (mix and let sit for 15 minutes)
- 1/4 cup full fat yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon ground flax seed + 1/4 cup water (mix and let sit for 15 minutes)
- 1/3 cup apple sauce (will be more crumbly)
- 1/4 cup pureed banana (obviously not what I use!)
- 1 Tablespoon gelatin powder in 1/4 cup water (mix and let sit for 15 minutes)
- 2 tablespoons dates, raisins or prunes + 2 tablespoons of water, pureed together
- 1/4 cup peanut butter or almond butter
A general rule is that if an egg acts as a binder in a recipe, almost any of the above substitutes will work. If eggs serve the purpose of leavening in the recipe, yogurt can be used or a teaspoon each of baking powder, white vinegar and water (mix together). If the egg is needed for moisture, yogurt, juice, applesauce or pureed banana should be used.
With coconut flour recipes, eggs are needed for both binding and moisture, so I typically use a chia, gelatin and applesauce mixture.
For breading, an egg mixture is often used, but there are some easy substitutions. My favorites are melted butter, coconut oil or plain yogurt.
For a more flavorful binder for breading, I mix equal parts mustard and honey or maple syrup.
In this one, you are out of luck! I haven’t found anything that replaces the eggs completely in taste or texture, but I’ve learned to love breakfast stir frys with many of the ingredients that would often be added to an omelet (peppers, onion, cheese, meat, spinach, cheese etc) sautéed together sans eggs.
I also think it’s time to buck the “eggs or cereal for breakfast” rule and consider that leftovers, stir-frys and even salads can be excellent healthy breakfast choices!
Do you avoid eggs by choice or necessity? What do you use for substitutes?