Video: The Best Baking Substitute for Eggs

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist November 2, 2011

What is a healthy baking substitute for eggs if you have an egg allergy in your home?

Maybe you can eat eggs just fine but you’ve simply run out of farm fresh eggs temporarily and don’t want to run to the store and pay insane prices for inferior quality organic eggs.

Some folks use a few ounces of applesauce or a mashed up half banana as a substitute for one egg, but in my experience, the binding ability of fruit is not that great. It can also unexpectedly change the taste of the recipe which may not be desirable.

Here’s the substitute I would recommend as it works really well:   the gel that you get from soaking flax or chia seeds.

When you soak flax or chia seeds for just a few minutes in plain water (1 TBL seeds soaked in 1/3-1/4 cup of filtered water per egg to be replaced), the soaking water becomes gel-like and can be used as a perfect substitute for eggs in all your favorite recipes.

You can even whip the flax (or chia) gel to get an even lighter and fluffier end result!

* Note that if you have any thyroid issues, it is best to use chia seeds as flax is a slightly goitrogenic food.

Those who live in France should use chia seeds as flax has been banned for human consumption since 1973 and has limited availability in other European countries like Germany, Belgium and Switzerland.   To my knowledge, this ban is still in effect at the present time.

Below is a short, 2 minute video which demonstrates the process in my kitchen.

Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist.com

 

Comments (78)

  1. Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
    Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist November 2, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I misspoke on that but it was close enough and didn’t matter ultimately to the success of the recipe so I left it. I clarified this in the written part of the post. I meant to say 4-6 TBL (or 1/3-1/4 cup water)

    Reply
      • Canadian flax seed exports have been banned by 28 European countries since 2009 because it is largely a GM crop. The ban, however, was placed on organic flax seed because it has been testing positive for GM contamination due to natural cross-pollination: http://www.cban.ca/Resources/Topics/GE-Crops-and-Foods-Not-on-the-Market/Flax

        Thank you for providing the chia alternative. I am a recently reformed food consumer and food equity and sovereignty activist. I have been finding it difficult to track down non-animal product alternatives in recipes, so I love it when I (finally) come across a gem like this. Thank you so much for posting!

        Reply
          • I would just like to comment on the ban in France… I am French, and lived in France from 1976 to 2010. Flax is not banned and is actually used in many recipes (bread), but what was banned, due to lobby from other oil producers (like sunflower, I believe) was the oil from flaxseed. The lobbyists pushed so much that It was allowed to produce the oil, but not sell it in France for human consumption — the reason used was that the flaxseed oil reacts very easily with oxygen to become toxic upon consumption. However, it has been possible for a few years now to find (legally now) flaxseed oil in organic and health stores. Before the ban was lifted, we could already get flaxseed oil in Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, and probably other European countries where I have not tried to procure it.
            As far as I know, flaxseed oil is very beneficial if you are trying to get pregnant (both for the man and the woman). My husband and I were consuming it in yogurt before and after conception of our baby, and she is a very healthy toddler now.

  2. Amanda Edwards Bussard via Facebook November 2, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Thank you! I have been using flax seed as an egg replacer for quite some time as I am allergic to eggs.

    Reply
  3. Jody Tengberg via Facebook November 2, 2011 at 11:05 am

    * Note that if you have any thyroid issues, it is best to use chia seeds as flax is a slightly goitrogenic food.

    Those who live in France should use chia seeds as flax has been banned for human consumption since 1973 and has limited availability in other European countries like Germany, Belgium and Switzerland. To my knowledge, this ban is still in effect at the present time.

    Reply
  4. I have been using Chia gel as a substitute for eggs in my baking for years! People always marvel at my cupcakes that I make from a mix ( I know, not the best thing but easy and I rarely make them for just my family, so no one gets more than one!) to which i sub in the chia gel for the eggs and coconut oil for the oil. They are the most incredible cupcake ever! works best with the chocolate mixes. And works great with all my home baked cakes as well.
    My method is a little different. We consume chia gel everyday so I always have a bottle ready for and hydrated to use. This is how i do it.
    I mix 6 tablespoons of chia seeds in 2 cups of filtered water and let soak over night or for 12 hours of so. You can use 3T to 1 cup. (Tip: we actually use the old GLASS Sobe bottles to mix our chia, we put in 2 cups of water & 6 T of chia seed and shake! till it doesn’t separate and we let it gel on the counter for 12 hours or so and then refrigerate. it keeps for 2 weeks.)
    When I use it as an egg substitute in baking, I sub 1/4 cup of gel for each egg. It seems to work best this way in chocolate cake mixes, they become very fudgy and tender, almost melt in your mouth! Also works really great in apple/carrot cakes that I make from scratch. The cakes rise and sink a little when they cool, but the texture and flavor (with the coconut oil as the oil) is incredible!
    But I will try your way Sarah for yellow and non chocolate cake mixes and non fruit or vegetable cakes. And I have never whipped it before so that is an exciting discovery! Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Raggedy Ann via Facebook November 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I don’t heat flax ever. The oil in the flax is too fragile and unstable at high heats needed for baking. It can become rancid. It can also be toxic the same way transfats are toxic. I have had some fresh made breads where flax was used as the egg sub that tasted rancid.

    Reply
  6. @RaddedyAnn Note that the seeds are intact in the warming water and the water doesn’t get very hot at all (I can still stick my finger in it). The oils in the seeds are discarded with the seeds when strained. You are quite wise though as flax oil is very delicate and subject to rancidity. In this case though, the oil is not used.

    Reply
  7. I was wondering if anyone tried using the chia seed gel to make a faux mayonnaise. Or if anyone has another great way to make mayo that would taste good in my tuna fish.

    No soy, gluten, dairy, sugar recipes only. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Tracy,
      I found this recipe on the GAPS help list… HTH

      EGGLESS MAYO
      3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
      1 tablspoon dry mustard powder
      2 cloves garlic, chopped
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      1 cup vegetable oil

      In blender or food processor, combine lemon juice, mustard powder, garlic and salt. Whiz until well blended – maybe 30 seconds? With machine on, VERY slowly add the oil, either a dribble, almost drop by drop, or no more than the tiniest little stream. Slower is
      better than faster. Continue until it thickens. You may not need the whole cup of oil. DO NOT continue to add oil or blend after it thickens or it will un-thicken.

      NOTES: You can apparently use most any oil you want. I used EV olive oil. This is a very savory mayo and you can’t skip the mustard powder or garlic. They are your emulsifiers. So if you want a sweeter or more neutral mayo, this isn’t it.
      This will not thicken if there’s any humidity in the air, though I’ve always wondered how it knows when I am in with the furnace on. But it does and won’t get thicker than cream. It still tastes delicious as a salad dressing but it’s not mayo. I have not figure out how dry a
      humidity is required.
      You can use part coconut oil (melted) and it will thicken it up when in the frig. I don’t like the coconut taste here, though, I don’t feel it goes with the savory flavors.
      You can add a bit of dissolved gelatin. This will work but IMHO makes it taste like mayo gelatin, and once out of the frig it will start to melt a bit. But, when it does work, it’s delicious, if you like the strong flavors.

      Reply
      • Magda,
        Thank you sooooo much for the recipe and the tips. You are awesome. I can not wait to try it. I have been craving my old standby tuna fish and plain olive oil with salt and pepper was just not the same.

        Gratefully,
        Tracy

        Reply
  8. Pingback: Baking without Eggs, Gluten or Butter: Where to start? — Scratch Treehouse

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information. My daughter has been allergic to eggs for years, even the yolks. She is on the GAPS diet right now and we are hoping to fix the egg allergy, but in the meantime we have a wonderful solution! We tried it this morning and made pancakes (almond butter, zucchini, chia-goo)! She loved them and they held together well! Thank you so much! (We soaked the chia seeds for 15 mins or so and instead of straining them, we just blended them up with the batter in a blender. They were blended so well, so there was not tiny seed texture!)

    Reply
  10. I can’t imagine you’d not be able to buy flax seed in France!
    I live in Belgium and the packet in my cupboard was bought at a normal supermarket and I imagine it is available in all supermarkets. Flax seed can also be found as an added ingredient in multi-grain bakery bread (Belgium doesn’t have a “supermarket bread” culture, which I am familiar with as I’m Australian).
    Why on earth would it be banned?

    Reply
  11. *sigh*
    Why don’t blog comments also have a little ‘ X ‘ button for when you wrote something before finding the answer yourself

    So you can ignore the question about ‘why’ but the rest is valid ;-)

    Reply
  12. Pingback: Spelt Mini Cakes | Green Home Chef

  13. I recently had a thermagraphy done at “My pink image” in San Diego by Wendy Sellens and purchased her book “Breast Cancer Boot Camp” and it states in there that there are more phytoestrogens in flax than there are in soy. It was a little shocking.

    Reply
  14. A lot of people are asking why flax is bad. I’m no expert, but I was told to stop taking so much flax because it mimics estrogen in my body and it was causing hormone problems for me.

    Reply
  15. Thanks for the info! I was wondering if you know the smoking point of the oil in the chia seed? I don’t use flaxseed for baking because the flaxseed oil oxidizes at such a low temperature (around 250 degrees F). I’ve tried to find information on the smoking point of the oil in the chia seed, but have come up short. Any info you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    Deliciously Organic\’s last post: Homemade Twix Bars (Grain-Free, Paleo, Primal, Gluten-Free)

    Reply

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