Fried, scrambled, poached or hard-boiled, the average American eats around 260 eggs per year. But with 210 mg of cholesterol, one large egg supplies more than two-thirds of the recommended daily cholesterol limit of 300 mg. Although that may sound a little scary, the American Heart Association notes that eggs can still fit within a heart-healthy lifestyle if cholesterol from meat and dairy is limited. If you like your eggs in the morning—that’s fine—but consider following up with plant-based meals for the rest of the day to keep your diet balanced and cholesterol under control.
If your love for egg-filled feasts and baked goods worries you, no need to fret! Here are three ways to substitute eggs in your favorite foods!
In Baked Goods
One tablespoon of applesauce can replace one egg in most baking recipes. Try it if you prefer your baked treats (like muffins and cakes) to be moist. To replace whole eggs in chewy baked goods like brownies or cookies, use one ripe mashed banana for every egg the recipe calls for. Another great alternative is a flax egg: combine one tablespoon flaxseed meal with two-and-a-half tablespoons water. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes until gelatinous consistency and use as you would an egg for any recipe.
As a Binder
Eggs are often used to bind ingredients together like in meatloaves and casseroles. As the eggs are heated during baking, they change from a liquid mixture to a solid and hold the other ingredients together. Instead, you can use a flax egg (refer to the recipe above) or chia seeds to bind recipes and add healthy fats and fiber. Mix one tablespoon ground chia seeds and three tablespoons water to replace one egg. Let the mixture sit for around 30 minutes or until thick, gel-like consistency.
Just Plain Ol’ Eggs
OK, sometimes you just want to eat eggs. Whether it’s in your morning omelette or a bowl of pad Thai, that eggy flavor can be hard to mimic with a chia seed egg or mashed banana. Tofu is the perfect substitute for dishes that call for an egg in its true egg form (rather than baked into a bread). For example, if you prefer scrambled eggs, use soft tofu. If you like them more condensed, try the extra-firm tofu. You can also use silken tofu (puréed) in quiche or custard recipes. In this instance, use a quarter cup of tofu per egg.
In addition to these whole-food alternatives, there are currently hundreds of egg replacers sold at most supermarkets and specialty stores. While Bob’s Red Mill offers a powdered egg replacer perfect for pancakes and waffles, a superb substitute to use in baked foods is Ener-G Egg Replacer—it’s also kosher, vegan-, cholesterol- and gluten-free. And, one of the newest products to join the fleet of egg-free subs is Follow Your Heart’s VeganEgg with it’s adorable egg-crate packaging. So, breakout your favorite recipe, play with the ingredients and have an egg-cellent time!
Tip: the best place to buy egg-free foods & snacks is at Vitacost.com!