Vegan egg yolk substitutes may seem challenging, but healthy alternatives are available. There are many reasons why people aside from vegans prefer egg substitutes. The egg yolk has up to 100 mg of cholesterol per yolk. Health conscious consumers look for less cholesterol laden options. The egg yolk is a high protein binder. It’s a great emulsifier and can hold ingredients together, but there are substitutes containing less fat and calories, while still providing protein and other important nutrients like Omega 3’s. Many recipes requiring 1-3 eggs can still be produced by omitting the egg altogether and adding a bit more water, soybean oil or soymilk. Recipes though which call for egg yolk as a binding agent may need something stronger than soybean oil or soymilk.Following are some nutritious suggestions:
Eggs and egg yolks provide texture and binding in many recipes and are used primarily as emulsifiers, rather than for flavoring foods. Lecithin is a phospholipid made from soybeans that promotes higher HDL levels (good cholesterol), which is actually very beneficial to your health. It’s an excellent binder, is tasteless and odorless for the most part and comes in many forms at your health food or sometimes even your grocery store. The soybean renders oil that binds quite nicely and is often used in commercial products as an emulsifier. Lecithin can be used as is, refrigerated, or better yet, even more convenient, it is processed into granules which have a long shelf life. This is a pretty healthy vegan egg yolk substitute because it is water soluble and makes LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) more soluble and therefore more easily eliminated from the body. One tablespoon of lecithin granules is equal to a large egg yolk. Calorie wise, it’s only 40 per tablespoon, which is far less than an egg yolk.
Starch Based Egg Yolk Replacements
Although these don’t have the same amount of protein as an egg yolk, they are still healthier and have less calories.
The following simple recipe is a quick and easy option –
As a replacement for two eggs (yolks or whole eggs) sift together:
1 tablespoon of tapioca or corn starch
1 tablespoon potato starch
¼ teaspoon baking powder and, (if possible),
1/8 teaspoon xanthium gum
The last step is to mix in ½ cup of water and 2 teaspoons of soybean oil.
The taste isn’t altered and it provides the moisture and fat of an egg. At the same time the baking powder allows it to rise.
Flax seed is a frequently used and nutritious substitute. Finely ground and added to water, it produces a jelly like substance that can be used as a replacement for eggs or yolks.. It has a nutty flavor and works best in baking. Organic flax seeds can turn rancid when exposed to light and air so the seeds should be stored whole in the freezer, and ground as needed for cooking preparations. The added health benefit is that flax is high in omega 3 fatty acids.
Ener-G is a protein enriched powder available commercially. The powder can be mixed with 2 tablespoons of water and used as a yolk alternative or 3 tablespoons of water for a whole egg replacement. It’s used mostly in cooking and baking and many say its flavor is benign. You may need to add more water depending upon your moisture requirements or if you‘re using it to “stick” together a dish like meatloaf or any casseroles. To make it even richer and more nutritious, mix with either rice or soya milk, in equal measures.
1 and ½ teaspoons = 1egg.
½ teaspoon alone would be equal to the yolk alone.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
The chemical reaction produced when combining these two ingredients makes baked recipes lighter and fluffier, without the need for egg yolks. To replace 1 yolk or 1 egg use 1 Tablespoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. This mixture is used as an egg substitute in baking recipes.
Tofu can be used as an ingredient substitute for common foods like mayonnaise, custards, quiches and puddings. You can even make a healthy and delicious omelet using tofu as a substitute. Silken Tofu, available at natural and health food stores, has a creamy texture and can be used as a binding agent.Because of its density though, it’s best used in heavier cakes that require an egg-like texture. To replace one yolk use 1/8 to ¼
cup of tofu blended well with the other recipe ingredients.
This healthy replacement adds moisture and texture and aids in the binding of ingredients, making dishes light and fluffy. Use ¼ cup of soya yogurt as an egg replacement, slightly less for just the yolk. Soya is a protein rich, water soluble substance, rich in healthy fatty acids.
There are other egg yolk vegan substitutes that aren’t as protein rich, but can be useful for certain recipes.Bananas and applesauce are popular substitutes, although you’ll need to add baking powder & soya milk for binding and texture in the baking process. These 2 fruits are often used in diabetic recipes as well, because of their sweet flavor and low sugar content.
There are a lot of powdered yolk and egg substitutes on the market but be very careful to read the labels carefully if you’re looking for a vegan alternative, as many rely on egg whites in their formulas. Many grocery store items are now made without eggs including popular foods like mayonnaise and salad dressings. Yolk free and egg free is also usually fat and cholesterol free.
Any recipe using eggs or egg yolks can be made with healthy non-egg alternatives. There are a large number of vegan cookbooks that utilize these substitutes to create such “egg-rich” dishes as Vegan Latkes, Vegan Egg Casseroles, Eggless Egg Salads and many other delicious preparations. Just about recipe requiring egg yolks can be prepared using vegan egg yolk substitutes. There’s so much good information available today regarding food and nutrition. By cooking creatively, you can easily make healthier lifestyle choices in your home.