The last few times I’ve been to the grocery, the dairy section has been completely out of eggs, which has me thinking about the best egg substitutes. Especially for baking. And, especially for those of us who’ve already hard-boiled our entire stash of eggs and turned them many pretty colors for Easter, before realizing we’re short on uncooked eggs for cooking.
Hey, we need cake! And waffles! And pancakes! And those require eggs.
Or do they?
As the partner of a very strict vegan, my easiest, tried-and-true egg substitute is aquafaba. And you probably already have it in your kitchen.
What is aquafaba?Yes! It comes from chick peas!
Aquafaba is simply the liquid from a can of chickpeas. So even if you’re cooking with recipes that calls for “chickpeas, drained,” don’t toss the aquafaba — it’s gold for us!
How do I use it as an egg substitute?
Give your can a good, hard shake. This loosens the starches from the chickpeas, and mixes them into the liquid. So get out that pent-up quarantine frustration with a really vigorous shake!
You can now substitute 1 Tbsp of liquid aquafaba for 1 egg in any baking recipe.
While we’re using this egg substitute right now because the egg shelves are empty at our local grocery stores, in general it’s a great baking trick when you’re cooking for people with an egg allergy, or tweaking a recipe to work for a vegan diet.
Note that in a pinch, I’ve used the liquid from other beans as well, but that liquid retains more of the flavor of those beans and isn’t ideal for baking.
Tiips for using aquafaba as an egg substitute
The beginnings of a no-egg mayonnaise | Minimalist Baker
If you are an avid baker and really aim for that light-and-fluffy sponge on cakes and muffins, I like to whip aquafaba in a mixer (or use a hand-beater) long with some cream of tartar for a stiff, meringue-like consistency that really takes your baked goods to the next level. (About 1/8 tsp of the cream of tartar to a can of the aquafaba should work.)
If you don’t have cream of tartar, you can whip the aquafaba alone, but it will fall much faster.
Trust me, you don’t have to be vegan to like any of these!
Beyond baking with aquafaba
Yes, aquafaba does work outside of baking and I’ve got a few ideas worth trying out.
I have used straight (unwhipped) aquafaba as a binder in recipes like bean burgers or zucchini fritters. It holds ingredients together well, because it’s about the same consistency as an egg white.
I’ve also seen it used to make your own vegan butter, vegan mozzarella cheese, tempura batter, potato dumplings, or in an aioli to use as a salad dressing or snack dip.
Truly, the only time I wouldn’t use aquafaba as a substitute for eggs is in a scrambled egg recipe, where you really want that “eggy” flavor.
It’s kind of a miracle substitute — and you probably didn’t even realize you already had it on hand.
Top photo: twinsfisch on Unsplash