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egg alternatives

Egg substitutes

Whether you’re egg-free by choice or allergy, or just can’t get hold of eggs, I thought I’d help with a trusty guide for egg substitutes in baking and cooking.

Typically, eggs in baking us generally are used for two reasons; either that act as a binder which means that are used to hold the recipe together or they act as a leavening agent meaning that is used to help the recipe rise. The binding element helps combine the ingredients and hold them together giving the food it’s structure. The leavening helps trap pockets of air in the foods allowing them to expand during cooking. Think soufflés, angel cake, and meringues which all have a light airy texture. Sometimes they are used to help bind and rise.

Eggs also have moisture functions in which the liquid for the eggs is absorbed into the other ingredients which help keep the finished recipe moist. They can also improve the flavour and appearance of recipes.

Fortunately for us, there are plenty of alternatives to eggs.

  1. Bananas. Mashed bananas are a popular egg replacement. About 65g of banana is the equivalent of 1 egg. The only downside to baking with bananas is that you might have a mild banana flavour, so substitution works best in cakes, muffins, brownies, and quick breads. You can also use mashed avocado or pureed applesauce and pumpkin in the same quantity.
  2. Vinegar and Baking soda. Mixing 7g of baking soda and 15g of vinegar can replace one egg. Apple Cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar are my recommendations. when mixed together, the vinegar, and baking soda start a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide and water (I know I’m a chemist) which makes baked good light and airy. This alternative works best for cakes and cupcakes.
  3. Yoghurt and Buttermilk. Both of these are good substitutes. It’s best to use a plain version as flavoured varieties include the flavour and are usually sweetened. You can use 60g of yoghurt or buttermilk for egg required and this can be used for cake and cupcakes. You can also make your own buttermilk by souring milk with a couple of drops of lemon juice or vinegar to curdle.
  4. Aquafaba. Ever opened a can of chickpeas or beans? Aquafaba is the liquid leftover from cooking chickpeas and legumes. The liquid has a similar consistency or raw egg whites, making it an excellent substitution for many recipes where just egg whites are required. You can use 45g of aquafaba to replace one egg. You should also try using aquafaba to make meringues, they are amazing.
  5. Nut butters such as peanut, cashew or almond butter. About 60g of nut-butter is enough to replace one egg and best used in recipes where they already have a nut as an ingredient such as brownies or cookies.
  6. Carbonated water can add moisture to the recipe plus acting as a leavening agent. The carbonation traps air bubbles which help the recipe become light and fluffy. You can replace the egg with 60g of carbonated water.
  7. Silken tofu. Tofu is condensed soy milk that has been processed and pressed into solid blocks. The texture of tofu varies, the more water that has been pressed out, the firmer it gets. Silken tofu is soft as it has high water content and therefore just 60g is needed to replace one egg. Silken tofu is an excellent alternative as it is also flavourless.
  8. Ground flaxseeds or chia seeds. Most would suggest flaxseed or chia seeds higher in their list as both are highly nutritious. High in omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and plant compounds, just 5g flaxseeds or chia seeds with 45g water blended together is an alternative to one egg. However, I will add live in a household with kids, think they are gourmet food connoisseurs who can taste the hidden vegetables in tomato sauce or when I’ve swapped plain flour for semolina in pizza bases, so personally don’t get away with this one. But if you can, then it’s great.

Luckily, plenty of foods can replace eggs in baking, though not all of them act the same way. Some egg alternatives are better for heavy, dense products, while others are great for light and fluffy baked goods. You may need to experiment with various egg alternatives to get the texture and flavor you desire in your recipes.

Do let me know how you get on.

How to make your Thermomix pay for itself

So you’ve taken the plunge and bought a Thermomix. That’s fabulous. Our unique selling point of a Thermomix is the cost-saving from day one, so here’s a helpful guide of what you should be making in your Thermomix TM6. Here are my 5 top recipes that I encourage everyone who buys a Thermomix to make regularly to ensure you start to make your Thermomix pay for itself.

1. Stock paste

The vegetable stock paste is something that I always have in my fridge and one of the recipes I always suggest to my customers that they make first with their Thermomix.  I put homemade vegetable stock into everything I do from curries, stews, risottos and of course soups. One heaped teaspoon of Thermomix stock paste is equivalent to one stock cube without any of the nasties. When you know what goes into your food, including something as simple as stock paste, you start to eat cleaner and healthier. Making your own vegetable stock paste is neither difficult or expensive. All you need are some vegetables, good quality salt, and an excellent blender. 400g of vegetables makes one mason jar full of stock paste which lasts for about four months in the fridge. The sea salt acts as a natural preservative so no other additives are needed.

Yes, you can follow the recipe to the fullest, but my favourite and craziest idea is to wing it. I either empty the vegetable tray in my fridge on a Sunday evening and cook all the leftover vegetables before they go bad. I’m always a bit excited to see what colour my stock paste is as I never follow the TM recipe and depending on what vegetables I use, it’s a different colour. I don’t why but red cabbage always features heavily in my stock paste – it’s one of the vegetable I buy and only use half of it.

Here’s the Vegetable Stock Paste Cookidoo Recipe, I roughly follow.

2. Nut, seed and rice milk

Have you ever looked at the ingredients in any of the supermarket nut milks? Take example almond milk. Chances are you find a whole lot of ‘extra’ crammed in there that really don’t need to be there.  Do we really need locust bean gum, gellan gum, lecithins? I don’t even know what half of them are. And when you see the almond milk percentage, it’s low’ super low. As low as 2.3%. Making your own homemade nut milk will mean you keep your milk preservative and additive-free.

The process of nut milk is simple; soak some nuts, wait and blend. If you are adding it to make a bechamel you can strain it, but if you are drinking it as part of a smoothie or shake, I don’t mind the ‘bit’s and leave it as it is. Store-bought nut milk has a sweet taste, so if you like that, you can sweeten it with a little honey or a couple of dates.

The best part of it is that homemade nut milk is easy and so much cheaper than store-bought and you know exactly what’s in it. I’ve milked almonds, cashews, pecans, hazelnut, and cashews. The sky is the limit.

Check out my recipes here: Almond Milk, Soya Milk, and Rice Milk

3. Almond meal

Many people who lean towards a Thermomix are those who are gluten free and making a change in their diets due to health reasons. However, it’s not just for medical reasons, alternative flours and meals are becoming really popular for baking these days. One of the most popular flour substitutes is almond meal, which is simply ground up whole almonds. It often costs much more than an equal weight in almonds; currently £1.25/100g. A store-bought almond meal will become rancid very quickly once the oil in the nuts is oxidized during the processing. Milling nuts, seeds or grains (rice, quinoa, oats, etc) fresh whenever you need a meal or flour will not only save you money but also give you a much healthier product! Mill for 30 seconds, speed 10, or until flour is achieved (will vary for different nuts, seeds, and grains).

4. Icing sugar

In the UK, one of our regular demonstration recipes is a frozen fruit sorbet or berry foam. These recipes not only show the magical blending capability of the Thermomix but it’s the ability to make icing sugar.

Did you know that icing sugar and caster sugar are simply milled versions of granulated white sugar? Yet, they are always more expensive! Everyone has granulated sugar in their pantry or store cupboards and all you need to do is mill 2 seconds, speed 10 when needing caster sugar and 1-3 minutes, speed 10 when needing icing sugar and hey presto, you have all 3 versions. It’s not just the cost-saving that is great here but the space-saving too especially needed in London where we have tiny houses and flats with little or no storage space.

5. Yoghurt

Homemade yogurt tastes great and it is better for you too. The key to this is to use the most delicious milk you can find. You can eschew the powdered milk if you want, but you will need to leave the yogurt to ferment twice as long and sometimes the texture can be a little unusual. There are plenty of Cookidoo recipes for yoghurt especially now that the Thermomix TM6 has a ferment mode too. But my favourite yoghurt recipe is one that I’ve been doing successfully for years and still works out perfectly every single time.