Friday, November 2, 2012

Eggless Eating

Since we are well into the time of the year when the chickens go on strike--not really, they just take their annual molt and rest from laying--I thought I'd talk about making changes to the menu for when you can't eat eggs, whether for health reasons (like DD1's boyfriend, who is allergic to them) or because you just don't have any on hand.

Us hard-headed do-it-yourselfers with chickens often run into a lack of eggs in the dark, cold months of winter.  Then we have two choices:  find a way to substitute when a recipe calls for an egg or two, or *shudder* go to the store and buy eggs *shudder*.

If you all ready eat farm fresh eggs, you'll understand the *shudder* at the thought of eating an egg from the store.  If you don't know the difference, well, it's quite amazing that an egg can be so different in taste, texture, color and nutrients just depending on the lifestyle of the hen that laid it.  Once you've had a 'real' egg,   it's hard to settle for anything less.  And you'll be on your way to becoming one of those weird people (like me :-D ) who want to eat only pasture-raised meat.

It was during an egg barren time of the year once we'd started raising laying hens and decided we'd really rather not ever buy commercially raised eggs again, that I first went searching for alternatives to eggs in my recipes.  What I came up with, thanks to the internet (yay, internet!!), is a long list of things I can use in recipes in place of eggs.  Things that don't come from the store in a container marked "egg substitute", but rather come right from my own pantry staples.

Things like:

  • baking powder
  • vegetable oil
  • water
  • flaxseed 
  • flour
  • yogurt
  • applesauce

Here are the 'recipes' for an egg that I use most when I need to substitute:

2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp veg. oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp liquid


2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp veg oil
1/2 tsp baking powder


1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
3 Tbsp water (stir together and let sit 10 min before using)

Some work better than others, and some definitely only work for certain things.  For instance, we tried the baking powder, veggie oil and water substitution in a brownie recipe that called for 5 eggs.  Let me just say that was too many eggs to substitute with oil. The brownies got eaten, (we may have used spoons. . .) but they had rather a laxative effect--we were quite well-greased for a day or two.  I tried the flaxseed and water substitution in a coffee cake recipe and it came out rather dense and heavy.  Probably applesauce would have been a better call for that one.

It's really a matter of experimentation to find out which one works with which recipes.  As a rule of thumb, the fewer eggs being substituted, the better it works.  So now that 5-egg brownie recipe is not something we make in the winter time.

What started out as me being too stubborn to go to the store for eggs when my chickens weren't laying has come in really handy since DD1 has been involved with her egg-allergic boyfriend (16 months and counting; I think he's pretty much family now).  I can have him over for just about any meal, including breakfast, and not kill him, lol.  We even went with two cakes at DD1's graduation open house, one 'normal' and one eggless, so that he could be part of her celebration.

It also is a nice bit of knowledge to have in the winter time.  I can still serve fried eggs to DH (his breakfast of choice most days) all through the cold dark months by saving our farm fresh eggs for him, and using substitutions in my other dishes.

For more ideas, or specific recipes using egg substitutions, just do an internet search.  For an eggless chocolate cake recipe, look up my post from June on DIY Graduation Cake.

No comments:

Post a Comment