I’m enjoying the challenge of feeding healthy treats to everyone at our playgroup. I’ve discovered, and created, quite a few recipes now that I use in my family cooking. Last week I was looking for vegan cookie recipes, but I’m still learning about how to replace eggs in recipes, and I didn’t want to buy a commercial egg replacer product (which, although I haven’t researched it, I suspect is probably just a bit of cornflour, salt and bicarb).
I enjoy eating eggs and love spending time with my chookies who gift us with their eggs each day. I do have many friends who have their own reasons for not eating eggs though, and I like to cook for everyone. I didn’t realise that eggs have different functions when they are included in food. Well, I think I did know, but had never given it much thought until I wanted to try to cook without them.
Eggs provide moisture, bind other ingredients together, and also help to make the combined ingredients light and fluffy (leavening). So replacing eggs in your recipes would depend on what they are used for, and what part of the egg is used (white or yolk or both).
So far I have learned that eggs can be left out all together if the thing you are making is fairly flat – like pancakes or bread or slices. If moisture is required, a little extra liquid can be used, something thicker like coconut milk or cream (unless you are vegan of course).
If you need eggs for binding you can hold your mixes together with other ingredients such as mashed bananas, cooked apple (for sweet baking), mashed pumpkin, potato or sweet potato (for savory baking), silken tofu or a mixture of ground chia or flax seeds and water (about 1tbs water to 1 tsp ground seeds for one egg). You could also try a little bit of cornstarch and water mixed together.
If you are making leavened recipes and want rise to occur in cooking you can achieve this with a mixture of vinegar (1 tbs) and bicarb of soda. I tried this on the weekend in an egg-free fruitcake recipe and apart from the fact that I burned the outside of the cake, I’d say that little trick worked quite well. I think some carbonated water would also work, and I’ve read that a bit of oil, water and bicarb will do the trick also.
It’s fun to play around with food …. I’m just as happy to eat the disasters as well as the happy successes … but because I make sure I use good quality, simple ingredients it isn’t hard to make something delicious – besides I have found there isn’t much that can’t be saved by spreading some cashew cream or peanut butter on it – and what I am not fond of, the chickens seem quite happy with 🙂
This week I made up a cookie recipe that just left the eggs out all together. They didn’t need rise, they were held together with a bit of sticky maple syrup glue, and had enough oil in them that moisture wasn’t a problem. In fact you could probably leave the extra coconut oil out, but I like the way they kind of fried themselves in the oven, which is what I think made them so yummy. If you leave out the extra oil you wouldn’t even need to cook them, you could just roll them up and put them in the fridge for a bit of raw goodness. In any case, these cookies were baked and there were none left at the end of playgroup, that’s for sure!
100g raw cashews
100g almond meal
1/4 cup liquid sweetener of your choice (honey/maple syrup)
100g shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla essence
30g, (or a bit less than 1/4 cup) coconut oil
Blend the cashews and almond meal together on high-speed until they are all crumbly together.
Add sweetener, coconut, essence and oil, then mix it all together really well.
Roll or drop little balls of the mixture onto a lined tray.
Bake at a moderate oven about 10 minutes or until they turn golden brown – watch out! This happens quickly!!