One of the issues that come up sometimes when people decide to become vegan is what to do about the eggs that they would normally use in cooking and baking. Eggs are also ingredients in many commonly used products, including condiments, such as mayo, so it can be hard to take that final step from vegetarian to vegan and give up eggs, especially for those who love baking. There are some alternatives, however.
Both flax seeds and chia seeds can be combined with water and let sit until they turn into a gel. This works in many baking recipes as a substitute for eggs. However, these ingredients aren’t cheap, so it isn’t necessarily an alternative that would be used by most companies looking to make inexpensive alternative products for vegans. These seed-based egg alternatives also aren’t able to substitute for eggs in all of their many uses. They aren’t necessarily good for emulsifying dressings, for example, and can’t be scrambled or cooked as a stand alone dish like eggs can.
A company called Hampton Creek is coming up with some new, plant-based alternatives for use in products that would typically contain eggs. They make an egg-free mayo that makes use of a pea protein instead of eggs and a cookie that uses sorghum instead of eggs. They’re also coming up with many new products, including baking mixes and an egg substitute that will scramble like real eggs.
They’re researching various plant-based foods looking to see which have some or all of the properties of eggs that would make them useful in creating egg-free products. They focus mainly on the ones that can be sustainably produced as well, as there’s no use coming up with an egg alternative that would be expensive to produce or harmful to the environment to produce in large quantities.
There’s no one ingredient that can do everything that an egg does, but using a mix of ingredients can make it possible to make a relatively natural plant-based alternative that can be used in a given situation as a substitute for those who want to give up eggs.