The best egg substitute depends on what the egg brings to the original recipe, such as binding, leavening, or added flavor. Examples include mashed banana, margarine, and chickpea flour.

To many people, eggs are a staple food. They are extremely versatile. Cooks might use eggs as a binding agent or as a leavening agent in cake and cookie recipes.

Alternatively, people might eat them as part of a meal, such as scrambled, hard boiled, or as an omelet.

However, not everyone can eat eggs or may choose not to eat them. A person may be allergic, or may not want to consume animal products for ethical or religious reasons.

This article lists 16 different egg substitutes for baking, binding, flavor, and more.

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The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) says that people should think about the role eggs play in a recipe when choosing an appropriate egg substitute.

For instance, eggs tend to play one of two roles in a baked good recipe.

Sometimes, they act as a binding agent, meaning they hold the ingredients together.

Other times, they act as a leavening agent, meaning they help the recipe to rise. In some cases, eggs do both jobs.

It is worth noting that egg substitutes do not tend to work in recipes that call for three or more eggs.

Using egg substitutes in some of the following desserts will usually lead to a poor consistency:

  • pound cakes
  • sponge cakes
  • angel food cakes

It is also important to understand the difference between egg replacements and egg substitutes.

Commercially available egg replacement products can sometimes contain egg. The AAFA advises people to always read the label.

Some common egg substitutes include:

1. Mashed banana

Mashed banana can act as a binding agent when baking or making pancake batter. Replace each egg with 1/2 of a ripe banana.

2. Applesauce

Applesauce can also act as a binding agent. Try replacing each egg with 1/4 cup of applesauce.

3. Fruit puree

Fruit puree will help bind a recipe in a similar way to applesauce.

1/4 cup will replace 1 egg. It is worth noting that using fruit to replace eggs can change the flavor of a recipe or dish.

4. Avocado

1/4 cup of pureed avocado per egg can act as a binding agent in a recipe. It can also add moistness and richness.

5. Gelatin

To make gelatin for use in a recipe, mix 1 cup of boiling water with 2 tsp. of unflavored gelatin.

While it is an effective binding agent, this option is not suitable for people who follow a vegan diet.

6. Xanthan gum

Xanthan gum is a white powder that comes from the exoskeleton of bacteria.

Add 1 tsp. per recipe to bind and add texture to egg-free cakes and cookies, as well as milk-free ice cream.

7. Vegetable oil and baking powder

This substitute works when people need eggs as a leaving agent.

Mix between 1 and 1.5 tbsp. of water with 1 tsp. of baking powder per egg.

8. Margarine

Margarine works as a substitute for an egg glaze.

Instead of brushing a beaten egg onto recipes before baking, use melted margarine.

9. Flaxseeds

Use flaxseeds as an egg replacement for binding and adding texture. They work best in recipes like bran muffins and oatmeal cookies.

Whisk 1 tbsp. of ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp. of water, then leave the mixture to sit for around 20 minutes. It will change texture and look a little like egg whites.

Just like some eggs, flaxseeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

They also have a similar fat and protein profile to eggs. However, they can add a grainy or nutty flavor to the finished product.

10. Chia seeds

Chia seeds act in the same way as flaxseeds in a recipe. They can help bind ingredients and are best used in recipes such as breads and wholemeal cookies.

Mix 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, then leave to sit for around 20 minutes. It will become thick and egg-white like.

The mixture will have a darker color than eggs, and this can make the final product darker, too.

11. Seeds and baking powder

Chia and flaxseeds are another alternate leavening agent. Mix 1 tbsp. of the seeds with 3 tbsp. of water and leave to sit.

Once the texture has changed to a more gel-like consistency, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder per egg mentioned in the recipe.

12. Powdered egg replacements

Lots of companies make and sell powdered egg replacements. People can use these to bind, leaven or add texture or richness to the recipe.

Examples include Egg Replacer, The Vegg and The VeganEgg.

Each product has a slightly different offering. Some even include some egg. Therefore, it is important to always read the label and the ingredients list to make sure it is suitable.

13. Chickpea flour

Make egg-free omelets and pancakes by using 2-3 tablespoons of chickpea flour mixed with an equal amount of water instead of one egg.

Nutritional yeast flakes can add depth of flavor to the recipe.

14. Firm tofu

Replace hard-boiled eggs in salads and sandwiches with extra firm tofu. This type of tofu has a similar texture and protein content to eggs.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests using 2 oz. of chopped, extra firm tofu to replace one hard-boiled egg.

15. White beans

White beans can also act as a hard-boiled egg replacement.

Like tofu, they have a similar texture and protein content. Try adding white beans to salads and sandwiches.

16. Scrambled tofu

Scrambled tofu is a great alternative to scrambled eggs.

Adding turmeric will create a yellow color similar to egg, and nutritional yeast flakes will add flavor.

Some people even add kala namak, or Himalayan black salt, due to its sulfurous, egg-like flavor.

Aim for 2 oz. of silken or firm tofu per one egg.

People use eggs in cooking in many ways. Eggs are extremely versatile and bring different benefits to different recipes.

However, not everyone can eat eggs or wants to eat them. Some people are allergic, while others follow a vegan diet, for example.

Luckily, lots of egg substitutes exist. To pick the right one, people should think about what role eggs play in their recipe, such as binding, leavening, or adding flavor and texture.

When using egg replacement products, people should always read the label first. Sometimes, they contain eggs or other allergens.