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Eggless Eggs

How do you cook without eggs?

I've been a vegetarian for over 30 years. There are lots of meat alternatives, there a plenty of main courses that work very well. But, what do you do to replace eggs?

If what you really want are scrambled eggs for breakfast, you can go with scrambled tofu. Where you'll probably really miss eggs is in baking. Some foods, I never expect to see again: Chocolate Eclairs; oh, well.

There are two purposes that eggs fill very nicely when baking: binding and rising.

For binding, as in cookies and cakes and breads, I use flaxseed meal as an egg replacer: 1 Tbls. of meal with 1 Tbls. of water is the equivalent of an egg.

While you will probably be able to find flaxseed in a health food store, you may have to search for flaxseed meal. Those little seeds are hard! There isn't enough force in a blender to break them up. My sister uses her flour mill; I found that a coffee grinder works just fine.

For conveneince, I'll make meal several tablespoons at a time and store in the refrigerator.

For leavening, I use Ener~G's (brand) Egg Replacer (a culinary egg substitute). It's available in many health food stores. Its ingredients are: Potato Starch, Tapioca flour, leavening, carbohydrate gum. An equivalent egg is 1 tsp. of egg replacer and 1 Tbls. of water.

If your recipe doesn't seem to rise, a simple trick is to add a little bit of extra baking soda plus a little bit of apple cider vinegar (adding the baking soda to dry ingredients and the vinegar to the wet ingredients).

What I find really amazing is that a number of the so-called egg replacers available in the grocery stores are made with egg products! Particularly look for the ones that are made with egg albumin (egg whites), calling themselves eggless because they don't have the yolk.

Another thing I find amazing is the number of recipes from which you can simply delete the eggs entirely. Of course, I don't expect to be able to eat donuts from a shop or buy waffles in a restaurant, but my own home recipes don't even call for eggs. If the recipe you're trying to alter doesn't seem to have a real need for eggs (some of them seem to be there merely for the protein), don't be afraid to just make the recipe without. Lemon Pie may no longer be lemon meringue, but the lemon pudding doesn't need the yolks!

When the holidays come around, if you feel like you're missing out on the Egg Nog, try Almond Nog instead!

Remember that eggs are a "hidden" product in many commercial foods. Technically, without eggs, mayonaise isn't really mayonaise. But, you can find "eggless mayonaise" in health food stores, or you can make it yourself.

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