Monday, February 21, 2011

Healthy Egg Substitutes

There are several reasons for using egg substitutes, whether it is because of an allergy, a vegan diet you're following, or you're simply out of eggs and don't have time to run to the store.

Eggs and a whisk in a bowl
Egg substitutions are easy to implement in cooking.

The old mantra of cutting eggs out of your diet to reduce fat and cholesterol has been replaced by the recommendation to eat eggs in moderation. More recent research shows that cholesterol from eggs contributes less to blood cholesterol levels than once thought. Another study revealed that eggs laid by pastured hens that forage at least 20 percent of their diet contain a fourth less of the saturated fat than eggs laid by conventionally raised hens. Additionally, eggs are a great source of many vitamins, minerals and are a protein powerhouse (7g per egg), which is why they are a great breakfast or snack option.

If eggs are not an option for any of the reasons listed above, here are some quick tips on using egg substitutes.

Recipes for baked goods calling for only one or two eggs are the easiest to substitute.

  • To replace one egg, mix 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons water (or other liquid). Stir together until thick and gelatinous.
  • In quick breads or pancakes, try replacing eggs with half a banana or 1/2 cup applesauce.

In entrees that are egg-based such as quiche or egg salad, tofu works better as a substitute.

  • Silken tofu has a creamy texture similar to boiled eggs, and adding mustard or turmeric brightens the recipe to give the impression of yellow eggs.

Still confused about eggs and egg substitutes? Consider scheduling a nutrition counseling appointment with a registered dietitian to answer your questions and help you achieve your health goals.

— Marcy Johnson, dietetic intern, and Debra A. Boutin, MS, RD, chair and dietetic internship director, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University.

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