Sorry, but no recipe today. I’ve had several people ask me lately about substituting eggs when baking. Eggs help bind food together because they are high in saturated fat (our body doesn’t want saturated fat) so the most challenging part of going plant-based is finding foods that hold food together. Each recipe is different so make sure that you follow it especially if you are new to plant-based eating. You can substitute eggs with the following:
- apple sauce
- chickpea flour
- chia seeds
- flax seeds
Although there are processed substitutes for eggs, they are not as healthy or nutrient dense as the list above. My thought process is, if you’re going to use an egg replacer, why not use one that is high in nutrients and provides my body with essential vitamins. Today I want to talk about flax seeds. The day I went plant-based and stop eating eggs, I immediately introduced flax seeds into my cooking and baking. There is a lot of controversy around omega 3’s and 6’s (flax seeds contain omega 3’s) but today I just want to talk about the nutrient facts of flax seeds and why I use them. First of all, I don’t ‘load up’ on any plant-based food because of the ‘one’ nutrient it’s being advertised for. Every plant-based food contains different vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Consuming a wide variety of plant-based foods is essential in that you want to ensure that your body is receiving everything it’s needs in terms of nutrient requirements.
Flax seeds were the right fit for me as they are not just nutrient dense but they also mimic eggs in terms of consistency. I not only use flax seeds for baking but also when making some recipes for dinner, in my oatmeal, or if I need a time-saving smoothie, I put in a tbsp. of flaxseed. The general rule for egg replacement when using flax seed is:
1 tbsp. of flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp. of water (leave to sit for 5 minutes before using)
So let’s have a look at the main health benefits of flaxseed meal. We are hearing the term ‘phytonutrients’ or ‘phytochemicals’ come up a lot with nutrition research. Phytonutrients are powerful plant compounds that work with our body to help us fight disease. I won’t expand on this term today (I will leave that for another blog post) but lignans, are phytonutrients found in flaxseed. It is by far the highest source with around 80 grams of lignans per ounce of ground meal. Flax meal which is flax seeds grounded up is very high in fiber, soluble fiber in particular which has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels. Other nutrients include:
- Vitamin C
- B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, folic acid, & vitamin E)
So as you see, there is a lot of benefit of using flax seeds as your egg replacer.
TIP: I buy flax seeds in bulk and then ground them up into meal in my blender. It actually costs less to purchase the seeds than the ground meal. Also, I keep the ground meal in my freezer so it will last longer.
Eat Clean & Live Green!
Your Compassionate Coach,