Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Baking with VeganEgg

My latest goal on my journey to cut animal products way down in my diet was to find a suitable egg substitute. From what I've seen, finding anything that will accurately mimic a nice, fried, over-easy egg is going to be impossible, but there are a few products out there to mimic scrambled eggs and sub in during baking.

(Quick tangent: we tried Just Egg for scrambled, and while I find it's got the same kind of flavor profile as eggs - kind of umami - it definitely doesn't taste like an egg. It pairs well with toast or pancakes and I actually really like it, but it's not egg-tasting. It's just...egg-like. The texture is really good, too! For the price though, I'm not sure it's worth it.)
While the internet tells me I can replace an egg in baking with applesauce or a banana, I wanted to try a real egg replacer because I've also read that the applesauce or banana route can change the flavor and texture of whatever you're making.

So, I picked up some VeganEgg. I like Follow Your Heart cheeses (although Violife has recently taken the top-spot in the cheese replacement category for me) and VeganEgg is made by FYH. And really, I saw it on the shelf and was like "Oh I recognize that kind of, so it must have a solid reputation, so let's try it!"
I bought it without realizing you can apparently make scramble with it (actually, I bought it without knowing anything except that it's gluten free and vegan), so maybe someday I'll test that. For now, my focus is baking.

My first impression was that the instructions were pretty unclear. Generally, 2 TBSP VeganEgg + 1/2 cup water = 1 egg, but when baking, the formula is "1/4 cup water to 1 VeganEgg"...so I spent some time trying to figure out if that still meant 2 TBSP or what.
Not helpful.
In the end, I just had to make a guess. The website basically says you should cut down on water per egg when baking so I assumed I was supposed to decrease the amount of water and keep the powder the same.

Second impressions: this stuff smells kind of weird and sulfury. Which I guess it should because it's mimicking eggs? The scent is not overpowering or very off-putting, but it's definitely there.
I like that there's quite a lot in there, so one packet = 12 eggs.
Third impressions: Once I mixed it up and put in the rest of my ingredients, the batter really looked just as it should so I guess I got the ratio right!
The raw batter tasted good! No obvious "fake eggy" flavor.
This mix calls for 25-30 minutes at 350F, and my muffins were definitely done at 25. I'd say my oven does tend to bake a little hot, so I don't think the VeganEgg had anything to do with that.

I noticed my finished muffins seemed pretty squat, but Simple Mills generally doesn't rise very much, so this may not be due to the eggs. Or it might be. Who knows!
Golden brown!
Tender and dense, tasty, no weird aftertaste...I'd call that a win!
They were definitely baked through (no crumbs on my tester), dense inside, and super moist. I probably should have tested the VeganEgg with a recipe I know really well so that I could easily spot any differences, but I will say that the muffins tasted great so I have no complaints.

As far as I can tell, VeganEgg is a perfectly fine egg substitute for baking. I definitely plan to continue using it in this capacity. I'm relieved to have found something that works!

Now if only I could find a good replacement for hardboiled and over-easy!


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