Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Do you have questions about being vegan? Send them to Jo using this easy form. She would be happy to address your individual concerns as well as general inquiries about vegan ethics, philosophy, practical applications, and living compassionately. Jo cannot respond to questions about nutrition or answer questions that have already been addressed in the Archives

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Baking Without Eggs

question.gif - 1.4 K Could you please tell me what I could use instead of eggs in my favorite recipes, e.g.: cakes, other desserts, and different kinds of loaves, etc. I've tried commercial egg replacers but the ingredients don't bind or the cakes don't rise.

answer.gif - 1.3 K Eggs are typically used to lighten baked goods or to hold ingredients together. In most recipes that do not require much leavening and call for only one egg, the egg may simply be omitted. If, however, a recipe is dependent upon a large quantity of eggs or egg whites (as in an angel food cake or meringue topping), no substitute exists that can provide a comparable outcome.

Following are several suggestions to lighten and bind baked goods. Each is the equivalent of one medium egg.

  • Finely grind 1 tablespoon whole flaxseeds in a dry electric blender or seed mill, or use 2 1/2 tablespoons pre-ground flaxseeds. (Always store ground flaxseeds in the freezer because they are highly perishable.) Transfer to a bowl and beat in 3 tablespoons of water using a wire whisk. This mixture is not only an excellent replacement for eggs, it also contributes vital omega-3 fatty acids.
  • 1/4 cup mashed soft tofu blended with the liquid called for in the recipe.
  • 1/4 cup mashed banana or applesauce beaten with 1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder.
  • 1 heaping tablespoon soy flour or garbanzo bean flour beaten with 1 tablespoon water.
  • 2 tablespoons flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil, and 1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder beaten with 2 tablespoons water.

    The rise of cakes usually has more to do with the leavening ingredients than with the eggs. Baking powder is perishable and should be kept in a cool, dry place. It also has a shelf life and its potency will diminish as that date draws near. To test if your baking powder is still viable, mix 1 teaspoon with 1/3 cup hot water. If it does not bubble vigorously, it should be discarded. Most vegan bakers find that double-acting baking powder, which releases gas when it becomes wet and when it is exposed to oven heat, provides the best results. If your recipe calls for baking soda, you can add a little vinegar to the liquid ingredients to give it some extra punch. About 2 teaspoons for each 8-inch cake or layer should do the trick.

    To bind veggie burgers, loaves, and casseroles, mix in one or more of the following, adding just enough to make the mixture the consistency of cooked cereal.

  • starch (such as arrowroot powder, potato starch, or cornstarch)
  • flour (such as oat, soy, garbanzo, whole wheat, barley, rye, or rice)
  • dry rolled oats or cooked oatmeal
  • bread crumbs or cracker meal
  • finely crushed cornflakes
  • instant potato flakes
  • mashed potatoes
  • nut or seed butters
  • tomato paste
  • nondairy white sauce
  • soft tofu blended with a little flour (use 1 tablespoon flour to 1/4 cup tofu)

    Veganizing recipes that call for eggs sometimes takes a bit of experimentation. Be sure to write down exactly what you do so if you like the results you'll be able to duplicate them the next time you want to make the recipe.

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