- Food: Flax Eggs
- Writer: Nicolas Wilson
- Content-Type: Food Blog
Let’s talk about flax eggs for a moment. We live in a strange alternative universe where flaxseed is often more readily available than genuine eggs.
Flax eggs are a pantry-friendly replacement made simply with ground flaxseed and water that could save you a trip to the shop. In fact, if you have chia seeds on hand, you may use this method to make chia seed “eggs.”
If you’re vegan or have a family member who has an egg allergy, you’re probably already familiar with flax eggs. I didn’t invent them, and I have no idea who did, but through the years, I’ve learned a lot about them.
I’ve been guilty of mentioning flax eggs as a possible substitute without providing more information. I can now connect to this page so you can see what I’m talking about. You could learn more today than you ever wanted to know.
Flax eggs work nicely in baked products, pancakes, and other flour-based recipes when used in tiny amounts. Flax eggs produce a “gluey” material akin to egg whites that aid in the binding of components.
They also have some fat in them, just like actual yolks. They also provide some fiber, which you won’t get from genuine eggs.
Flax eggs, unfortunately, don’t have the same structural support as actual eggs, and therefore won’t function in egg-heavy dishes like scrambled eggs or frittatas.
They are a poor alternative, but they can work wonders in the right recipe!
Flax Eggs as a Substitute
These eggs can be made whenever you need them. In one bowl, you can manufacture as many “eggs” as you need for your baking endeavor.
Allow 10 to 15 minutes for the mixture to rest. Before you begin the remainder of your baking preparations, mix it up. It’ll be ready to use when you need it this way.
Flaxseeds are available in two colors: golden and brown. Though the deeper color may give more flavor, they can be used equally.
Flax eggs can be used in a variety of dishes…
Flax eggs work nicely in quick bread like banana bread and muffins, as well as basic cookie recipes. When a dish satisfies the following criteria, flax eggs are a very safe bet:
- A wheat-based flour, such as all-purpose or whole wheat, is required for this recipe. Oat flour seemed to work well as well.
- Hand stirring is used to combine the ingredients (no mixer required).
Gluten-free baked items necessitate extra care.
Why? Gluten is a protein that gives things their shape. The structure is also provided by real eggs. When gluten isn’t present, flax eggs have a hard time compensating.
Fortunately, flax eggs mix well with oat flour and gluten-free all-purpose flour blends like Bob’s Red Mill’s.
Almond flour and other nut-based flours don’t mix well with flax eggs.
When I was recipe testing for my cookbook, I tried to make my lemony almond blueberry cake with flax eggs instead of eggs (page 197). I ended up with something that resembled… pudding, and not in a good way.
You can sometimes omit the eggs entirely.
Surprisingly, I’ve discovered that most pancake and waffle recipes can be made without eggs. I’ve successfully created these oat flour-based waffles without eggs, and my vegan pancakes turn out well without them (they were just a bit more delicate).
When in doubt, a flax egg is a better bet than leaving it out. You might be able to succeed without them if you’re ready to take a chance. You’d never guess that my vegan chocolate chip cookies are egg-free!
Tips for Flaxseed Storage
Flaxseed is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are beneficial to your health. The sole disadvantage of this type of fat is that it degrades (turns rancid) quickly.
Because ground flaxseed has been cracked open and exposed to air, it spoils even faster than whole flaxseed.
Store flaxseed (ground or whole) in an airtight container in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life. Whole flaxseed will last approximately a year if stored correctly, but ground flaxseed will last about six months.
Before using flaxseed, always take a whiff. It has gone bad and should be discarded if it smells like “oil paint or a box of crayons.”
How to Grind Flaxseed at Home?
I prefer to grind my own flaxseed meal because whole flaxseeds store better.
It’s simple! Simply pulse entire flaxseeds in a food processor for 60 seconds, or until it resembles a somewhat gritty flour when rubbed between your fingers. If you use a large enough number, you might be able to do this with a blender, but I haven’t attempted it.
|Time to Prepare: 10 minutes
10 minutes in total
Learn how to produce flax eggs so you can bake without using eggs! Flax eggs are an excellent alternative for vegans and people who are allergic to eggs. If you’re out of conventional eggs, they’re also a lovely, simple substitute for baked products. 1 flax egg from the recipe as indicated; multiply as required.
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds, also known as flaxseed meal
- 3 tablespoons water
- In a small bowl, combine the ground flax and water (if your recipe calls for multiple eggs, just multiply the ingredients as necessary and mix in the same bowl). Stir with a fork until everything is well blended.
- Allow for at least 10 to 15 minutes of resting time, or until the mixture has become somewhat “gloppy” or congealed. Use instead of eggs in your baking recipe!
- HOW TO GRIND FLAX SEEDS: You can use store-bought ground flaxseed (Bob’s Red Mill sells one) or grind your own flaxseed. To make your own, pulse at least 14 cup of flour in a food processor for 1 minute, or until it resembles a somewhat gritty flour. Keep any remaining ground flax in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
- MORE FLAXSEED APPLICATIONS: I like to add a tablespoon or two of flaxseed to my smoothies for a nutty flavor, extra fiber, and omega-3s. It’s really tasty in my basic blueberry and banana almond smoothies.
- GROUND CHIA SEEDS IN Lieu OF GROUND FLAXSEEDS: You may also use ground chia seeds in place of ground flaxseeds (in the same amount and manner)!