I myself am not allergic to eggs, but I don’t always have them on hand and I don’t necessarily always want to use them in a baking recipe. What I love about flax eggs, besides being a great replacement if you cannot eat eggs, is that they are full of wonderful nutritional benefits for anyone who chooses to add them into a recipe, no matter why.
Flax “eggs” are an easy substitute in most recipes calling for just one or two eggs. They’re a great option for vegans and those allergic to eggs. However, you don’t have to be vegan or allergic to benefit from this great substitution! Flax seeds are a nutritional powerhouse and sneaking some into baked goods is an simple way to get some of their wonderful nutrients into your diet.
Flax seed eggs “bind.” They do not add lift or fluff as eggs would in some recipes, say for a sponge cake or a souffle. I have had pretty great luck using flax seed eggs in most baked goods that call for two eggs or less, like breads, muffins, oatmeal cookies or pancakes, plus they are great in homemade veggie burgers. To make flax seed eggs you you just need a grinder like a Magic Bullet or coffee/spice grinder for grinding the raw, whole flax seeds to a meal. You can buy already ground flax seed meal, but it is much more expensive than just doing it yourself and they are far more likely to go rancid, quickly (see notes below).
Flax seeds are rich sources of the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a precursor to the omega-3 fatty acids. In comparison to regular eggs, flax eggs are packed with nutrition, including B vitamins, vitamin E, and important minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium and iron. Each one even has two grams of fiber. They have no cholesterol and are very low in sodium. A flax seed egg has half the calories of a large chicken egg and much less fat — no saturated fat and half the total fat of an egg. Besides using flax seeds to make an egg replacement you can also enjoy the health benefits of flax seed by mixing it into your oatmeal or smoothies, it is great as a topping on yogurt or ice cream or added to baked goods like bread or muffins.
Store your flaxseeds in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container to maximize their shelf life. Being a polyunsaturated fat, they can go rancid fairly quickly at room temperature.
How to Make Flax Eggs
Yields one “egg”
- 1 tablespoon flax seed meal
- 3 tablespoons lukewarm water
If you are starting with whole flax seed to prepare the flax seed meal, simply grind some flax seeds in a coffee grinder or magic bullet. Measure after grinding.
Place the flax seed meal in a bowl and add water, stirring/whisking as you go and place in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to allow the egg to set. Allow to stand until thick, gelatinous and egg-like. Use in baking as you would one egg. Make in larger batches and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
– If you don’t want the dark color from the brown seeds, look for golden flax seeds.
– If you do buy pre-ground flax seeds, always store in the fridge or freezer. Flax seeds contain oils that are extremely perishable. When the flax seed is ground, the oil is exposed to oxygen and begins to oxidize almost immediately. This oxidization turns the oils rancid which makes them toxic and causes them to impart a linseed oil aroma and flavor to your food.
– Ground chia seeds also work in place of the flax seed meal.