Egg substitutes for baking, cooking and eating as prices surge
Don’t like the cost of chicken eggs? If you’re willing to try it, there are many food alternatives that can be used in place of the go-to staple.
From liquid egg cartons and plant-based options to quail eggs and protein powders, eggs can easily be substituted if you’re willing to deviate from the norm.
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Below, read a list of options as the average price of one dozen large Grade A eggs reached $4.82 in America in January, according to the Federal Reserve Economic Data.
Some dozen-egg prices had risen to as high as $8, according to viral images on social media last month, as reported by FOX Business.
Tofu can replace eggs when cooking
Ashley Kitchens of Durham, North Carolina, a registered dietitian nutritionist with the plant-based lifestyle website Plant Centered Nutrition, told Fox News Digital that tofu and flax meal can be used as chicken egg replacements.
“If you enjoy making an egg scramble in the morning, tofu can be a cost-effective alternative,” Kitchens said. “Simply crumble tofu into a warm pan like you would your scrambled eggs, add seasonings and other desired ingredients, and cook until hot.”
Kitchens added that tofu – which is a curdled block of soy milk – is a “great heart-healthy alternative” to eggs, and it’s “comparable” to the poultry offering.
“One egg equals about a quarter cup of puréed soft tofu,” she said.
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Home cooks can use tofu to make quiches and custards, according to Kitchens.
“Tofu is rich in protein, containing all the essential amino acids, and is packed with vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, and vitamin A along with health-beneficial flavonoids,” Kitchens explained. “One-half cup of tofu contains 10 grams of protein. Tofu contains very little saturated fat and no cholesterol.”
Flax meal can replace eggs when baking
“Flax meal is a great egg substitute for many baking recipes,” said Kitchens. “Mixing together one tablespoon of flax meal with 2.5 tablespoons of water is equivalent to one egg.”
Bakers should let the flax meal mixture rest and thicken for about five minutes before adding it to their recipes, according to Kitchens.
“Flax is high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and health beneficial phytochemicals,” she continued. “Flax meal also contains no cholesterol or saturated fat.”
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Kitchens added that flax meal is a “cost-effective” egg substitute.
“One 2.5-pound bag of flax meal costs [about] $18.99 and can provide you the equivalent of 160 eggs, which breaks down to about 12 cents per egg alternative,” she said.
Other known chicken egg substitutes
Kitchens noted that cooks and bakers have also found success in replacing chicken eggs with ground chia seeds, arrowroot powder, unsweetened apple sauce and bananas.
Aquafaba can replace eggs when cooking and baking.
Jason Vitug of New York City, a wellness motivator and personal finance expert who authored “Happy Money Happy Life,” told Fox News Digital that aquafaba can be used to replace chicken eggs when cooking and baking.
“Aquafaba is the liquid in a can of chickpeas, which has similar properties to egg whites when whipped and used as an egg replacement,” Vitug said. “It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in all sorts of recipes, including cakes, cookies, meringues, icings and more.”
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“It’s also cholesterol-free and vegan-friendly,” he added.
Vitug noted that aquafaba can be mixed with flaxseed or chia seeds if desired.
Go Dairy Free, an online magazine that chronicles dairy-free lifestyles, claims three tablespoons of aquafaba is reportedly equivalent to one large egg while two tablespoons of aquafaba is reportedly equivalent to one large egg white.
Mashed bananas can replace eggs when baking.
Todd Stearn of New York, the founder and CEO of The Money Manual, a personal finance website, told Fox News Digital that while it “might sound crazy,” mashed bananas can replace eggs when baking brownies and cakes.
“A banana is about the same cost as one large egg in today’s market. You might save a few pennies,” Stearn said. “Try substituting half a cup of mashed banana for each large egg.”
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Mashed bananas have been promoted as a chicken egg alternative by several food blogs and lifestyle writers at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Using mashed bananas as an egg substitute could work for vegan diets or for people who don’t like the taste of eggs or are allergic, according to Stearn.
“Bananas are high in potassium and pretty healthy in moderation,” Stearn said. “But then again, you’re baking a cake here so let’s not getting carried away with how healthy it is.”
He added, “A restaurant or bakery producing mass quantities of cakes, breads and muffins could see cost savings by removing eggs from their ingredients.”
Plant-based eggs can replace eggs when cooking and baking
Daniel Blaustein-Rejto of Berkeley, California, the director of food and agriculture at The Breakthrough Institute, a food system think tank, told Fox News Digital that plant-based eggs that are developed to look and taste similar to chicken eggs can be used as an easy egg substitute.
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He named Just Egg, a leading plant-based egg brand that mimics chicken eggs with a mung bean base, as an example.
“Just Egg can be used for cooking and baking anytime that liquid eggs could be used. This includes cooking to make scrambled eggs or baking a quiche or cake,” Blaustein-Rejto said. “Just Egg has no cholesterol and about two-thirds less saturated fat than chicken eggs while having a similar amount of protein.”
Blaustein-Rejto noted that Just Egg and other plant-based substitutes for animal foods have increasingly become cost-competitive with chicken eggs.
“A bottle of Just Egg typically retails for $4.40 and contains eight servings, each roughly equivalent to an egg,” he said. “The average price nationally for a carton of a dozen eggs is $4.82.”
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Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer is another popular plant-based egg brand that mimics the appearance and flavor of eggs. It’s made with potato starch, tapioca flour and psyllium husk fiber.
Vitug told Fox News Digital he’s found Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer to be a “cheaper” and “more shelf stable” alternative to chicken eggs.
Shopping guide: Available chicken shell egg substitute options
If you’re need help finding the right egg substitute for your household’s needs, take a look at these alternative food options compiled by Fox News Digital.
Liquid Egg Carton Options You Can Find in Stores
Various egg producers make liquid egg cartons that hold cracked and beaten whole eggs or egg whites.
– Egg Beaters Original Cholesterol Free Liquid Eggs
– Organic Valley Liquid Organic Egg Whites
– Papetti’s Refrigerated Liquid Whole Eggs with Citric Acid
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Plant-Based Egg Options You Can Find in Stores
Plant-based egg producers make egg-like liquids, powders and scrambles that be cooked and served as is or incorporated into recipes.
– Just Egg
– Simply Eggless
– The Neat Egg – Egg Mix
Quail Egg Options You Can Find in Stores
Can’t give up real shell eggs? Quail eggs can be a worthy substitute. Backyard Poultry Magazine reports that quail eggs taste similar to chicken eggs but have a “slightly higher proportion of yolk to white.”
Quail eggs are smaller than chicken eggs and can take up five to equal one chicken egg depending on the size of the packaged quail egg carton, according to Backyard Poultry Magazine.
– Manchester Farms Quail Eggs
– Roland Foods Quail Eggs
– Spring Creek Quail Farms
– Quality Quail Eggs (QQE) Quail Eggs
Protein Powder Options You Can Find in Stores
Protein powder producers make powdered concoctions that can be used to replace eggs. Some protein powders are made with egg white protein while others are made with animal- or plant-based amino acids (the smallest unit of protein).
– Naked Nutrition Naked Egg White Protein Powder
– Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein
– Nutricost Organic Rice Protein
Tofu Options You Can Find in Stores
Tofu producers make flavorless bean curds out of soy milk that can be formed to mimic meat and poultry dishes.
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– Good & Gather Organic Extra-Firm Tofu
– Hodo Organic Extra Firm Tofu
– Nasoya Organic Tofu Super Firm
How much are chicken shell eggs now?
USDA Shell Egg Grades Explained
Shell eggs are measured by shell appearance and condition metrics set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It’s a voluntary service paid for by shell egg producers. Three consumer grades exist for eggs sold in the country.
– USDA Grade AA: Freshest and highest quality.
– USDA Grade A: Very high quality.
– USDA Grade B: Can have defects and are usually used for breaking stock (liquid eggs) and baking.
In January 2023, the “U.S. city average” price of a dozen large Grade A eggs reached $4.82, according to the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED), a database maintained by the research division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
The national bank sources pricing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and doesn’t have costs recorded for the month of February at the time of publication.
A month prior – December 2022 – the U.S. city average cost of a dozen large Grade A eggs was $4.25.
In recent years, eggs, meat and many other food staples have risen in price due to labor shortages and rises in workforce wages, transportation and production, according to multiple FOX Business reports.