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Soda water, beans and banana - the best egg substitutes

Male baker slaps on dough. Male baker prepares bread. Making bread. Top view. Rustic style
File photo Photo: 123rf

A shortage of eggs has the nation running around like headless chooks, and it looks like it will take a few months before our egg worries are laid to rest.

But it doesn't mean we have to sit on our pavlova dreams for a while.

Chef and author Megan May, who owns Little Bird Organics and the Unbakery Café in Auckland, has been brooding on the subject.

It turns out there are a few alternatives available.

"There's a whole lot of them - they're all quite cheap, but it would depend what recipe you're doing as to what you sub out."

She said soda water is one of the best substitutes for eggs when it comes to baking.

"Even a combination of baking powder and vinegar can work quite well."

She advised using 60ml - one quarter of a cup - to replace each egg.

Ingredients such as ground golden flaxseed, mashed banana, psyllium and apple sauce can be used as replacements too.

She said aquafaba - the liquid from beans - works well as an egg white substitute.

"You can replace a whole egg with about three tablespoons of it."

But these substitutes are not suitable for all recipes.

"We make chickpea tofu out of chickpeas, and then we use that to make an omelette.

"The trick is to add a little bit of black salt, which has sulphur - has that eggy flavour to it - and then a hint of tumeric just for the colour."

But, there wasn't anything that was a "perfect egg substitute" for savoury egg recipes.

There were also plenty of "commercial replacers", she said.

"Things like Organ, Bob's Red Mill do egg replacers and they've [so] done for a long time."

Megan May of Little Bird Organics
Megan May. Photo: © 2019 Little Bird Organics

But May said it's not just egg shortages that have led people to using alternatives.

"A lot of children are allergic to eggs - I mean, not a huge percentage, but enough of a percentage for it to be quite a thing."

Having coeliac disease and being allergic to dairy meant May had to experiment a lot with replacement ingredients.

"It's frustrating sometimes, but it's great - you try so many different new things."

You can reach out to May via the Little Bird Organics website. The Unbakery Café is located in Ponsonby, Auckland.