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Egg Substitute Guide

Lucus Turner wrote . . . . .

This is excerpted from our newest cookbook, All About Eggs, an encyclopedic ovarian overview and the only tome you need to own about the indispensable egg.

Agar

Agar is a carbohydrate sourced from sea algae; more specifically, it is a complex mixture of polysaccharides composed of two major fractions: agarose, a neutral polymer, and agaropectin, a charged, sulfated polymer. When mixed with water, agar forms a vast gummy network similar to denatured egg protein. The tangled networks entrap moisture in baking and keep ingredients evenly dispersed.

CONS: It is only useful as a binder. Texturally, agar makes things stiffer and less creamy.

USE: 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp water = 1 egg


Applesauce

Moist and high in pectin fiber, apples are somewhat like bananas, and applesauce is a good egg substitute in certain baking applications.

CONS: Applesauce is generally high in sugar; even unsweetened applesauce will have much more sugar than eggs. It is not suitable as a leavener, so your cake will be denser and moister with every egg you replace.

USE: 1/4 cup = 1 egg


Baking Soda and Vinegar

Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) reacts with any acidic component to create carbon dioxide, which pushes and expands (and therefore leavens) the matter around it.

CONS: You only want to use this method in recipes with relatively few eggs to replace, to mitigate the vinegar from overwhelming the flavor profile. Baked goods also apparently won’t brown as deeply.

USE: 1 tsp baking soda + 1 tbsp vinegar = 1 egg


Bananas

A very ripe banana’s starch, fiber, and high moisture content makes it an effective binder in certain baking applications.

CONS: Bananas are high in sugar, are not an effective leavener, and have a strong flavor.

USE: 1/2 medium ripe banana = 1 egg


Blood

Blood and egg have similar protein profiles (high in albumin), making it an ideal coagulator/binder. When whipped, blood approximates egg whites very well and is an optimal substitution for things like meringues.

CONS: Blood’s high iron content leads to a sharp metallic taste and strong odor that is off-putting to many. Strong aromatic changes can occur in uncastrated pigs due to their production of skatole and androstenone, which women have been shown to be more sensitive to. Some recipes, especially acid-forward ones, mask these qualities better than others.

USE: 65 grams of pig’s blood = 1 large egg (about 58 grams), or 43 grams of blood = 1 egg white (about 33 grams).


Buttermilk

The fat and moisture content of buttermilk approximate that of eggs. It contains acid, so can be used as a leavener when combined with baking soda or powder.

CONS: Works best for substitution in single-egg recipes because of its high moisture content and overall flavor profile, which can quickly become fairly overpowering.

USE: 1/2 cup buttermilk = 1 egg


Chia Seeds

When chia seeds are placed in water, they exude a mucilaginous polysaccharide that surrounds each seed, effectively creating a gel with a biding capability similar to eggs.

CONS: In a recent study, a control cake (containing eggs) favored higher overall on taste, texture, and color among the subjects, compared to cakes with up to 75 percent chia substitution. Again, to be used in moderation: Works most effectively in recipes that call for fewer eggs.

USE: 1 tbsp finely ground seeds + 3 tbsp water = 1 egg


Chickpea (Liquid Aquafaba)

The science of aquafaba is as of yet murky. A community-based webgroup has hypothesized that aquafaba may contain: lipids, fatty acids, fibers, mucilage (similar to flax), and proteins (presumably albumins). When whipped, it is a strikingly accurate substitution for making meringues.

CONS: Not as versatile as eggs: most effective as a substitute for making meringues.

USE: 3 tablespoons drained canned chickpea liquid (each can yields ½ to ¾ cup) is the equivalent of about 1 egg white.


Commercial Egg Replacer

Egg replacers are generally made up of potato starch, tapioca flour, a chemical leavener, and cellulose gum. Cellulose gum is a binder that helps stablize proteins, improve mouthfeel, and absorb and retain water; the starches and flour also bind and give body.

CONS: Can only be used in baking. Also tends to lend a chalkier taste/texture than eggs and is not as effective at leavening (produces denser texture).

USE: For baking, 1. tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + 2 tbsp water = 1 egg; 1. tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + 1 tbsp water = 1 egg yolk


Cornstarch/Potato Starch/Arrowroot Flour

When heated in a liquid, starch granules (long chains of plant sugars) swell, absorb water, and burst, dispersing (and thereby thickening) more starch molecules into the liquid.

CONS: Texture and mouthfeel of starches versus eggs can be much gummier and slippier.

USE: 2 tbsp starch + 3 tbsp water = 1 egg


Flaxseed Meal

Flax is a hydrocolloid, meaning it becomes a gel when it’s mixed with water. Hydrocolloids build structure, emulsify, and soften mouthfeel—many things that eggs already do in traditional baking applications. It’s made up of mainly polysaccharides. Because of this, flax gel can work as a mild structure builder, low foaming agent, and emulsifier in vegan baking applications. Flax gel is able to do all three without imparting off-flavors, colors, or textures when it is done properly.

CONS: Eggs rely on proteins to do most of their work and flaxseeds use polysaccharides so the results will not be exactly the same. Flaxseed egg replacer is not a terrific foaming agent. That means it’s next to impossible to use it to make extremely airy desserts like angel food cake, choux pastry, or popovers. In fact, flaxseed egg replacer can even do more harm than good in cakes because of its tendency to hold onto excess moisture. It also is not a structure builder in that it won’t form protein networks that reinforce doughs like an egg will. It will work to stick things together instead.

USE: (1) Use the whole ground flaxseed meal dispersed in a liquid such as water, nondairy milk, or fruit juice and use it after it forms into a gel. (2) Make flax gel. Boil whole flaxseeds with water, which extracts the gel, strain the flax gel off, then discard the flaxseeds.


Gelatin

Gelatin is made up of collagen molecules, which help hold together connective tissue in bone/muscles. Collagen is made up of three individual protein chains wound closely together in a helix to make a rope-like fiber. When heated in liquid, the individual protein chains come apart and dissolve into the liquid. The unwound, separate chains are what we call gelatin. As the liquid they are dispersed in cools, the collagen molecules begin to reform their wound shape, essentially entagling all other molecules in a web, creating an emulsion.

CONS: Higher protein content, slippier mouthfeel when replacing 4 or more eggs. Cannot be used as a leavener. Not vegan!

USE: To replace 3 or 4 eggs, use 4 tbsp water + 1 tbsp gelatin. But, if replacing only 1 or 2 eggs, use 3 tbsp water + 1 tbsp gelatin.


Soy Lecithin

Lecithin is a phospholipid found in eggs; replacing eggs with soy lecithin (or any other isolated lecithin), you are substituting like for like. Phospholipids resemble triglycerides (fat) except that a phosphate group replaces one of the fatty acids. Since phosphates are polar (water-soluble) and fatty acids are fat soluble, phospholipids connect water and fats. Lecithin is a good emulsifier.

CONS: Most ideal for emulsions and foamsin low quantities in instances where you don’t want to impart egginess into the flavor profile. Can be “chemical-y” in large quantity.

USE: To make a lecithin foam, take a flavorful liquid and whisk or blend in the lecithin. It is typically used at a ratio of 0.25% to 1.0% by weight to the liquid. So, for example, for so for every 100 grams of liquid, 0.25 to 1 gram of soy lecithin would be used. For the stabilization of emulsions, lecithin is added at a weight ratio of 0.3% to 1.0%, depending on how stabilized you want the emulsion to be.


Tofu

Tofu contains lecithin, which aids emulsification. Soy is a complete protein (provides all the necessary amino acids) and cholesterol free and thus a health-foodier replacement for many savory egg dishes.

CONS: Can lead to much heavier, denser cake texture. Most ideal for binding.

USE: 1/4 cup (2 oz) silken tofu = 1 egg

Source: Lucky Peach

Almond Croissant Toast with Prune Soaked in Brandy

Ingredients

1 cup pitted prunes, about 20
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons Armagnac
2 almond croissants
heavy cream, to serve

Method

  1. Put the prunes in a bowl and add the boiling water. Cover and let soak for at least 1-1/2 hours.
  2. Tip the prunes and soaking juices into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes until the juices are syrupy, then add the brandy and bubble for a few seconds longer.
  3. Meanwhile, carefully split each almond croissant in half to make 2 flat crescents. Broil the cut sides until golden and crisp around the edges, then pile the prunes on top and spoon over the juices and the cream. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: On Toast

What’s for Breakfast?

Home-cooked Western Breakfast

The Menu

  • Fresh Juice
  • Hot Dog with Cabbage
  • Tomato
  • Café au lait (Coffee with Hot Milk)

Exercise Helps Counter Cancer-Linked Fatigue

Alan Mozes wrote . . . . . . .

Whether from the disease itself or the treatment, cancer can be exhausting, but a new review says there are ways to beat back cancer-related fatigue.

The review included a look at 113 past studies that included more than 11,000 adult cancer patients. The researchers found that exercise and/or behavioral and educational therapy seemed to be more effective than prescription drugs for dealing with fatigue.

“Exercise and psychological treatment, and the combination of these two interventions, work the best for treating cancer-related fatigue — better than any pharmaceuticals we have tested,” noted study lead author Karen Mustian. She’s an associate professor with the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Wilmot Cancer Institute in Rochester, N.Y.

The upshot, said Mustian, is that doctors should consider exercise and psychological interventions as the “first-line therapy” instead of more medications when it comes to tackling cancer-related fatigue.

The study team noted that cancer-related fatigue is a very common problem among cancer patients, both during and following treatment.

The American Cancer Society describes the phenomenon as distinct from routine tiredness. Even if you get rest, you’re still tired. Your arms and legs may feel heavy. You may feel too tired to do even the simplest tasks, such as eating a meal, according to the ACS.

Beyond affecting overall quality of life, cancer-related fatigue can also interfere with a patient’s ability to continue cancer treatment itself. That may result in a poorer prognosis and, in some cases, a reduced chance for long-term survival, the study authors said.

For the study, Mustian and colleagues looked at cancer-related fatigue triggered by the onset of cancer itself, rather than as a side effect of treatment.

Almost half of the patients included in the review were women battling breast cancer. Ten studies focused solely on male patients. In all, almost 80 percent of study participants were women. Their average age was 54.

The analysis excluded studies that looked at so-called complementary therapies, with an exception made for alternative exercise treatments, such as yoga or tai chi.

In addition, the research team didn’t include studies that had assessed drug treatments involving erythropoietin medications (such as epoetin alpha, brand names Procrit and Epogen). These drugs are designed to stimulate red blood cell production, and are “used primarily for treating anemia and are not recommended as a stand-alone treatment for [cancer-related fatigue] due to adverse effects,” the study authors stated.

Studies included looked at the impact of four different treatment approaches: exercise alone (including aerobic, such as walking or swimming or anaerobic, such as weight-lifting); mental health interventions aimed at providing information and/or helping patients understand and adapt to their current situation; a combination of both exercise and psychological treatment; and prescription drugs, including stimulant medications (such as modafinil, brand name Provigil) and ADHD meds (such as methylphenidate, brand name Ritalin).

All four interventions led to improvement in fatigue. But the researchers found that exercise therapy led to the best outcomes.

But psychological therapies produced similarly positive results, as did treatments that integrated exercise with mental health efforts.

The team concluded that when it came to controlling cancer-related fatigue, the exercise and/or psychological therapy approaches appeared to outperform prescription drugs.

Colleen Doyle is managing director of nutrition and physical activity for the ACS. She said exercise has many benefits, not just helping to ease fatigue.

“But because many people undergoing treatment do experience fatigue, it’s nice to know that there is something an individual can do to help reduce that fatigue and gain some of the many other benefits of exercise [both during and after treatment]: reduced stress, less anxiety, [and] benefits to physical functioning,” Doyle said.

But can the typical cancer patient actually handle an exercise regime? Mustian says yes.

“These are not your elite athletes or fitness buffs,” she said. Almost all of the studies focused on people who had been sedentary and were placed on a low-to-moderate intensity exercise regimen, involving activities such as yoga or resistance training.

“So they are normal people who were not regular exercisers, and who were able to complete these interventions and have relief from their fatigue,” Mustian said.

Doyle said that for patients who weren’t previously active, it’s important to start slowly.

“Our recommendation for survivors is essentially avoid inactivity as best you can. There will be days when you feel like not doing much of anything, and that’s okay, but strive to do something. Even if it is gentle stretching exercises, or a five-minute walk down the block,” she advised.

Mustian stressed that relatively few studies looked at combining exercise and psychological therapy.

“So it is not as clear what the best way to combine them would be,” she noted. The researchers said more studies need to be done to explore the ideal way to integrate exercise and psychological interventions.

The study was published in JAMA Oncology.

Source: HealthDay


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