Eggs are a staple ingredient in almost every kitchen, of course, except vegan kitchens! They are versatile, quick, and very easy to work with. Eggs have been used as a whole, and you can use the yolks and whites separately too. So, let us discuss the best egg yolk substitutes.
However, are you a vegan or a vegetarian and looking for alternatives to use instead of egg yolks in your recipe? You definitely have chosen the right article. This article has all the best substitutes that you can use in place of egg yolks in both savory and sweet recipes.
Now, this might sound like a tough one to some. What can you actually use as a substitute for egg yolks? The best egg yolk substitutes are chia seeds, soy lecithin, chickpea flour, silken tofu, cornstarch along with vinegar and baking soda.
But, I do believe that before I start telling you about the best egg yolk substitutes, I do want to discuss egg yolks a little bit. I will tell you all about what exactly egg yolks do in a recipe, so you can understand what purpose you want to be solved by using a substitute.
Quick Peek: Egg Yolks
In this section, you will learn all about egg yolks. I am sure you already know what egg yolks are! But here, you will get to understand their flavor and texture, what exactly they do in various recipes, and also their nutritional values. So, let’s get started!
What Are Egg Yolks?
In simple terms, egg yolks are the yellow portion of an egg that is separated from the white part. Egg yolks make upto 33% of the liquid weight of an egg. For eggs that eventually end up getting fertilized, egg yolks are the nutrient-rich portion of an egg.
They have the function of supplying food to a developing embryo. If you think about a human equivalent of egg yolk, think of it as the placenta in human beings. Since egg yolks are where all the food is stored, they are very nutritionally dense.
Eggs are produced by all birds, reptiles, and even fish. However, eggs used in kitchens are usually always bird’s eggs that are not fertilized. An easy way to tell if an egg is fertilized or not is by seeing if the yolk has a tiny red spot in it. If it does, the egg is fertilized.
Interesting Facts About Egg Yolks
Egg yolks or even whole eggs may seem like a very common and non-interesting ingredient that we use every day. However, egg yolks are actually very interesting! Let me tell you some interesting facts about egg yolks to make this article fun!
- Egg yolks come in different shades of yellow, from light to dark. However, the shade makes absolutely no difference to their taste or quality.
- Egg yolks are one of the very few foods that naturally are a great source of vitamin D.
- Duck egg yolks are higher in fat content and hence, better for baking.
- The word “yolk” derives from an old English word for yellow.
- Hens usually turn their eggs 50 times a day to prevent the yolk from sticking to a side.
Describing Egg Yolks: Flavor And Texture
Egg yolk has a firm yet soft texture. It keeps its shape intact unless it is pierced or affected by any sort of outside pressure. As they keep their shape intact, egg yolks are very easy to separate from egg whites.
Egg yolk is generally mostly fat. So, when we talk about the flavor of egg yolks, it is buttery and very creamy. Egg yolks will generally give you a very smooth mouthful.
What Is The Purpose Of Using Egg Yolks In Various Recipes?
Eggs as a whole are used in different recipes to add a lot of texture and flavor and also for binding. But, what is the purpose of using just the yolk? Let me tell you all about the reasons why only egg yolks are used in various recipes.
- Aesthetics : Egg yolks are an important part of “egg wash” used in baking. This wash is used to coat various pastries before they are baked. This is because they give the baked products a golden brown finish and make them look more appealing.
- Leavening : Egg yolks, usually when combined with the whites trap a lot of air bubbles once whipped. This acts as a leavening agent.
- Binding : As egg yolks are sticky, they act as the perfect binding agent in various recipes.
- Moisture: Egg yolks provide a lot of moisture to most recipes.
- Emulsification: Egg yolks act as an emulsifier in various recipes.
- Setting: Egg yolks help with setting various desserts that don’t have added gelatine in them.
Uses Of Egg Yolks
Egg yolks are used in a variety of recipes, both sweet and savory. They are used all over the world and not at all limited to one region. In sauces like mayonnaise and hollandaise, egg yolks act as an emulsifying agent.
The same goes for desserts like custards and creme brulee. Egg yolks are also an integral part of egg wash, which is what different ingredients are dipped in, before coating them in breadcrumbs and frying them. They are also used to make liqueurs like eggnog.
Egg Yolks On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
Egg yolks are extremely high in fat content. A single egg yolk has three times the amount of calories as compared to egg whites, all due to its fat content. Egg yolks are also very nutritionally dense with various vital nutrients.
Egg yolks contain all fat-soluble vitamins, which are vitamins A, D, E, and K. They are also high in protein. Egg yolks are said to have various health benefits. Some of these benefits include lowering blood pressure, boosting the immune system, and reducing vision problems.
Why Use A Substitute For Egg Yolks?
A lot of you must be wondering, why is there even a need to use a substitute for egg yolks? If the ingredient is so versatile. Well, that definitely is a valid argument. However, there also are a few reasons why you can consider using a substitute for egg yolks.
The first and foremost reason for using a substitute for egg yolks is if you are a vegetarian or a vegan. As eggs are not a part of vegan and vegetarian diets, you will definitely need a substitute that matches your dietary needs.
For that, all the substitute options given are effective in both vegetarian and vegan diets. Moreover, a lot of people also are allergic to eggs. So, using a substitute in such situations will also come in handy.
Lastly, in case you don’t want to go through the whole process of separating egg yolks from egg whites, you can again use a substitute for the same. You can use a substitute that does not require you to prep too much.
Now that you know so much about egg yolks, I think I should introduce you to the substitutes. After knowing all these things, I am sure picking a good substitute will be very easy for you!
8 Best Egg Yolk Substitutes
This section has all the best substitutes for egg yolk. You will get to understand how to use each substitute and also what purpose every substitute will solve. Moreover, you will also get to understand the ratio of substitution for each ingredient.
Gelatine is a powder derived from animal bones. It has natural setting qualities and also has a neutral taste. It can be used as a substitute for egg yolk for setting different desserts.
In certain recipes, especially desserts like tiramisu, egg yolks play an important role in setting the custard. The custard has a thick consistency and stays as it is after freezing, without the addition of any setting agents.
For recipes like these, where egg yolks are used for setting, you can use gelatine powder or gelatine sheets as a substitute for egg yolks. However, an important thing to remember is that gelatine is not suitable for a vegan or vegetarian diet.
To use gelatine in a recipe, use one tablespoon of gelatine for every egg yolk. Mix it with cold water, and then once it blooms, you can melt it and add it to any recipe.
Applesauce is a sauce made with apples and has a chunky texture to it. It is added to various baking recipes, such as cakes, as a substitute for eggs. This makes it a good substitute for egg yolks.
Egg yolks are added to a lot of baked recipes, such as cakes and cookies, to give them added structure and to add to their moisture level. Applesauce plays the exact same role in any baked recipe.
Moreover, applesauce will also have a hint of added apple flavor to it, which adds to the overall flavor of the baked good. It is also vegan and vegetarian friendly. You can use 20 grams of applesauce for every egg yolk as a substitute.
3. Chia Egg
Chia seeds have a sticky consistency once soaked in water. They solve the same purpose as egg yolks do when it comes to binding. So, they can be used in place of egg yolks in various recipes.
Chia egg is basically just chia seeds soaked in water. All you have to do is combine a tablespoon of chia seeds with three tablespoons of water and let it rest for around 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, the mix will set and become sticky like gelatine. This mixture can be used in cake and cookie batters easily, in place of egg yolks. However, the texture of chia seeds is different compared to egg yolks, so this is worth remembering.
4. Soy Lecithin
Soy lecithin is derived from soybeans. Its main purpose is to be used as a binding and stabilizing agent. Hence, for these purposes, you can use it as a substitute for egg yolks.
Soy lecithin will work well in cake recipes or recipes such as meatballs, where egg yolks are added to bind the ingredients together. Although, since it is made from soybeans, do be careful about allergies related to soy.
To use soy lecithin as a substitute for egg yolks, you can use a tablespoon of soy lecithin for each egg yolk. It can be added as it is to recipes.
5. Chickpea Flour
Egg yolks are quite often used to thicken various recipes. Chickpea flour has the same thickening properties and also can bind ingredients together. Hence, it can be used as an egg yolk substitute.
Chickpea flour does have a strong taste when it is raw. However, once cooked, the flavor of chickpea flour is quite neutral and will not really make any changes to the overall flavor of your recipe.
Chickpea flour is a good option to use mostly in savory recipes. It won’t work as well in baking as it does in savory food. You can use it to thicken various sauces and bind the meat together. Use a tablespoon for every egg yolk during substitution.
6. Vinegar And Baking Soda
Baking soda and vinegar are a great combination when it comes to leavening. These two ingredients combined together produce carbon dioxide, which helps baked goods rise and hence can be used in place of egg yolks.
Not necessarily egg yolks, but whole eggs are a great leavening agent in most recipes. The combination of vinegar and baking soda naturally produces carbon dioxide, which helps cakes rise.
As they produce the same effect as eggs and egg yolks do in a recipe, you can use this combination of ingredients in any baked recipe in place of eggs or egg yolks.
7. Silken Tofu
Silken tofu adds a lot of moisture to baked goods when used in place of egg yolks. The sole purpose of silken tofu is to add moisture, which makes it a good substitute in place of egg yolks.
Silken tofu does make a great replacement for egg yolks in baking, for sure. However, you can also use silken tofu in place of eggs or egg yolks in salads or any other similar recipe. They make a great protein-rich alternative for egg yolks.
Silken tofu has the same amount of protein content and is very rich in other nutrients, similar to eggs and even egg yolk. You can do a direct swap in a 1:1 ratio to use silken tofu as a substitute.
Cornstarch is one of the most popular thickening agents used in the world. It has the same thickening properties as egg yolks do. Hence, in places where you need a thickener, cornstarch will work as a substitute.
Cornstarch is a great thickening agent and works exceptionally well when it comes to thickening sauce. Cornstarch can also be used to thicken custard for desserts. However, that is the only property it has.
To use cornstarch as a substitute for egg yolks, mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with water for every egg yolk. You can add it directly to sauces or custards to get them to thicken.
Short Recap For Best Egg Yolk Substitutes
I am sure you must have gone through all the best substitutes you can use in place of egg yolks. However, egg yolks do have a lot of properties. So, picking a substitute based on the property you are looking for is a must. I have broken it down further to make it easier.
Best Substitute For Leavening: For leavening, the best substitute you can use in place of egg yolks is a combination of vinegar and baking soda.
Best Substitute For Binding: Chickpea flour for savory recipes and chia seeds for sweet recipes are great binding agents you can use in place of egg yolks.
Best Substitute For Thickening: Cornstarch is the best substitute for egg yolks when it comes to thickening.
Best Substitute For Moisture: To add moisture to products, applesauce is a great substitute to use in place of egg yolks.
I hope this article on the best substitutes for egg yolks has helped you make your recipe better. Egg yolks are very versatile and have extremely vast uses when it comes to cooking. So, I have given a few substitute options for every property that egg yolk has to offer.
Depending on the type of recipe you are working on and what exactly you need the egg yolks for, you can decide which substitute suits you best. Also, do make sure you go through the flavor profile of all substitutes to know which one would work best!
How To Substitute Egg Yolks
Egg Yolk Substitutes
- Chia Egg
- Soy Lecithin
- Chickpea Flour
- Vinegar And Baking Soda
- Silken Tofu
- Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
- Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
- Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is eating egg yolks healthy?
Even though they do contain a lot of fat, egg yolks are very healthy.
Do egg whites contain more nutrients than egg yolks?
Egg yolks are actually more nutrient-rich than egg whites.
Do egg yolks contain healthy fats?
Yes, egg yolks do contain a lot of healthy fats.
Can you eat egg yolks every day?
Yes, egg yolks can be eaten every day.