Can't Have Eggs? A Nutritionist Recommends The Best Alternatives
Image Credit: You may want to experiment first with the various egg substitutes to find what works best. All photos via Pixabay

There may be a number of reasons in the current scenario for why you're unable to incorporate eggs in your diet. Rising food prices in the time of inflation, egg shortages during crises such as avian flu, religious or spiritual reasons, and the bid to move towards a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle — any of these could make the eating of eggs unviable. This needn't be a major cause for concern, however, as there are always egg replacements that you can turn to instead.

A word of caution: when it comes to egg replacements, there does need to be some consideration as to whether the substitute has the same moisture, protein and fats as an egg. It also needs to be able to support the other ingredients without overpowering them to maintain the taste. So what are the options?

Pureed fruit

As eggs are key in providing structure, leavening, richness, colour and flavour to baked products they are central to most recipes. But pureed fruits can be particularly good substitutes in baking cakes, muffins, brownies and quick breads.

Unsweetened apple sauce, banana, pumpkin and avocado are the most popular examples. (Though some care needs to be taken if using bananas as they can have a distinct flavour within cooking.) Fruits are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals as well as being high in fibre. They also include a wide range of antioxidants which can lower your odds of some diseases.

Flaxseed and Chia seeds

Flaxseed and Chia seeds are highly nutritious egg alternatives – high in omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and other unique plant compounds, including high levels of antioxidants.

Flaxseed comes from the flowering flax plant, which originates from Egypt. Similarly, Chia seeds are the edible seeds of a flowering plant from the mint family. The plant originates from Central and South America. As an ingredient, the seeds are very versatile because they can absorb liquid and form a gel-like substance – making them a perfect egg replacement.

The seeds of both can either be ground at home or bought as a ready-made seed meal. When mixed with water, the paste can then be used for making pancakes, waffles, muffins, breads and cookies. These seeds may have a slightly nutty flavour when used in recipes.


Tofu is an ideal egg substitute as it’s an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, selenium, phosphorous and B vitamins which can protect against illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. It also promotes brain and bone health.

Silken tofu is a relatively flavourless food with a high-water content leading to a softer consistency in baking. While scrambled tofu is an excellent substitute for those who want to still feel they are eating eggs on their own.


Aquafaba is the liquid left over from cooked chickpeas and is an ideal substitute for binding. It can also be whipped into stiff peaks and used to make meringues, macaroons, waffles and mayonnaise.

Although you would only use the liquid for the egg substitute do not throw the chickpeas away as these are a rich source of protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre.

Final tips

You could also try vinegar and baking soda, when mixed together they create a chemical reaction producing carbon dioxide and water. This added instead of an egg can work especially well in baked goods that are meant to be light and airy such as cakes and quick breads.

Both yoghurt and buttermilk are also good substitutes for eggs, but again use plain versions to avoid flavouring your cooking. These work well in muffins and cakes. You could also use chickpea flour and water to create pancakes, quiches and in baking.The Conversation

The writer is programme lead Nutrition and Health, at Edge Hill University. This article was originally published on The Conversation and is reproduced here under the Creative Commons Licence.