Did you know you can make your favorite chocolate chip cookies, that amazing banana bread you’ve always loved, or any other baked goods, without eggs? What is essential about eggs in baking recipes isn’t the actual egg itself, it’s the fact that eggs are able to bind ingredients together. But eggs are no longer the only way to bind our favorite treats. So today we’re talking all about my favorite egg alternative, the flax egg, and why you might want to use it.
When flaxseed is combined with water it becomes a binding agent of its own and will hold together your baking recipes just as an egg would. Plus flaxseed is a clean plant source of omega-3s, fiber, vitamin B1 and magnesium, just to name a few of its vitamins and minerals. Here’s how you can whip up a flax egg yourself:
- 1 TBSP ground flaxseed
- 3 TBSP warm water
- In a small bowl or cup combine flaxseed and water.
- Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Add to baking recipe as you would a regular egg.
- One flax egg equals one chicken egg. So just swap out the egg for the flax egg in your recipes accordingly.
Now I know a lot of you are probably thinking, ok…but why bother? There are numerous health reasons to avoid eating animal products all together, and if you’re curious about those check out my resources page for more info. But today I’m going to share with you a more humane perspective on why you might want to ditch eggs, or at least try to use less of them.
So much of what we think farming looks like couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s nice to imagine that the chickens who produce the eggs we buy at the store are roaming around big grassy fields, laying eggs at their leisure. But that simply isn’t the reality. The vast majority of eggs come from factory farming, which is all about productivity and profit, and not at all about any compassion for the animals. For example, did you know that, completely opposite of the image of big grassy fields, most factory farm chickens never get to be outside or see the light of day? Never.
Or did you know that if chickens were just naturally producing eggs according to their own cycle, there wouldn’t be nearly enough eggs to meet current demands? So, chickens had to be bred and genetically modified to be mass producers. According to the ASPCA, in 1925 it took four months to raise a chicken to 2.5 pounds. Nowadays, chickens used for eggs and poultry reach that weight in just six weeks. And because of this, many of them grow so large, so quick, they can’t even hold up their own body weight. Their legs literally buckle and they’re left to live their entire lives producing eggs and laying in their own waste.
And that’s just what’s happening to the hens. The fate of the male chicks is also extremely bleak. When chickens lay fertilized eggs, for the purpose of becoming future hens and egg producers, we of course end up with both male chicks and female chicks. But, the vast majority of male chicks are of no purpose to the farming industry. So once they hatch and are identified as males, they are sent directly to a grinder that grinds them to death.
Pretty shocking, isn’t it? But there’s so much you can do to make more compassionate choices. First, you can continue to educate yourself on the reality of where your food comes from. Just five years ago I would have had no idea about any of this either. If you want to learn more you can start by checking out: truthaboutchicken.org.
Second, you can do your part to create less demand for animal products by using alternatives when it’s easy, like it is with a flax egg, instead of a chicken egg, in baking. Your recipes will still taste great and you’ll be able to know that you did something to make a difference. 🙂
Here are two of my favorite recipes from the blog that I used the flax egg in.
If you don’t have flax on hand, here are some other egg substitutions for baking, put together by Swanson Health Products.