Today’s post is on how to make a flax egg.
Right off the bat, I am going to congratulate you for reaching the second sentence! In addition, I just want to make clear you will be reading about how to make a “flax egg” out of flax meal.
Still here? OK! We’re in business. That means you want to roll up your sleeves and learn about flax!
You already know vegans are funny and don’t eat eggs. We get around it by using substitutes, one of which is flax.
First of all, what is flax? Because it sounds like something from a Dr. Seuss book.
Relax Jack! Flax is just a plant.
In the old days, people used to grow flax and harvest it for weaving into linen. The process of readying the flax plant fibers for weaving is called “scutching,” which is a word I just learned from the internet and involves drying and beating flax plants until seeds fall out.
So–this may seem obvious–the first thing I want you to do is go out into your back yard and snip some flax from your flax garden patch.
I’ll wait here.
Haha! Silly. It’s too cold out for a flax harvest!
OK, if you insist on being all “anti-hipster” and “disconnected from your food,” I’ll let you in on a little secret. You can BUY flax seeds at the store! (What??)
Pure-ists will tell you NOT to buy ground flax seed. You should buy whole flax seed and grind it up in your coffee grinder. They say this allows for the best flax eggs and that ground flax goes rancid quickly. I have no doubt they are right. However, I buy ground flax seed and store it in a glass jar in my pantry. (I’m rebellious that way.) I use flax a lot in smoothies and oatmeal, and it rarely stays around long. I operate just fine this way. Store your ground flax meal in the freezer if you feel nervous about it, Nellie!
I use “flax eggs” in hearty baking recipes as for muffins or rustic quick breads. Flax has a nutty flavor and a grainy texture that works well for these purposes. If I’m making something like cupcakes, I’ll turn to starch-based egg replacers, which will not interfere with flavor and will preserve the refined texture of the baked good. A popular brand for this is Ener-G Egg Replacer.
Keep in mind, in vegan baking, especially for rustic recipes, you can often get away WITHOUT using flax egg or any egg substitute at all, because so many recipes call for things like mashed banana, applesauce or pumpkin puree. These offer binding qualities all on their own. If you use flax egg, you’ll notice your baked goods are less crumbly and hold together better. However, this is really a matter of preference. I tend to use the flax egg if the recipe calls for a lot of chopped nuts and raisins and chunky ingredients like that. My advice is: experiment. Try your recipe with or without the flax egg. See what you like.
- 1 tablespoon golden flax meal (ground flax seed)
- 2½ tablespoons filtered water, room temperature
- Combine flax meal and water in a small container and allow to sit on the counter until water is fully absorbed by the flax meal, about 5-10 minutes.
After you add the water, it will look runny like this:
After about ten minutes, the flax meal will absorb the water, and the mixture will look like this:
It will be thick:
There it is! You may substitute ground chia seeds in exactly the same proportions if you like. Chia seeds are more expensive than flax, but they will work the same way.
In the meantime, stop your scutching, get over here, and eat your vegan banana muffin!