The number of vegans in the UK grew by 360% over the past decade. Nearly half of them are young adults aged 18-34. Few things have contributed to the rapid rise of veganism: health, environmental concerns, animal welfare and, to a great extent, social media. Only 10 years ago it was cool to drink, smoke, experiment with drugs and be skinny to the point where one appeared sickly. Our social media feeds were endless streams of drunken parties and sleepovers.
Thankfully, these days the trend has turned: we drink vegetable smoothies, practice meditation and exercise to be healthy and look fit. Our Facebook feeds now show our friends running half marathons, getting into handstands, drinking vegetable smoothies and saving up for a £3k yoga retreat to Iceland.
From smoothies and juice cleanses, the next step for the most health conscious of us, is going vegan.
When we do samplings for Superfood Bakery, we bake vegan and non-vegan cookies. Both disappear at the same speed. What it surprising, though, is that very few newly converted vegans know about how to substitute eggs in vegan baking. Below are our best tried-and-tested methods.
1. Egg replacer powder
Easy to use, the powder typically contains starch, raising agent, and some kind of acidity regulator. Simply mix it with water in recommended proportion and add it to your dough. In many cases, you can't taste it, but it does the job. Works well for cookies.
2. Ripe mashed banana
This one can be tricky because banana adds moisture and some sweetness, as well as rather obvious banana taste. To replace one egg, take a small whole banana or half of a large one and mash it. If your banana is green, bake it skin-on for 10mins. Perfect for cakes and brownies, works for cookies as well, albeit with a bit of banana flavour.
3. Chia seeds
This one is for superfood advocates: to substitute for 1 egg, take 1 tablespoon of chia and mix it with 2 tablespoons of water. Great for cookies.
4. Flax seeds
Similar to replacing an egg with chia seeds, simply take 1 tablespoon of flax and mix it with 2 tablespoons of water. Adds a bit of a nutty flavour to your oatmeal cookies and bran muffins.
5. Vinegar and baking soda
To replace an egg, mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar (e.g. apple cider) with 1 teaspoon of baking soda. This replacer is perfect for light and airy cakes and cupcakes!