In our post pandemic world, food has seemingly returned back to normal. Peas were stocking the shelves again, canned food was overflowing the aisles of Asda and the UK had access to every item their heart desired. But one key ingredient continued to be latently precarious; animal products.
As most pandemics have shown, viruses and flu float around in living organisms, using their hosts as a breeding ground. Flashback to the swine flu in 2010 that originated from an outbreak in farmed pigs. It seemed that meat was a cause for concern and should best be avoided. However, cut back to November 2022 and a new cause for concern has arisen. Eggs.
Eggs have been a staple food in British culture for centuries. Scrambled, poached, runny; it’s the instagrammable partner to avo-on-toast and the builder’s morning egg and soldiers. But will this all have to change in the coming years? An avian flu outbreak has culled hens across British farms, causing the livestock to dwindle away and with it, the supply. Not only has the flu been deadly to birds, but it could be contaminating the eggs, making for a risky breakfast across Britain. As though the flu wasn’t enough, farmers are struggling with the cost of upkeep, with bird feed increasing in price by 50%. Every egg laid are many pennies lost.
So what’s going to happen? Will Brits be able to have their eggy cake and eat it? As this is looking less and less likely, here are five delicious alternatives to keep you thriving during the egg shortage.
Flax Seeds are the perfect baking alternative to eggs. Not only do they have the binding power of eggs, they’re also packed full of nutrients. Healthline states, ‘Flaxseed is particularly high in thiamine, a B vitamin that plays a key role in energy metabolism as well as cell function. It’s also a great source of copper, which is involved in brain development, immune health, and iron metabolism.’
And that doesn’t even scratch the surface. Flax seeds are high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, can help protect against cancer, is rich in fibre, can lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure and can stabilise your blood sugar levels.
A great way to use flax seeds as an egg substitute is to add one part to three parts water.
Aquafaba is a fantastic substitute for eggs in baking, as it has the same consistency as egg whites. But what is it? Aquafaba is the liquid found in tinned chickpeas. The nutrients from the chickpeas is transferred into the water, meaning aquafaba has traces of B vitamins, Iron, Phosphorusn and healthy fats. A great way to use aquafaba is in baking; about three tablespoons can make up one egg.
If you like bananas, then this substitute is for you. Mashed banana can act as an egg replacer in pancakes as it has similar binding properties. Healthline states that bananas are, ‘Rich in nutrients, may improve blood sugar levels, may support digestive health, may support heart health and are full of antioxidants.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
A seemingly odd combination, one teaspoons of baking soda combined with one tablespoon of vinegar can replace one egg in most recipes. This substitute is best for cake and bread recipes. Plus, Regularly having a small amount of vinegar in your diet may help control your blood sugar more effectively.
Commercial egg replacers
In this day and age of growing substitutes, there are plenty of commercial egg replacers on the market. From Oggs to Crackd, there are plenty of pre-packaged replacements you should get your hands on. You can find these in a range of supermarkets, from Tesco to Asda.