We’ve all been there: You’re mixing up a batch of chocolate chip cookies or satisfying a late-night urge for brownies when you look in the refrigerator and it suddenly dawns on you … you have no eggs! But don’t despair. You don’t have to waste your bowl of dry ingredients or worse — reach for a piece of fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth. There are lots of easy kitchen hacks that offer workarounds for those inevitable egg-less moments in our lives.
One of the best egg substitutions for baking recipes is flaxseed. This “flax egg” recipe from Minimalist Baker will work with great success in a variety of recipes, from quick breads to pancakes to cookies, and since it has the added nutritious bonus of flaxseed, you will feel a little less guilty when you mainline baked goods. You simply mix water and flaxseed meal for each egg and let it sit in the fridge for five minutes while you whip up the rest of recipe. Voila! Who needs chickens anyway?
But, let’s say you have no flaxseed handy either. No worries. Here is another great egg substitute for baking … soda water! The chefs over at The Kitchn say that carbonated water is one of the absolute best substitutes for eggs in baking recipes. Of course, you have to make sure that you use plain carbonated water and not grapefruit or something else heavily flavored unless you want your muffins to have an unusual aftertaste. Plus, soda water is easy to stock and won’t expire, so you can always be sure you have it on hand.
Applesauce is another great egg sub, but do keep in mind that if you use sweetened applesauce, you may want to reduce the amount of sugar you put in your recipe so that you don’t overload your baked goods with too much sweetness.
Another idea for an egg substitute is chia seeds. As with flax seeds, these need to be hydrated first. Use one tablespoon of chia seeds to three parts water for each egg, and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Once the mixture has gelled, you’ll be ready to use it!
You can use half a pureed banana in place of an egg. Bananas are great in baked items such as muffins and cakes, but you’ll want to keep in mind that you will probably taste the mashed bananas, so use accordingly.
Because eggs make baked products lighter and fluffier, bind ingredients together, and lend moisture, you might want to experiment a bit with these substitutes. Each of these has its own properties that result in differences in the final product. Consider what the substitutes do, and swap out based on your needs. For example, chia and flax seeds are good binding agents. The fizz of carbonated water adds leavening, while the applesauce and bananas will be good for contributing moisture.
With these easy swaps, you can work around those times when you run out of eggs unexpectedly, or you can use these smart subs to make your favorite baked goods egg-free or even vegan!
What’s your favorite egg substitute?
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for other great tips and ideas to make the most out of life.