Egg yolks play an important role in the kitchen. Specific recipes often call for egg yolks, but what if you don’t eat them?
It can be difficult to find another ingredient that will give the same effect as egg yolk. For vegans, this can be especially challenging, as even some egg yolk substitutes (see also ‘How To Substitute Eggs In Cornbread With These 5 Amazing Foods‘) are not vegan-friendly.
Whether you are vegan or not, chances are you will come across one of these recipes sooner rather than later. So, for when that happens, take a look at our five favorite egg yolk substitutes.
What Is Egg Yolk?
The egg yolk can be found within the egg – it’s the yellow part.
The majority of eggs have one yolk inside them, but on occasion, there can be two! Some chickens (and other birds, too) are bred for their capabilities to produce double-yolked eggs.
Egg yolks are a great source of fat and protein. In the animal world, a fertilized egg would result in the embryo “feeding” on the yolk as it grows!
However, since it’s impossible for an unfertilized egg to create a chick, the yolk has been put to use in many ways in the kitchen.
This part of the egg is often used in recipes for cookies and cakes, as well as a number of other baked goods. It’s full of nutrition, including vitamins B, D and E, as well as amino acids and leucine.
As such, it’s an important ingredient – especially for children!
Not only are egg yolks delicious, but they’re so versatile, too. They are used in both sweet and savory recipes, and are great if they’re used in a balanced diet.
However, since they are high in cholesterol, they aren’t good options if you already have high cholesterol levels!
The 5 Best Substitutes For Egg Yolk
Whether you don’t eat eggs, or you’re just fresh out of them, you will need that egg yolk substitute. Read on to find out more about these great substitutes, which you might even prefer over the real thing!
1. Chia Seeds
If you’re looking for a great vegan option, using chia seeds and water could be a good bet! As you may guess, this contains no animal products, and it’s super simple to use.
Chia seeds are typically used to make things like desserts and various puddings, but they’re versatile, too. They have a deliciously creamy texture, and they mix well when they are combined with water.
Not only that, but they have good nutrients, too! They have good levels of fiber, as well as zinc, iron, potassium, calcium, and various vitamins.
While chia seeds don’t have the same creaminess of an egg yolk, they are often used to thicken mixtures and batters in baking.
They are also added to things like yogurts, shakes and smoothies to enhance the texture and flavor. You can even add chia seeds to cereals and salads for something a little different!
However, if you were to use chia seeds as a substitute for egg yolks, you would most likely do this in a baking scenario.
They will also help mixtures bind even better than egg yolks could. So, they’re a good option for some nutritious, vegan baking.
Gelatin can also be used as a substitute for egg yolk! Just bear in mind that gelatin is an animal derivative, and is therefore not vegan-friendly.
This product comes from animal skin, ligaments, and bones. Specifically, the collagen in these parts.
This ingredient is a very popular ingredient, and can be found in millions of homes, even if you don’t know it! A lot of foods have gelatin in them, including a lot of jelly candies.
Most dishes that use gelatin are sweet, but there are also instances where it’s used in savory dishes.
Gelatin itself is essentially flavorless. This allows you to have a lot of creativity with flavors if you even decide to use it. It’s also colorless! Gelatin can have the same consistency as egg yolks, depending on how the product is used.
Depending on where you are in the world, gelatin may come in different forms. Sometimes, it can be found in gelatin sheets. In some places, this ingredient comes in powder format.
To use gelatin, it should be mixed with water. Recipes may also call for other ingredients like sugar or food coloring to be added, but this can vary. Once the gelatin is mixed with water, or even milk, it will slowly set once it is refrigerated.
Many desserts call for gelatin as a primary ingredient, including panna cotta, jello, and trifle.
If you need to use gelatin as a substitute for egg, you will need to prepare it and allow it to cool. Once cooled, simply add three tablespoons of gelatin per one egg yolk and continue the recipe as you usually would.
The results should be very similar, with only a minor difference in flavor due to there being no egg yolk in the finished product.
3. Soy Lecithin
Made from soybean oil, soy lecithin is another popular egg yolk substitute. This option is derived from plant sources, and will result in a very similar texture to egg yolks. Even the consistency will be close.
Soy lecithin is a type of emulsifier. This means that it helps to combine ingredients – even things like water and oil!
Emulsifiers are incredibly important in the caking world, as it helps to keep batters and mixes together rather than splitting or separating.
Since the texture is creamy, soy lecithin can easily take the place of egg yolks in many situations. This ingredient is even commonly used in things like soaps and cosmetic products!
It’s definitely an ingredient you need to try at least once to test it for yourself.
4. Silken Tofu
You can also use silken tofu as an egg yolk replacement! You can usually find this ingredient at most grocery stores, and it’s an incredibly popular option in parts of Asia.
This product’s texture is smooth, as the name suggests, and it’s incredibly creamy.
Because of this, it’s basically the perfect option if you’re making custards, puddings, or a mousse. However, it’s also an excellent substitute for ingredients like sour cream, cream cheese, or even mayonnaise.
It’s worth mentioning that if you don’t know how to properly use silken tofu, the flavor can overpower a recipe. Because of this, you should look into which specific recipes this would work with.
Like with the other ingredients, silken tofu is also a good ingredient for binding batters and mixtures. As such, you don’t need to worry about your mixture separating, as this works just as well as egg yolks do.
Finally, we have flaxseed. These things are full of protein, potassium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins B6 and C. When flaxseed is ground it, it has a super delicious nutty flavor that pairs well in a number of scenarios.
A lot of people love the combination of flaxseeds and olive oil, water, or yogurt, depending on the situation. These are especially popular in baked goods, as the flavor compliments these kinds of foods very well.
The amount of fiber in flaxseeds, as well as Omega-3 fatty acids, make this option a pretty good one if you’re looking to add extra nutrients to your diet.
This is a great ingredient to incorporate into your diet if you want to maintain a healthy weight, among other things.
If you would like to try using flaxseeds instead of egg yolk next time you’re making cake, bread, or cookies, it’s easy! All you need to do is mix them in with oil, yogurt, or water, and add them to the mixture as you would an egg yolk.
Just bear in mind that when using flaxseeds, the flavor profile of the fish may be a little different. This substitute is likely to add some earthiness to the finished product, which is usually delicious!
Thankfully, there are plenty of great options when it comes to egg yolk substitutes. Whether you’re vegan or not, there are handy options that you can try and test out for yourself.
Next time you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have egg yolks, and you need them, don’t worry! As long as you have one of the above ingredients, you can still get on with your project.