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Volume III
November 08, 2013

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

How to Make an Egg Substitute!

By Alice Osborne

Did you know that it's possible to make an egg substitute using chia seeds? This is a big deal if you run out of eggs, or if you have egg allergies, or if you're a die-hard vegan.

But for me, it's the "when I run out of eggs" reason. I love eating eggs from pastured hens, love their firm, bright orange yolks, love how nutrient-dense and healthy they are. So this little bit of revelation is exciting to me because sometimes I run out of eggs before I have the chance to get to our local whole foods store.

I first ran onto this information on one of my favorite whole foods websites, Food Renegade ( Here's what I learned: Using a food processor, spice or small coffee grinder, or mortar & pestle, grind 1 tablespoon chia seeds into a meal.

(If you want to grind more at once, that's okay. Just remember that chia seeds are full of delicate omega-3 oils which are prone to spoilage when exposed to heat and oxygen. So you'll want to store your pre-ground chia meal in an airtight container in your freezer; it will store for up to a year.)

Mix 3 tablespoons water and the ground chia seed meal in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or so; it will develop a consistency similar to raw egg yolk. Then add it to any recipe that calls for an egg, along with tablespoon of water to replace the missing egg white. If a recipe needs 2 eggs, you'd double this easy recipe and add 2 tablespoons water to the recipe (to make up for the missing egg whites).

But let's talk more about chia seeds. They have a lot of great things going for them that takes them beyond just egg-replacement:

  • Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Chia seeds promote a healthy digestive tract—relieving constipation, diarrhea, and inflammation.
  • Chia seeds are gluten-free and grain-free.
  • Chia seeds are an excellent source of magnesium.

I sprinkle chia seed (ground or not) over salads and soups, and I add them to my green drinks every morning. I also like to use a little ground chia seed as a thickener when making gravies and white sauces. A little goes a long ways so don't get carried away.

This tiny seed is so easy to use and such a health boost that entire cookbooks are showing up now on how to cook and bake with it. If you haven't tried chia, purchase some and start playing around with it. You'll be glad you did.


Alice Osborne
Weekly Newsletter Contributer since 2006

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