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Q&A: Food for thought ... Egg substitutes comparable to real thing

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What is the difference between a whole egg and an egg substitute? Are there other things that can be used in recipes as egg substitutes?

The difference between a whole egg and egg substitute is that the egg substitute is made from just the egg white, which reduces the cholesterol, fat and calorie content of the egg but not the amount of protein provided. Egg substitutes are also pasteurized for safety and reduction of bacteria.

Nutrition comparison:

Whole egg: 75 calories, 210 mg cholesterol, 5 g fat and 6 g protein

Egg substitute: 30 calories, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g fat and 6 g protein

Egg substitution with other food items should be determined based on the role the egg was intended for in the recipe.

Eggs can be intended for moistening a recipe, to be a binding agent or as a leavening agent.

As a moistening agent, you can try applesauce, mashed banana, pumpkin or other puréed fruit (¼ cup for each egg) for sweet recipes, but these foods will change the taste of the recipe.

For savory recipes, you can try tofu, nut butter, rolled oats or mashed vegetables. If the recipe only calls for 1 or 2 eggs you might be able to replace the eggs with water (about 2 tablespoons per egg).

As a binding agent, you can use tofu, especially in recipes requiring multiple eggs, or mashed potatoes, rolled oats, cooked oatmeal or tomato paste. Again these items may alter the taste and texture of what you are cooking.

As a leavening agent, you can try a commercial egg replacement product or 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil with 1½ tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon baking powder per egg.

We are having a family picnic; how can I keep my food that I’m serving safe?

The picnicking season includes cookouts, barbecues in our backyards and beyond. With warmer temperatures and lack of refrigeration, you want to keep the following in mind to keep your family and guests safe from those food-borne pathogens:

Washing hands with soap and water is important before and after handling food. Soap and water is always the best way to clean the hands, but if no running water is available, use the hand sanitizer.

Perishable foods should not be left out of refrigeration for more than two hours and reduce that to just one hour on a day when the temperature is above 90 degrees.

If transporting coolers, keep your cooler in the air-conditioned passenger compartment, not in the hot trunk.

Have plenty of ice available in your cooler to keep food cold.

Use a food thermometer to make sure your food is cooked to a safe internal temperature; beef, pork, veal, lamb (roast, steaks and chops) need to reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit; ground beef needs to reach 155 degrees Fahrenheit; and poultry or ground poultry needs to reach an internal temp of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Discard leftovers.

Are there foods that can help relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergies?

Yes, certain foods we eat can help rebuild our immune system and act as natural antihistamines. (Histamine is the chemical responsible for allergic symptoms.)

Food items high in Vitamin C not only can reduce symptoms of the common cold but also have been shown to have antihistamine effects which make them able to energize white blood cells and fight off infections.

Bioflavonoids, a compound found in a number of fruits and vegetables, help increase the effect of vitamin C and also have shown to help reduce the release of histamines.

Magnesium and calcium help buffer the acidic stage of an allergic reaction and reduce histamine production.

Some fruits and vegetables, in season, high in these vitamins and minerals include:

Vitamin C: Oranges, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, leafy greens, raspberries, squash, blueberries, strawberries and cabbage

Bioflavonoid: Oranges, peppers, broccoli, eggplant and potatoes

Calcium: Oranges, broccoli, kale, spinach and peas

Magnesium: Spinach, squash, broccoli and kale

Linda Souchon is extension educator at the Purdue Extension Johnson County office.

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