How to Make Chia or Flax Eggs? #GlutenFreeVeganuary

Last month, a wonderful team of UK food bloggers and I embarked on a mission: showing you that ‘free from’ food is not always complicated, full of unpronounceable ingredients or weird methods. This month, we are back with a new challenge: creating gluten-free vegan recipes, and I am kicking off the party with chia eggs (or flax eggs).

Meet the Wonderful Team Behind #GlutenFreeVeganuary

Little me! Mel – ‘Le Coin de Mel’
Vicki – ‘The Free From Fairy’
Nath – ‘The Intolerant Gourmand’
Emma – ‘Free From Farmhouse’
Jo – ‘Paleo Crust’
Nova – ‘Cherished by Me’
Ciara – ‘My Fussy Eater’

Until four years ago, I had never heard of Xanthan gum, flax eggs, linseed, chia eggs or egg-free cakes. Eggless cakes? For real? I know, I know, you live and learn…

These little babies are chia seeds:

Chia eggs are quick & easy to put together, following the same method as flax eggs: 1 tbsp milled seeds mixed with 3 tbsp of water make an 'egg.'

Baking used to be nice and easy. I would just choose a recipe in any cookbook, follow the instructions, plop the dough in a cake tin and in the oven it went… It all changed when allergies came into our lives.

I had no idea what I was doing. I started by going back to basics, making stock from scratch, focusing on simple recipes with one or two ingredients so that Jumpy’s food diary would be accurate.

As her allergies were diagnosed and I was given a list of foods to exclude from her diet, I slowly introduced new ingredients, checking for signs of reaction for a couple of days before moving on to the next ingredient.

Three and a bit years later and Jumpy has a well-balanced, varied diet and she has a soft spot for her ‘special’ chocolate cake. I have also become more confident with ‘free from’ baking and using ingredients that had been alien to me for the first 30 odd years of my life.

Jumpy always loves helping me in the kitchen. She actually made carrot and ginger soup from scratch last week (under supervision, no panic!), peeling carrots and parsnips, grating ginger, cutting the root veg as well as onion and plopping it all in the pan when prompted.

One of her favourite things is mixing water and milled chia or linseed (flax) into a gooey mixture. She knows they are her ‘special eggs’ and if she keeps helping, my little sous chef will be a much better ‘free from’ baker than I am. Who knows? Maybe I have the future ‘free from’ Mary Berry under my roof!

In a recent recipe or two, I have mentioned flax eggs and my friend Cé has asked me to write about them, since she would not know how or where to get a ‘flax egg.’

After experimenting with a variety of ingredients to replace eggs in cakes, I have to say that chia and fax eggs are my favourite egg replacers when baking ‘free from’ cakes as they work just like eggs. A straight swap is a nice swap in my books! Easy Peasy.

Essentially, chia and flax eggs work the same way, which is why I tackled them together.

A few facts you might find useful:

– Flaxseed is called linseed in the UK.
– Chia seeds are more expensive than flaxseed (linseed in the UK).
– Chia and linseed (flaxseed) are readily available in any health food shop or on Amazon.
– Always go for whole seeds rather than milled. It is preferable to grind them as and when you need them, and use them straight away.
– If the flavours of your cake are delicate, flax eggs might taint the flavours a bit (ever so slightly nutty in taste). Chia eggs do not alter the taste of cakes at all.
– If I make chocolate cake, I tend to use flax eggs as cacao, cocoa or chocolate hide the slight nuttiness of the egg substitute. When I make lemon cake, I always go for chia eggs.

To make 1 chia or flax egg:

1 tablespoon chia seeds or linseed (flaxseed), not milled
3 tablespoons water
Start by grinding the chia seeds or linseed / flaxseed using a blender. Here is a little before / after:

Chia eggs are quick & easy to put together, following the same method as flax eggs: 1 tbsp milled seeds mixed with 3 tbsp of water make an 'egg.'
Place the fine powder in a small bowl and add the water little by little, stirring for 30 seconds. It will look gloopy and not properly combined:

Chia eggs are quick & easy to put together, following the same method as flax eggs: 1 tbsp milled seeds mixed with 3 tbsp of water make an 'egg.'
Cover and place in the fridge for 15 minutes to an hour to thicken. Now you can see it is ready:

Chia eggs are quick & easy to put together, following the same method as flax eggs: 1 tbsp milled seeds mixed with 3 tbsp of water make an 'egg.'
Use the same way as you would a whole whisked egg in baking.

Do you have any tips to replace eggs in recipes?

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Comments

  1. cherishedbyme says:

    Thanks for this, I eat chia and flax seeds but have never used them as an egg replacement and considering I’m intolerant to egg whites I probably should! 😉

  2. Yeah!!!!! Merci Merci Merci!!! Xxx now got to try this ?

  3. Great post! I know what you mean about finding alternatives for ‘usual’ baking…it’s amazing what you can do when you have to! I grind my flax seeds and then put them in the freezer to preserve the nutrients. That’s my top tip ;)!

  4. Agree, chia seeds are the best egg replacers! Although I grind the seeds and mix with the flour then add the liquid separately! Also white seeds for white sponge and black for chocolate sponge! X

  5. Well that’s pretty freaky! just bought some chia seeds today to try to use them as an egg alternative in my baking, I’m not getting on with the Orgran Egg Replacer in all my bakes for some reason. All I needed to do next was google how the hecky-thump I turn seeds into an egg….and then you pop up and save the day Thank you, thank you thank you!

  6. Okay, I’m no longer a chia egg virgin! Made a microwave syrup sponge today with two chia eggs. Turned out lovely (used Free From Fairy Flour too) pleased with this and going to dive into more bakes with the same ‘egg’ ….cupcakes next…my nemesis when it comes to vegan baking!

    • Oh that’s brilliant sweetie! I’m so glad it worked out well. Cupcakes used to be my nemesis too but after a lot of experimentation (and horrid fails), I now have a few recipes I know work every time (even better with Vicki’s flour). Just type ‘muffin’ or ‘cupcake’ in my search bar if you fancy a look at the sort of things I use in mine. There’s almost always a fruit or veg used as the core of the recipe. xx

  7. Thanks for sharing this Mel. I sometimes get asked about egg-free baking and so I’ve been meaning to experiment at adapting some of my recipes. I’ll definitely be giving these a try.

    • I’ve never used them in ‘normal baking’ (if you see what I mean), but they certainly work beautifully in gluten-free / dairy-free cakes. xx

  8. myfussyeaterblog says:

    Two fantastic ways to replace eggs!

  9. Emma @ FreeFromFarmhouse says:

    I’ve actually never tried making flax eggs as it always just seemd like a faff but actually they are full of nutrients and you show it’s really straightforward so I need to do this! #freefromfridays

    • I would never had bothered if we didn’t have to deal with an egg allergy, but to be honest, it’s quick and easy to make so I’m not complaining!

  10. Chia seed are a great alternative to egg! I love how with our allergy journeys we’ve had to become so creative with replacing ingredients so recipes work! 🙂 x

    • Me too! If you’d told me 5 years ago that I would have 5 types of flour, all the seeds known to man and agar agar in my cupboards, I would have asked you if you were drunk, hahahaha!

  11. I’ve heard of flax eggs but not chia eggs. I suppose it might have something to do with the fact that chia seeds haven’t been around as long as flax seeds (at least in this part of the world), but I am glad the price has gone down and they are becoming more and more popular.

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