Egg replacements to help you weather the bird flu

According to the New York Times, at least 15 U.S. states have been affected by the bird flu, making one of the biggest sources of agricultural income unusable: eggs. Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota have been the most affected, with over 1.8 million birds in each state having been affected with the influenza since December, 2014. While taking baking courses online, you may have noticed the price of eggs going up. Because of the bird flu, there are fewer eggs available, which is driving up the price. Here are some egg alternatives to try out if the thought of paying extra for eggs makes you cringe:

Packaged egg replacements
There are some products on the market that are simply created to replace eggs. Ener-G is one of them. This powder, and others like it, has a texture similar to baking soda and is not made with real eggs. This particular brand is vegan, wheat-, gluten- and dairy-free and made with potato, leavening agents, tapioca starch and some preservative chemicals. It is great for use in baked goods if you are cooking for someone who has an egg allergy. You can find egg replacement powders at your local Whole Foods, some major grocery chain stores and online.

Many vegans who bake opt to use mashed banana to replace eggs in a myriad of dishes. These sweet fruits can be halved to account for two eggs if they are large or used entirely if the banana is small. Just use a fork to smash it up and add to your dough or mix. It's necessary to note that bananas are sweet and you may need to change your recipe's sugar content if you decide to utilize bananas as your egg replacement. They do provide a lot of moisture for your dish and are great in breads, scones and pancakes.

Many people are afraid of tofu because they have not had it cooked by someone who knows what they're doing. When done right, tofu is an excellent egg substitute in dishes like cake and pasta and even frittata. This ingredient doesn't brown as well as real eggs, so keep that in mind if you use it for baking –  your food may be done even though it's not golden-colored yet. Eggless Cooking blogger recommends using 1/4 cup of whipped silken tofu for every egg that your recipe requires. Tofu makes for an especially moist dish, so try it in cupcakes and brownies.

Flax seeds
If you're making whole wheat bread or cookies with nuts in them, you may enjoy the flavor of ground flax seed as your egg substitute. The Kitchn recommends using 1 tablespoon ground flax seed plus 3 tablespoons of water for every egg you need. Fax is not flavorless and will add a slightly nutty taste, so keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to use it in your cooking or baking. You can even buy ground flax seeds at some grocery stores if you look in the health food aisle or near the alternative flours.

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