Yesterday, while sitting on a bench by the playground with a few other mamas, watching our kids play, and basting our faces in the sun (it was a chilly day and and sun shining was a blessing and dose of vitamin D we all enjoyed.) We talked about our weekend ~ our long weekend as it was our Thanksgiving Day weekend.
We kind of (as usual) got into a few recipes and shared a few secrets of our baking and cooking. Then things got really crazy when I mentioned my delicious Pumpkin Mousse-Cheesecake that’s wheat’less (actually all gluten-free), cheese’less and of course egg’less! “But how could that be? How did you make it without eggs?” They asked excitedly. (well ok, by now, only one mom was listening and maybe she wasn’t really all that excite…. just curious ;). (but I kind of liked going with a little drama there ;) So, I gave her a few options as to what you could replace the egg with in all sorts of recipes.
There could be several reasons why someone would want to avoid eggs. Here’s a few:
1. You’re a Vegan.
~ the Vegan diet and lifestyle does not accept any use of products that come from an animal source. This is for eating meat of any animal, as well as foods that come from an animal, such as eggs and honey. Veganism also excludes wearing leather or wool, and using skin care and beauty products made with animal ingredients, such as most soaps use lye which is made from animal’s fat.
2. You’re allergic to Eggs.
~ egg allergies are very common and can be very serious. And mild symptoms that are avoided can potentially lead to severe health problems. (Hmm… could this have been me?) Bottom line is, if you do have even a slight reaction to a food, please do notice it and avoid it right away, OR switch to organic eggs that come from hens that are farm raised and do not get growth hormones or antibiotics. That may help your symptoms. But it’s best to stay away because in the long run, it can lead to potential health problems.
3. Too much Cholesterol.
~ eggs are very high in cholesterol. And you should not wait to have your doctor come back to you and tell you you have High Cholesterol in order to change your health around. Too many people don’t watch what they eat, and then they try to *fix* everything much too late. Be mindful of the cholesterol in your foods and know that Each egg contains about 186 mg of Cholesterol – and the total daily value of all Cholesterol consumed should be less than 300 mg.
What does that mean? Well, just looking at eggs, if you have 2 eggs in one day, you’re already maxed out for the day – and that does not include other food sources of where Cholesterol is found. (here is some more info about cholesterol and eggs) So if you do eat eggs – keep in mind that 4 eggs per week should be the maximum consumption. Because let’s not forget, Cholesterol is also found is other food products, mainly animal food products, especially cheese, and in very small quantities in plant-based foods.
4. You ran out of eggs.
~ it’s a relaxing pyjama-rainy-day, when your cutie-pie kids, excitedly ask if they could have pancakes for lunch! (happens a lot around here!) You open the fridge, but you’ve got no eggs! You tell them “SORRY ;( but I can’t make pancakes for you because we’re out of eggs”!? What kind of a mom are you!? With this wisdom now in mind – you will know that if you take some ground flax or a banana or a….. (read below)…. Your cutie-pie kids will get their pancakes! And you will be one super cool mom for the day!
5. You want healthier options.
We’ve discussed the dietary lifestyle of being Vegan and the health dangers of egg allergies or too much cholesterol. How about you just want to live better, and healthier. You want to mix things up and introduce healthier options for yourself and your family. You are not afraid of making changes and you want to live a long and healthy life ~ and NOT wait for a health problem to *force* you to change your diet around. You love a new food experience and you know that scrambled eggs are not the only breakfast option! Yes, you now stock your pantry with ground flax and apple sauce!
So, there’s many reasons why we would want to avoid eggs. I love this chart that has all the great substitutes for eggs:
More egg substitution options:
CHIA SEEDS - work similarly to ground seeds, but have a milder taste, I’ve used this in pancakes or vegan burger cakes.
AGAR – agar flakes or powder is a seaweed that forms into a gelatin-like texture, great for mousse type desserts ~ which is why I used it in my Vegan Pumpkin Mousse Cheesecake! (recipe coming soon).
For our family personally, we don’t avoid them completely.
I don’t eat eggs at all in any shape or form because I’ve discovered I have an intolerance or an allergy to them. I had an allergy skin patch test done a few years ago, the patch showed a mild reaction ~ the allergist said “this is nothing to worry about”! Really? I even said I think it could be related to my autoimmune illness which I have little answers for. He simply kept to his thing. “I wouldn’t worry about it!”
But I wan’t so sure I could trust anyone at that point. So I experimented with my egg-situation and this is what I did and recommend to everyone who think, even just slightly, that they could be allergic to/ or have an intolerance of eggs.
Egg-Elimination Diet Test :
Remove eggs entirely from your meals, even desserts and check packaging if it’s an ingredient in any foods, like mayonaise. Remove them entirely from your diet for 2 weeks. Do not cheat at all because you’ll never know if this test works or not. Once the two weeks are up, add them back into your meal, separate from other foods or kept with other foods that you know are ‘neutral’ such as a salad. Pay attention to how your body feels after you ate the egg. Does your stomach get cramps, does your throat get itchy or dry or do you feel swelling.
Often times, when we eat foods all at once on a regular basis, our bodies don’t show a true allergy symptom but only make us feel sick. When we isolate the food, in this case the eggs, we can clearly see if it’s the eggs that make us sick.
In my case, they did. I had an itchy throat and a runny nose after eating eggs. So that was the end of my egg-venture! ;)
For the rest of my family, which is my husband and 5 year old. We always buy organic eggs from either a reputable organic grocery store or from a local farmer. (but his supply is running dry lately). Still, I encourage them to eat eggs every other day and quite often when I make dinner or those pancakes that are for everyone I don’t use eggs and they eat less eggs by default. ;)
Do you eat eggs or use substitutes? How do you handle the diet change? And let us know if you have some egg-cellent swapping tips as well ;D