Living with Food Sensitivities: Eggs

From a typical breakfast to an ingredient commonly used in recipes, having a sensitivity to eggs can really put a damper on our shopping list and cooking. Luckily, were are here to sort out all of the products designed to make living with an egg sensitivity a little easier- from “vegan scrambled eggs” to utilizing different ingredients as an egg substitute for binding purposes, you will see that implementing an egg free eating pattern may be easier than you think.

What to Look For

Something you may already know: eggs are one of the top eight allergens with specific labeling requirements under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. Under that law, manufacturers of packaged food products sold in the U.S. that contain egg as an ingredient must include the presence of egg, in clear language, on the ingredient label. This can make it a lot easier to ensure you are completely avoiding this culprit food in packaged foods.

Some common foods to be aware of with a sensitivity to eggs: breaded or battered foods, egg bread, egg rolls, Challah, egg noodles, matzoh, eggnog, mayonnaise, some salad dressings, foam on specialty cocktails or coffee drinks, macaroni, marshmallows, and nougat. Some other ingredients that may indicate the presence of eggs include: albumin, lysozome, meringue, surimi, lecithin, and ovumucin.

What’s for Breakfast?

Eggs tend to be the go-to breakfast option for most individuals, so there is always a little bit of panic with a reaction to eggs on the Alcat test and the inevitable question: “What am I supposed to eat for breakfast?” If scrambled eggs are your thing, consider the vegan alternative made with chickpeas (recipe below). Other breakfast options to consider include: porridge or hot cereal, yogurt parfait, overnight oats, chia seed pudding, smoothies or smoothie bowls, avocado toast.

If you are concerned about losing your protein source for breakfast, there are other ways to incorporate protein in the options mentioned above. Try adding nuts, seeds, or nut butter to your warm cereal, including protein powder in your smoothies, or having Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with your breakfast (if you didn’t react to dairy).

Substituting Eggs in Recipes

Eggs are used in recipes for leavening, such as in muffins, cakes, and other baked products. They are also used as a binder in other recipes. The egg substitute tips below are categorized by the egg’s purpose in the recipe. Some substitutes may work better than others depending on the recipe so there may be some trial and error:

  • For binding, replace each egg with one of the following:
    • ½ of a medium banana mashed
    • ¼ cup of applesauce or other pureed fruit
    • ¼ cup of canned 100% pumpkin
    • 3 ½ Tbsp. gelatin blend (gelatin blend: 1 cup boiling water mixed with 2 tsp. unflavored gelatin)
    • 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed or chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp. warm water (let stand for 1 minute before using)
    • Commercial egg replacers such as those made by Bob’s Red Mill and Ener-G
  • For leavening, replace each egg with one of the following:
    • 1 tsp. baking powder + 1 tsp. water + 1 tsp. vinegar
    • 1 tsp. baking powder + 1 ½ Tbsp. vegetable oil + 1 Tbsp. water
    • Commercial egg replacers such as those made by Bob’s Red Mill and Ener-G
  • Egg wash substitutes:
    • Cow’s milk
    • Soy milk
    • Watered down agave nectar

It is important to keep other food sensitivities in mind and choosing what is most suitable for your needs. Like any change, going egg-free may be tricky at first, but with the right substitutions at hand, living egg-free can be easy. To ensure individual needs are met, it’s best to consult with a nutritionist, such as the nutrition experts at PreviMedica. Call us at 855-773-8463 or email hello@previmedica.com for more information on our services.

 

Vegan Scrambled Eggs

Adapted from: oatmealwithafork.com

 Serves: 1 portion 

Ingredients:

· 4 tsp coconut oil, divided

· 5 Tbsp chickpea flour (aka garbanzo bean flour)

· 6 Tbsp water

· ½ scallions, chopped

· ¼ c. button mushrooms, chopped

· ¼ c. kale, chopped

·  sea salt & black pepper, to taste

 

Instructions:

  1. Heat two teaspoons of coconut oil in a small non-stick skillet.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the chickpea flour with the water, scallion, and a couple pinches of black salt or regular sea salt and pepper.
  3. Add the mushrooms into the skillet, and let them cook for about five minutes.
  4. Add the remaining two teaspoons of coconut oil to the pan.
  5. Pour the chickpea/scallion mix into the skillet, and let it cook without touching it for 3-5 minutes, or until you see the perimeter begin to ‘set’.
  6. Sprinkle the kale into the skillet.
  7. Using a spatula, begin breaking the mix into smaller bite-size pieces.
  8. Heat the ‘eggs’ until they are cooked through (no batter in sight).
  9. Salt and pepper to taste.

References:

  1. Design, Nonprofit Web, and Matrix Group International. Egg – food allergy research & education. 9 Jan. 2016. Web. 6 Sept. 2016. https://www.foodallergy.org/allergens/egg-allergy
  2. Victor, Anucyia. “11 Other Eggs You Should Be Eating Instead of Hen’s Eggs.”Daily Mail. Daily Mail, 7 Sept. 2015. Web. 6 Sept. 2016. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-3038106/11-eggs-eating-instead-hen-s-eggs.html
  3. “Egg Allergy.” ACAAI Public Website. N.p., 2015. Web. Oct. 2016. http://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergies/types-food-allergy/egg-allergy

Basilia Theofilou is a contributor on our blog as well as one of the nutrition advisors here at PreviMedica. You can read more about her here.

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