How to Cook Without Eggs as recall List Expands

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Salmonella-contaminated eggs have been associated with at least 300 illnesses in three states, with investigators continuing to field reports from 11 others. Even if you do not have one of the recalled brands, you may be wondering if your eggs are safe. Perhaps the recall has caused you to decide to avoid eggs until the outbreak has been resolved. Some recipes can be easily adapted to substitute other ingredients for fresh eggs.

First determine what the eggs is used for in a food products. Eggs primarily serve two roles. They are used for binding ingredients (such as in meatloaf) or they may be used for leavening, as in the case of breads and cakes. Determining the purpose of the egg can help when choosing the best option for a replacement.

In general, if a product calls for three or more eggs, a substitute product will not work well. Examples include pound cake, sponge cake, or angel food cakes.

For recipes which use eggs as a binder, try one of the following substitutions:

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• 1/2 of a medium banana, mashed or 1/4 cup of applesauce or other pureed fruit. Canned pumpkin is also an option. Keep in mind that the fruit chosen may alter the flavor.
• ¼ cup tofu for each egg can be used and will not likely alter the flavor. Whip or beat it before adding to the other ingredients.
• 3-1/2 tablespoons gelatin blend (mix 1 cup boiling water and 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin, and then use 3-1/2 tablespoons of that mixture per egg)
• 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water; let stand 1 minute before using

For recipes that use eggs for leavening, such as breads, try 1-1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil mixed with 1-1/2 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon of baking powder per egg.

Ener-G is a brand-name product popular for vegans for use as an alternative to eggs in recipes. The powdered egg replacer, made of potato starch, tapioca starch, calcium lactate (for leavening), and other ingredients can be used in baking to replace both whole eggs and egg whites. It can be purchased in some large supermarkets, natural food markets, and in health food stores.

If you choose to continue to eat shell eggs or use them in recipes, there is no way to tell by looking if an egg is contaminated, so use the following guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce the risk of being infected with Salmonella Enteritidis:

1. Keep raw eggs refrigerated at ≤ 45° F (≤7° C) at all times.
2. Discard cracked or dirty eggs.
3. Wash hands, cooking utensils, and food preparation surfaces with soap and water after contact with raw eggs.
4. Eggs should be cooked until both the white and the yolk are firm and eaten promptly after cooking. Avoid eating raw or undercooked eggs. This is especially important for young children, pregnant women, elderly persons, and persons with weakened immune systems or debilitating illness.
5. Do not keep cooked eggs warm or at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Refrigerate unused or leftover egg-containing foods promptly.
6. Avoid restaurant dishes made with raw or undercooked, unpasteurized eggs (ie: sunny-side up eggs for breakfast). Restaurants should use pasteurized eggs in any recipe (such as Hollandaise sauce or Caesar salad dressing) that calls for raw eggs.

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