Christ is in our midst!
During fasting days, especially many strict fasts, such as Great Lent, Nativity, Dormition of the Theotokos and the Sts. Peter and Paul, these times translates to intense prayer and reflection of oneself, connecting to God in addition to dietary restrictions that help purify us. These foods include no eating of meat, fish, dairy, eggs, oil, and alcohol. With the exception of certain feast days, oil, fish, and wine are allowed. I have been eating a plant based diet for a decade, so fasting days are not grueling or compromising for me. Personally, the burdensome part, speaking for myself, are fasting from passions. What I mean by passions, which they vary for all of us and to what degree, are envy, lust for power of all sorts, lust for fame, avarice, gluttony, murder (being an extreme one), wanting something what the other person has, judgement of others, despondency, despair, self love, lustfully thinking of someone etc.
For many years, probably since I started baking when I was 14 or so, I wasn’t sure what to replace eggs with until I learned about vegan egg replacer and eventually aquafaba. I never even knew or fathomed that eggs could be replaced. When I first started baking, eggs was just something you needed. When I cut out eggs from baking, I thought, “what can I replace them with?” First I started off with vegan egg powdered replacer because I saw it at the store and seeing the word vegan on the box in the baking aisle. Easy.
And God said, See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.Genesis 1:29, New King James Version Bible
Eventually, as I got comfortable with vegan baking, I thought there has to be a healthier egg replacement. You know what came up in my research? Aquafaba! I thought, “WOW! This sounds so cool. What the heck is it? Where do I get it?” So, aquafaba translates to ‘bean water’. Best part? My beloveds, you have it in your kitchen right now if you love chickpeas. Whether you buy chickpeas in a can or make fresh chickpeas, you have aquafaba! Fresh method: When you soak your dried chickpeas and then cook them, the bean water is that water you just cooked. Save it and use it in cooking for various dishes. The best part is that it lasts for a longtime!!!
I feel compelled to share with what I am about to say in the next paragraph because aquafaba is a far fetched cooking idea. It is avant garde. It is not traditional, at least not for most people. For people that cook dishes traditionally with meat and animal products are so shocked when I share with them ways you can use plants to replace certain animals products in the dish. Please forgive me.
For clarity: I like traditional recipes, but I also really like creative dishes one would never think of. I like tradition. I was raised with traditions. Pascha is around the corner; I have my own Slavic traditions to bring to the table. For example, bringing beautifully decorated pussywillows and an Easter basket to be blessed. There are times, I believe, that traditions need to change or upgrade and adjust with the changing times. First off, when applicable and they violate ethical standards, i.e harming other lives, and situations or issues that affect us all. We are all interconnected. We are all brothers and sisters, despite what the color our skin is, what our beliefs are, or where we are from. I think that every culture has something beautiful to offer to the world. However, first and foremost, I am against cruelty towards any human and creature created by God. We have to concede that we are dealing with a gigantic tragedy of our treatment towards animals, humans, and the environmental. For people who eat animal products, it is important to be mindful of where they come from, how the animals were treated, and if possible, eat grass-fed products. The past 100 years or so, we have been treating animals with such cruelty. If the suffering of animals were in glass houses, we would not consume animals. Living the plant based lifestyle or even adding more plant based foods on our plate can help the planet. I do not believe it is a cure all to help the environment but it is something. The cure all is God’s mercy and love is the cure. In Christianity, we are taught to be stewards of the earth yet many people, including Christians, do not remember this. I ask you my brothers and sisters to just think about this. Please forgive me my beloveds.
“It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.”Albert Einstein, in a letter to Hermann Huth (December 27, 1930)
“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.”Singer, Paul McCartney
It is difficult for me to condense how everything is interconnected and affects all of us in a sentence or let alone even a paragraph. The reason I say all this is because every action we do has a consequence, whether it’s physical or spiritual. One of my many mottos I use in my personal life is “Kochaj ludzi I swiat“. It translates to “Love people and life.” It isn’t a sin to eat animals but being cruel to animals and our environment is. We are to be stewards of the earth. There are so many wonderful plants and commercial plant-based products we can use in place of animal products in traditional recipes. We can cut cruelty out of the equation and off our plates, to an extent. I say this from my heart because I care about the world. I care about you. I love the world so much. It pains me how much suffering there is. I care for for all of us and it pains me when I see someone suffer. Maybe I am inspired by love or the Bee Gees love songs. Lovings is such a beautiful thing. Love adds beauty to this world. Don’t throw it all away our love, don’t throw it all away our love.
I place my hope in God that He will save the world, because He will. God is love. I place my hope in Love.
How I came across the variety of Egg Alternatives
I am doing my usual grocery shopping at Whole Foods, and like any ordinary normal foodie would do, you check out the food magazines while waiting in line. Several years ago, I picked up Forks Over Knives; I can’t remember if it had been something about desserts or autumn cooking tied with Instant Pot dish ideas that caught my eye. Whatever it was, this is the issue in which I found with the egg alternatives I am about to share with you. I love Forks Over Knives because they give me ideas what to cook if I had a client who can’t have oil in their dishes. There are various schools of thought on this topic about the consumption of oils. Forks Over Knives are against using oils in cooking for health reasons. To an extent I agree with them on not using certain oils, such as safflower, corn and vegetable oils, in addition to which for those who have serious health conditions. There is a school of thought that believes, like Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. T. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn, when you have cardiovascular disease, in particular, or severe health issues (which you should talk to your doctor about), it is best to avoid oils of all kind until your doctor says its okay to introduce them to your diet again.
Please forgive me that I do not have many oil free recipes or if I don’t explicitly say you don’t need to have oil. Sometimes it’s a given and sometimes it’s not so obvious if you need olive oil or not in the dish.
I don’t have any serious health issues so I use olive oil amongst others. I have a Greek husband and many Greek friends. Let me tell you, the Greeks LOVE olive oil! Many Greeks joke, if you were to cut their veins open, you would see olive oil spill out! ☺️ I personally agree with the Greeks; I believe that olive oil (especially Greek😅😉☺️) is the healthiest oil to have. There are certain oils that you should stay away from, but that is a blog post for another time.
In any case, this magazine is perfect for us who have health issues or need to fast from oil on strict fasting days. Forks over Knives not only have many wonderful colorful vegetable dishes but in addition they have great kitchen trick tips too. Alas, in this issue that I picked up, Forks Over Knives has a kitchen trick about egg alternatives for baking. The egg tips they provide have been so helpful for my baking adventures. What I am about to share with you will be so helpful, whether or not you are vegan or vegetarian. Consider what I am about to share with you an expansion to your baking adventures and adding superfoods into your baking!
The egg alternatives for baking that are mentioned are tofu, apple sauce, mashed banana, pumpkin, winter squash, aquafaba, flaxseed, prune, apricot, chia seeds, and egg replacer powder. Depending on what you are baking, you have to use your own judgement on color and flavor. Isn’t that fun!? You can really get creative with your dish and seriously add a boost of protein and vitamins to your bakes!!! Baked goods can be healthyyyyyy-ish.
Aquafaba tends to be my go-to most used egg replacer; it used to be the vegan egg replacer when I was first learning how to bake vegan but then I wanted a more Whole Foods approach instead of commercially processed substitute. I tend to have so much of aquafaba in the first place because I make hummus on a weekly basis. If you were to cut my veins, I think hummus would be one of the dishes to spill out! 😂Silken tofu I have used for delicate dishes, like the lemon bars or blueberry orange bundt recipes from “The Joy of Vegan Baking” cookbook by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Her cookbook is one of my favorite baking books.
To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t always come up with my own recipes. I test rather than experiment. If I wasn’t so busy and spreading myself thin with creativity, I would experiment more in the kitchen but there’s so much I want to do -and have to do: I have my drawn out my Pascha painting canvas and it is waiting to be painted and completed by April 16, 2023. So I go to her book along with other chefs testing their recipes and seeing what’s my family’s favorite recipes. I’ve got some tough critics to please, including myself. 😜
Author’s Notes: This handy chart covers egg replacers available to home cooks so you can pick and choose when adapting recipes.
Super Easy Egg Swaps
¼ cup silken tofu, whisked until smooth = 1 egg
Best for: scrambles, custards, and light-color cakes
Water: 89 grams Calories: 55 Total Lipids: 2.7 grams Protein: 4.8 grams Carbohydrates: 2.9 grams Total Sugar: 1.31 grams Saturated Fat: 0.357 grams Monounsaturated Fat: 0.522 grams Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.55 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 0.1 grams Retinol: 0 mcg Calcium: 31 mg Iron: 0.82 mg Magnesium: 29 mg Phosphorus: 62 mg Potassium: 180 mg Selenium: mcg
Sodium: 5 mg Zinc: 0.52 mg Vitamin A IU: 0 Vitamin A RAE: 0 Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid: mg Vitamin B6: 0.011 mg Vitamin C: 0 mg Vitamin E: mg Thiamin: 0.1 mg Riboflavin: 0.04 mg Niacin: 0.3 mg
Apple sauce or Mashed Banana
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana = 1 egg
Best for: cakes, muffins, and fruity desserts
Taste: a hint of fruit
Apple , Raw with Skin
Carbs: 95% Fat: 3% Protein: 2% Calories: 65 per 1 cup serving (chopped, raw)
Serving: 1 cup, slices
Water: 85.56 grams Calories: 52 Total Lipids: 0.17 grams Protein: 0.26 gram Carbohydrates: 13.81 grams Total Sugar: 10.39 grams Saturated Fat: 0.028 grams Monounsaturated Fat: 0.007 grams Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.051 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 2.4 grams Beta Carotene: 27 mcg Retinol: 0 mcg Calcium: 6 mg Iron: 0.12 mg Magnesium: 5 mg Phosphorus: 11 mg Potassium: 107 mg Sodium: 1 mg Zinc: 0.04 mg Vitamin A IU: 54 Vitamin A RAE: 3 Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid: 0.061 mg Vitamin B6: 0.041 mg Vitamin C: 4.6 mg Vitamin E: 0.18 mg Thiamin: 0.017 mg Riboflavin: 0.026 mg Niacin: 0.091 mg Vitamin K: 2.2 mcg Folate: 3 mcg
Carbs: 93% Protein: 4% Fat: 3% Calories: 105 per medium (raw) Protein: 1g
Serving: 1 cup, sliced
Water: 74.91 grams Calories: 89 Total Lipids: 0.33 grams Protein: 1.09 grams Carbohydrates: 22.84 grams Total Sugar: 12.23 grams Saturated Fat: 0.112 grams Monounsaturated Fat: 0.032 grams Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.073 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 2.6 grams Lycopene: 0 mcg Alpha Carotene: 25 mcg Beta Carotene: 26 mcg Retinol: 0 mcg Calcium: 5 mg Iron: 0.26 mg Magnesium: 27 mg Phosphorus: 22 mg Potassium: 358 mg Selenium: 1 mcg Sodium: 1 mg Zinc: 0.15 mg Vitamin A IU: 64 Vitamin A RAE: 3 Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid: 0.334 mg Vitamin B6: 0.367 mg Vitamin C: 8.7 mg Vitamin E: 0.1 mg Thiamin: 0.031 mg Riboflavin: 0.073 mg Niacin: 0.665 mg Vitamin K: 0.5 mcg Folate: 20 mcg Folic Acid: 0 mcg
¼ cup pumpkin or squash puree = 1 egg
Best for: muffins, scones, and spice breads
Water: 91.6 grams Calories: 26 Total Lipids: 0.1 grams Protein: 1 grams Carbohydrates: 6.5 grams Total Sugar: 1.36 grams Saturated Fat: 0.052 grams Monounsaturated Fat: 0.013 grams Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.005 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 0.5 grams Lycopene: 0 mcg Alpha Carotene: 515 mcg Beta Carotene: 3100 mcg Retinol: 0 mcg Calcium: 21 mg Iron: 0.8 mg Magnesium: 12 mg Phosphorus: 44 mg Potassium: 340 mg Selenium: 0.3 mcg Sodium: 1 mg Zinc: 0.32 mg Vitamin A IU: 7384 Vitamin A RAE: 369 Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid: 0.298 mg Vitamin B6: 0.061 mg Vitamin C: 9 mg Vitamin E: 1.06 mg Thiamin: 0.05 mg Riboflavin: 0.11 mg Niacin: 0.6 mg Vitamin K: 1.1 mcg Folate: 16 mcg
Winter Squash, Acorn
Serving: 1 squash, raw
Water: 87.78 grams Calories: 40 Total Lipids: 0.1 grams Protein: 0.8 grams
Carbohydrates: 10.42 grams Total Sugar: grams Saturated Fat: 0.021 grams Monounsaturated Fat: 0.007 grams Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.042 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 1.5 grams Beta Carotene: 220 mcg Calcium: 33 mg Iron: 0.7 mg Magnesium: 32 mg Phosphorus: 36 mg Potassium: 347 mg Selenium: 0.5 mcg Sodium: 3 mg Zinc: 0.13 mg Vitamin A IU: 367 Vitamin A RAE: 18 Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid: 0.4 mg Vitamin B6: 0.154 mg Vitamin C: 11 mg Vitamin E: mg Thiamin: 0.14 mg Riboflavin: 0.01 mg Niacin: 0.7 mg Vitamin K: mcg Folate: 17 mcg
Winter Squash, Butternut
Serving: 1 squash, raw
Water: 86.41 grams Calories: 45 Total Lipids: 0.1 grams Protein: 1 grams
Carbohydrates: 11.69 grams Total Sugar: 2.2 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.021 grams Monounsaturated Fat: 0.007 grams Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.042 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 2 grams Lycopene: 0 mcg Alpha Carotene: 834 mcg Beta Carotene: 4226 mcg Calcium: 48 mg Iron: 0.7 mg Magnesium: 34 mg Phosphorus: 33 mg Potassium: 352 mg Selenium: 0.5 mcg Sodium: 4 mg Zinc: 0.15 mg Vitamin A IU: 10630 Vitamin A RAE: 532 Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid: 0.4 mg Vitamin B6: 0.154 mg Vitamin C: 21 mg Vitamin E: 1.44 mg Thiamin: 0.1 mg Riboflavin: 0.02 mg Niacin: 1.2 mg Vitamin K: 1.1 mcg Folate: 27 mcg
Winter Squash, Hubbard
Serving: 1 squash, raw
Water: 88 grams Calories: 40 Total Lipids: 0.5 grams Protein: 2 grams Carbohydrates: 8.7 grams Total Sugar: grams Saturated Fat: 0.103 grams Monounsaturated Fat: 0.036 grams Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.211 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 2 grams Beta Carotene: 820 mcg Retinol: 0 mcg Calcium: 14 mg Iron: 0.4 mg Magnesium: 19 mg Phosphorus: 21 mg Potassium: 320 mg Selenium: 0.5 mcg Sodium: 7 mg Zinc: 0.13 mg Vitamin A IU: 1367 Vitamin A RAE: 68 Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid: 0.4 mg Vitamin B6: 0.154 mg Vitamin C: 11 mg Vitamin E: mg Thiamin: 0.07 mg Riboflavin: 0.04 mg Niacin: 0.5 mg Vitamin K: mcg Folate: 16 mcg
Winter Squash, Spaghetti
Serving: 1 squash, raw
Water: 91.6 grams Calories: 31 Total Lipids: 0.57 grams Protein: 0.64 grams Carbohydrates: 6.91 grams Total Sugar: grams Saturated Fat: 0.117 grams Monounsaturated Fat: 0.042 grams Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.239 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 2 grams Calcium: 23 mg Iron: 0.31 mg Magnesium: 12 mg Phosphorus: 12 mg Potassium: 108 mg Selenium: 0.3 mcg Sodium: 17 mg Zinc: 0.19 mg Vitamin A IU: 50 Vitamin A RAE: 3 Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid: 0.36 mg Vitamin B6: 0.101 mg Vitamin C: 2.1 mg Vitamin E: mg Thiamin: 0.037 mg Riboflavin: 0.018 mg Niacin: 0.95 mg Vitamin K: mcg Folate: 12 mcg
3 tbsp. aquafaba (canned made fresh homemade), whisked until frothy = 1 egg
When a recipe calls for a medium or large egg, I use 3 – 4 tbsp; it depends upon the recipe and the moisture of it.
Best for: light, fluffy baked goods
Total Carbs: 2.9%. Calories: 18 g/100g Protein: 2.4 g Sodium: 3.2 mg/100g. Sugars (total): 1.3 % Iron: 1 mg Calcium: 7.3 mg/100g Moisture: 95.4%
1 tbsp. ground flaxseeds + 3 tbsp. water, whisked and allowed to thicken 5 minutes = 1 egg
Best for: cookies, quick breads, and richly flavored baked goods
Taste: subtly nutty
Nutritional Benefits per 1 tbsp:
Serving: 1 tbsp
Water: 8.75 grams Calories: 492 Total Lipids: 34 grams Protein: 19.5 grams Carbohydrates: 34.25 grams Total Sugar: 1.05 grams Saturated Fat: 3.196 grams Monounsaturated Fat: 6.868 grams Polyunsaturated Fat: 22.44 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 27.9 grams Calcium: 199 mg Iron: 6.22 mg Magnesium: 362 mg Phosphorus: 498 mg Potassium: 681 mg Selenium: 5.5 mcg Sodium: 34 mg Zinc: 4.17 mg Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid: 1.53 mg Vitamin B6: 0.927 mg Vitamin C: 1.3 mg Vitamin E: 0.32 mg Thiamin: 0.17 mg Riboflavin: 0.16 mg Niacin: 1.4 mg Folate: 278 mcg
Prune or Apricot Puree
¼ cup prune or apricot puree (or baby food) = 1 egg
Best for: dense, fudge chocolate desserts
96% Carbs 3% Protein 1% Fats Calories: 210 per 1/2 cup serving (pitted dried plums) Protein: 2g
Serving: 1 prune
Water: 30.92 grams Calories: 240 Total Lipids: 0.38 grams Protein: 2.18 grams Carbohydrates: 63.88 grams Total Sugar: 38.13 grams Saturated Fat: 0.088 grams Monounsaturated Fat: 0.053 grams Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.062 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 7.1 grams Lycopene: 0 mcg Alpha Carotene: 57 mcg Beta Carotene: 394 mcg Calcium: 43 mg Iron: 0.93 mg Magnesium: 41 mg Phosphorus: 69 mg Potassium: 732 mg Selenium: 0.3 mcg Sodium: 2 mg Zinc: 0.44 mg Vitamin A IU: 781 Vitamin A RAE: 39 Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid: 0.422 mg Vitamin B6: 0.205 mg Vitamin C: 0.6 mg Vitamin E: 0.43 mg Thiamin: 0.051 mg Riboflavin: 0.186 mg Niacin: 1.882 mg Vitamin K: 59.5 mcg Folate: 4 mcg
83% Carbs 10% Protein 7% Fat Calories: 20 per apricot
Serving: 1 cup, sliced
Water: 86.35 grams Calories: 48 Total Lipids: 0.39 grams Protein: 1.4 grams Carbohydrates: 11.12 grams Total Sugar: 9.24 grams Saturated Fat: 0.027 grams Monounsaturated Fat: 0.17 grams Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.077 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 2 grams Lycopene: 0 mcg Alpha Carotene: 19 mcg Beta Carotene: 1094 mcg Retinol: 0 mcg Calcium: 13 mg Iron: 0.39 mg Magnesium: 10 mg Phosphorus: 23 mg Potassium: 259 mg Selenium: 0.1 mcg Sodium: 1 mg Zinc: 0.2 mg Vitamin A IU: 1926 Vitamin A RAE: 96 Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid: 0.24 mg Vitamin B6: 0.054 mg Vitamin C: 10 mg Vitamin E: 0.89 mg Thiamin: 0.03 mg Riboflavin: 0.04 mg Niacin: 0.6 mg Vitamin K: 3.3 mcg Folate: 9 mcg
Chia Seeds (look over this)
1 tbsp. whole or ground chia seeds + 3 tbsp. water, stirred together and allowed to gel 10 minutes
Best for: muffins, waffles, quick breads, and cookies
Fat: 53% Carbs: 36% Calories: 140 per 1 oz serving Water: 4.9 grams Total Lipids: 30.75 grams Protein: 15.62 grams / 11% Carbohydrates: 43.85 grams Saturated Fat: 3.176 grams Monounsaturated Fat: 2.115 grams Polyunsaturated Fat: 23.335 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 37.7 grams Calcium: 631 mg Magnesium: mg Phosphorus: 948 mg Potassium: 160 mg Selenium: mcg Sodium: 19 mg Zinc: 3.49 mg
1 tbsp. powdered vegan egg replacer + 3 tbsp. water whisked together
Best for: muffins, pancakes, cupcakes, and layer cakes
Depends on the brand. For the healthiest choice, one of the options above are a healthier alternative.
Forks Over Knives Magazine
Pauling. (1968). For nutritional benefits on the egg replacements (Saul , Ed.). Orthomolecular . Retrieved March 29, 2023, from http://orthomolecular.org
(2014, October). The Vegetarian Flavor Bible (1st ed.). Little, Brown and Company.
(2016, March 6). Aquafaba. Http://Aquafaba.Com/Nutrition.Html. Retrieved March 29, 2023, from http://aquafaba.com/nutrition.html
Calories in Aquafaba (Bean Water, Chickpea Water) | CalorieKing. (n.d.). Calories in Aquafaba (Bean Water, Chickpea Water) | CalorieKing. https://www.calorieking.com/us/en/foods/f/calories-in-fresh-or-dried-legumes-beans-aquafaba-bean-water-chickpea-water/NRE9zuIyTqeXKTlmELFS7Q