We've been known to sprinkle flax seeds over our morning oatmeal or mix a few spoonfuls into bread dough for the boost of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. But this is the first we've heard that it can be used as an egg replacement!
Apparently there is a gum in the seed coating that becomes thick and gelatinous when the seeds are ground and whisked with water. Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking says this makes a good emulsifier and will help the structure of baked goods - much like eggs!
The basic ratio is one tablespoon of flax seeds and three tablespoons of water to replace one egg. You'll need to grind the flax seeds into a fine powder using a coffee or spice grinder (or use 2 1/2 teaspoons pre-ground), and then you simply whisk in the water until it becomes gelatinous. Cory Ramy on the Bitten blog also chilled the mixture before using it. Add flax "eggs" to the recipe exactly as you would regular eggs.
It sounds like the flax seeds can have a strong nutty or earthy flavor, so we think it would work best in recipes that compliment those flavors. We could imagine it working well for things like whole grain muffins, oatmeal cookies, and savory scones.
Even if you're not vegan or avidly healthy conscious, we think this is a great trick to have up our sleeve! What has been your experience with using flax seed as an egg substitute?
• Replacing Eggs with...Flax? from the Bitten blog.
Related: Do You Ever Use Egg "Products"?
(Image: Better Living Store)