Thursday, April 21, 2011

What Happens When the Hen Quits Laying?

Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on earth and can be part of a healthy diet. However, they are perishable just like raw meat, poultry, and fish. Today some unbroken, clean, fresh shell eggs may contain Salmonella enteritidis bacteria that can cause food borne illness. While the number of eggs affected is quite small, there have been cases of food borne illness in the last few years. To be safe, eggs must be properly handled, refrigerated, and cooked.

No one should eat foods containing raw eggs. This includes "health food" milk shakes made with raw eggs, Caesar salad, Hollandaise sauce, and any other foods like homemade mayonnaise, ice cream, or eggnog made from recipes in which the egg ingredients are not cooked.

To make a recipe safe that specifies using eggs that aren't cooked, heat the eggs in a liquid from the recipe over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 160 °F. Then combine it with the other ingredients and complete the recipe.

Obviously, it would be next to impossible to store eggs for an entire year . . . so what is a good substitute for eggs? Below are a few that work well in most recipes.
  • Ener-G Egg Replacer - follow directions on box.
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch = 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot flour = 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp potato starch = 1 egg
  • 1 heaping tbsp soy powder + 2 tbsp water = 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp soy milk powder + 1 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water = 1 egg.
  • 1 banana = 1 egg in cakes.
  • 1 tbsp milled flax seed and 3 tbsp water = 1 egg. Light, fluffy cakes!
Homemade egg substitutes are less expensive and just as satisfactory. They also have few calories. Here's a low cholesterol egg substitute recipe:

1 tablespoon of nonfat dry milk powder
2 egg whites from large eggs
4 drops of yellow food color
Sprinkle powdered milk over egg whites, then beat them with fork until smooth. Add food color, and beat until blended. This makes 1/4 cup, which is equal to 1 large egg. If you use this homemade substitute for scrambled eggs, cook it in vegetable oil or margarine so the eggs won't be too dry.

Be sure to add a comment for suggestions for future posts.  I have had a few and plan on getting to them soon . . . 


  1. I buy liquid egg whites or egg beaters in the carton. Egg beaters used to be in the freezer section... I don't know if they still are but the ones in the refrigerator section are the same thing and can be frozen. It doesn't say so on the package, but I have kept them for up to a year. I tried to do it myself once... they were REALLY thick and I had to water them down... it wasn't a very good idea, don't recommend that :) but the bought ones do well. The substitutes above are great if freezing isn't an option or if for some reason you lose what's in your freezer, and I have used soy flour and water without any problem before. How long can you keep soy flour before if goes bad though? I have some that is pretty old.

  2. Right off hand I do not know the shelf life of soy flour unless it is sealed in a can using a dry pack method. It should keep for years that way but once opened, if I didn't use in it a few months time, I would freeze it or dry pack in quart jars in the oven. See first post in archives.