The holidays are quickly approaching, and nothing rings in the season quite like delicious baked goods. An allergy to eggs doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the goodies. With some easy substitutions, you can enjoy cakes, cookies, and more.

In a typical baked goods recipe, eggs generally act as a binder (they hold the recipe together) or a leavening agent (they help it rise). Sometimes they play both roles. Determining which purpose the eggs serve in the recipe will help you determine the best replacement options.

Kids with Food Allergies offers the following rule of thumb: If a recipe for baked goods calls for three or more eggs per batch (36 cookies, one pan of brownies, one loaf of bread, etc.), egg substitutes typically don’t work — the end product does not come out well. In these situations, it’s best to consider a different recipe.

For recipes that contain less than three eggs per batch, it’s worth trying an egg replacement product. Just be sure you’re getting an egg replacement, NOT an egg substitute. Egg substitutes are generally found in the dairy department and are designed for cholesterol-conscious people, and they contain egg. Egg replacement products (often in powdered form) can be found in natural markets and will generally work for either binding or leavening.

For recipes that use eggs as a binder (such as drop cookies), Kids with Food Allergies recommends some possible substitutions for one egg:

  • 1/2 of a medium banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup of applesauce or other pureed fruit
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons of warm water; let stand 1 minute before using.

For recipes that use eggs as a leavening agent, try the following:

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil mixed with 1-1/2 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon baking powder per egg.

If you choose to use an egg replacement product, be sure to read all labels carefully just to be sure. Oftentimes a “safe” version of a recipe comes out great — but sometimes it’s not as successful. Experiment with your traditional recipes, and try allergen-free recipes from your favorite manufacturers (including these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies from Enjoy Life Foods) this holiday season.

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