I woke this Monday morning to glorious sunshine and a disorganised kitchen. Family life got in the way of me organising anything for my girl’s school lunch boxes over the weekend. There were a few pieces of fruit and veggies knocking about, some cheese and wraps. I can work with that for their lunches. However, there was absolutely nothing in the way of a yummy, nourishing home-baked treat for their snack. I had time to knock something together, muffins are quick and easy. Good, decision made. As I started to gather the necessary ingredients to whip up my super tasty, fail-safe muffins I soon realised that we had no eggs. NO EGGS people, I never have no eggs.
Back in the day, I used to be able to amble into my backyard and find a freshly laid egg in the chicken coup. Those days are gone. My two girls, who provided us with pretty much an egg each a day, are now one girl who is passed her egg laying prime. The remaining chicken, Olivia (named after a pig!), is a bossy old bird who, when given the chance, will attack the cat and the rabbit with a swift beak to the head. She would not welcome new birds into the flock with open wings and will live out her days roaming our garden, pooing everywhere, keeping our bug population at bay for her remaining days. Which will probably be for years and years knowing her. I now have to buy eggs from the shop. But I digress, back to my lack of egg problem.
I was determined to bake these muffins now. I had the spelt flour, oats, butter, yoghurt and blueberries on the bench already and they weren’t going away until I had a fresh batch of warm muffins to put in the girls lunch boxes. What to do? I let my brain tick over for a minute and thankfully it was working, despite the Monday morning. Chia seeds. I would make a chia gel to replace the egg. Problem solved, muffins baking in the oven, Mother of the Year badge coming my way. The resulting muffins where a winner, with the girls giving them two thumbs up upon their return from school.
chia seeds on left and chia gel on right
There are plenty of baking situations when an egg replacement is necessary. No eggs (doh), vegan, egg allergy or you just don’t like eggs. Thankfully, there are a few kitchen tricks to ensure that egg-free baked goods are just as lovely as their egg-loving cousins. My go to egg replacer is a chia gel as it is full of fibre, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and magnesium. Whilst I love eggs for their nutrition punch, I’m pretty happy making the swap to chia. The muffins rose and the kids ate them, an out and out win in my books. There are other alternatives such as flaxseeds, banana, apple, tofu and gelatin, with the following little infographic explaining how to use them instead of an egg. I have also heard of nut butter and yoghurt being used too. I’m generally not a fan of overly processed food and have never used a packet egg replacer, but they exist and if they work for you then yay.
Eggless Blueberry, Oat and Dark Chocolate Muffins
1 tbsp chia seeds (or 1 egg, whisked)
1 1/2 cup spelt flour (plain flour is just fine here)
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup unrefined golden caster sugar*
125 ml milk of choice
5 tbsp vanilla maple yoghurt**
125 g butter, melted
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup dark chocolate chopped up into pretty small chunks
Make a chia gel by mixing the chia seeds with 3 tbsp of water and set aside for 20-30 minutes until the mixture becomes all jelly like.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a muffin tray with paper cases.
Mix the flour, baking powder, oats and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. In a jug or bowl combine the milk, yoghurt, melted butter and chia gel and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix everything together. Add the blueberries and chocolate and fold through the mixture. Fill each case with mixture and cook for 15 minutes or until golden on top.
*you can use sugar of your choice here. Coconut, rapadura, panela all work fine, I just had unrefined caster sugar to hand.
**I would normally use plain greek yoghurt in these muffins but I turned my plain yoghurt into maple and vanilla yoghurt the night before for the kids dessert. When using plain yoghurt I add 1 tbsp of vanilla into the mix.
Now I’m off the meal plan the hell out the week so not to fall short in the lunch box organising game again this week.