Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Color me Converted to Chia!

When I first was learning how to bake without eggs, I learned the water+oil+baking powder substitute, and after the Ener-G company went nut free, I embraced their boxed egg substitute.  Because both worked fairly well, I never really experimented with any "new-fangled" substitutions...like flax or chia...boy was I a ninny!  Let me tell you, dear readers, I am impressed with my chia experiment!

I made delicious "Double Chocolate Cake Cookies" last week...

And then I made them again this week with chia gel instead of my standard water/oil/baking powder mixture.  The cookies were fluffier and more moist than my original batch! 

Fluffy, soft, cake-like...dairy-free, egg-free...chocolate nirvana!
Chia seeds are high in omega-3s, protein, and fiber. They can absorb up to 9x their size in liquid!  Once they are converted to a gel, they are tasteless and act as a binder in baked goods!

I found A LOT of different recommendations for the proper chia to water ratio for use as an egg replacer; these were the most common:

2 tbsp whole chia seeds to 1/4 cup water (equivalent to 1 large egg)
2 tbsp ground chia seeds to 1/4 cup water
1:9 ratio (standard chia gel recipe)
(Mix each of these combinations in a glass jar or cup and let stand for 15-20 minutes) 

For my cookies, I needed the equivalent of 2 eggs, so I started by adding 4 tbsp of whole chia seeds to 1/2 cup of water.  After letting it sit for 15 minutes, the gel was so thick, I didn't trust that it would add the needed fluidity to the batter, so I added 3 tbsp more water.  After about 10 more minutes, the consistency seemed right...it seemed, "eggy"! 

I was really pleased with the outcome! The cookies are dark chocolate, so I couldn't really see any "whole" dark seeds in the finished product.  I'm going to try the ground chia seed in my pancake recipe this weekend.  I'm hoping the yield will be fluffier pancakes than we've had since going egg-free! 

So...in the interest of full disclosure...I've been eating the chocolate cookies while writing this post! (Now that's dedication for you...)

As always, from "The Allergy Safe Kitchen", I wish you "Good Cooking, and Safe Eating"!

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