Thursday, May 5, 2011

Flax For Eggs?

That looks like an egg, right?
Last week I was all set to make the last of my pumpkin pancake mix when I discovered we were out of eggs. I posted about this on my Facebook, and got some interesting responses. Two friends suggested using ground flax as a substitute. Intrigued, I decided to give it a try today. Ground flax isn't something people generally have on hand, I find, however, in my case, I do have some in my cupboard from way back when I made Swedish Meatless Balls, and have been looking for another use for it. (Ground flax doesn't go bad, right?)

I used this site as my guide, but chose to ignore its warning against using flax as an egg substitute in pancakes. Like the Japanese proverb states: if you believe everything you read, better not read. The flax and water mixture didn't get to what I would call a gummy consistency, but after letting it sit and soak for a while, it stopped separating when I whisked it with a spoon, and decided to go ahead and add it to my bowl of milk and melted butter. 
Dry on the right, wet on the left.
When I opened the spice cupboard above the stove to retrieve the cooking spray, a bunch of ants scattered. Yes, we have ants AGAIN. But this time, they are big black ones that make a loud crunching noise when you crush them. Which I did because when I saw them scatter, I noticed they had been working on a pile what appeared to be brown sugar. So I checked my bag of brown sugar only to find a bunch of black bodies digging through the bag like it was their own personal sugar palace. They had chewed a hole on the bag and set up shop, the little bastards! I threw them and their sweet, sticky prison into the trash. That was a practically new bag of brown sugar, so I am pretty pissed about losing it. It's war, ants! (Again.)

But back to the pancakes. I stirred together all of the ingredients, and poured some batter into the pre-heated pan, then covered the pan because I find things cook faster when I do so. The pancake fluffed up like normal and when I flipped it over, it wasn't burned. When I dumped it onto a plate, it looked like a completely normal pancake. Poking at it with a fork revealed a completely cooked-through center. In fact, my first taste test contained quite a bit of fluffiness! Perhaps even fluffier than normal. Of course, that could be a fluke, but I think this at least shows that substituting ground flax soaked in water for eggs does not ruin the consistency of the resulting pancake. 

With some real maple syrup, the taste of the pancakes was perfect! I didn't notice a change in texture due to the flax, and since it was ground - making it more easily digested - I got a nice dose of omega 3s with my breakfast. 
Now here's some trivia for you: flaxseed has been cultivated since ancient Babylon, and Charlamagne required his subjects to eat it because he was so convinced of its health benefits. (Courtesy of WebMD The Benefits of Flaxseed.)

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