By: Lindsay Geller
After a weekend in Paris, all I can think about are flax eggs. Weird train of thought, I know, but I’m stuck on this particular vegan substitute because of a very prevalent Parisian food—crepes. The batter for these thin pancakes contains eggs and milk, and, unsurprisingly, typical crepe stands don’t offer a vegan substitute. That’s not to say that Paris doesn’t have vegan cafes and restaurants, because they do (Voy Alimento is probably the best example), but ordinary street vendors just don’t cater to a vegan crowd.
Consequently, I suffered from food envy all weekend, but my jealousy got me thinking. How difficult would it be to “veganize” crepes? As it turns out, it’s pretty easy. Just replace all the eggs with flax (or chia) eggs and all the milk with non-dairy milk, and you should be immediately transported to Rue de Champs-Elysees.
Although mashed banana and applesauce also make great egg replacers, flax eggs are my personal favorite because you can make both sweet and savory crepes with a flax egg. Flax eggs have a much more neutral taste compared to bananas and apples, which make them perfect for baking. Not only that, but it’s no secret that flax seed is full of omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans, and fiber. When compared to the animal-based fat and inhumane method of production of the traditional egg, I think we’ve got a clear winner.
It only takes a few extra minutes to combine water and ground flax seed into the perfect flax egg. Depending on your vegan resources, three tablespoons of water mixed with one to two tablespoons ground flaxseed should either be refrigerated or simmered in a saucepan to create a consistency similar to egg whites. (I’ve personally tried and found success with the simmering method, but if anyone wants to go to bat for refrigeration—be our guest!)
Another great egg substitute is the chia egg. Made out of chia seeds and water, chia eggs are another nutritious (but more expensive) way to replace eggs in baking. After spending more than enough money in Paris, I’ll probably have to wait a little while before I can afford the chia egg experience. Whichever egg substitute you choose, you’re sure to please your taste buds, your stomach, and even your waistline.
So, how exactly does one vegan crepe? Here are a few resources to get you started: