Sunday, May 17, 2009

Flegg, the DIY vegi egg

How do you make Flegg?

You take flax seeds, about 1/4 cup, and boil them in a cup of water until the water starts to resemble egg white. About the time that it foams and boils all over the stove, you know it is done. (If you are paying attention, you can skip the boiling over part.) You quick filter it, before it cools too much, and voila! You have vegi egg white. One TBSP replaces about one egg.

It is a pain to work with. I've been making mine about half strength, and doubling the amount I use, and it is still a pain. It is a non-Newtonian fluid, which means that if you try to spoon it out, you get nothing, and if you try to pour it, you get everything. I need to get some ice cube trays so that I can freeze it in one egg portions instead of measuring it every time. I recommend that when you go to the store to buy whole flax seed, you also buy a metal strainer and some ice cube trays.

If you don't pour it into single serving portions while still hot, the best way I have found of measuring it is to dip in a measuring spoon and scoop out a blob. Quickly scrape the top of the spoon with a knife, like you do when measuring out flour. This cuts off the flegg in the spoon from the flegg outside of the spoon.

You have to cut it because flegg is composed of soluble fiber; it is long carbohydrate strands that hold onto water and hold things together. It isn't going to replace your xanthan gum or your gluten. It kind of replaces the structural properties of the egg protein. You will know that you have used too much if your end product feels gooey, like when you use too much xanthan gum.

Flegg is NOT an emulsifier, meaning it won't hold your oil and your water together. I still haven't found a good non-egg-non-soy emulsifier. Mustard does the same job, but I don't' think mustard would help my brownies any. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.

I have used flegg successfully in GF:
Carrot Cake

It has done a passable job in pancakes (you have to use a metal spatula to flip them, because they are going to stick).

It has failed me spectacularly in:
Waffles (since a metal spatula isn't going to help you here)
Brownies (you REALLY need an emulsifier to keep all the fat in)

When my Dad taught me to make pancakes he told me that if your pancakes are sticking, the solution is to put more oil IN the pancake, not ON the pan. I think the sticking that happens with pancakes and waffles is the emulsification issue again. I don't know the microstructure of waffle batter, but it seems like the oil isn't where it needs to be to allow the waffle to come off.

So, we're back to toast most mornings. Rice with Teff, sorghum and uncontaminated oat, in a rotation, at least until we're ready to try millet again.


  1. Anonymous12:09 PM

    OK, Elwood City, what you are willing to do for your son continues to amaze me.


  2. Aawww, Garsh....

    If it didn't make such a big difference, it might not seem worth it, but as it does...