Thanks to a series of clever marketing campaigns, eggs have often been promoted as the world’s perfect food. They’re cheap, found in every grocery store in the country, and you can even get them for free if you raise chickens in your backyard. The egg is supposedly packed with so many nutrients that you could eat a single hard-boiled egg for breakfast and still keep going throughout the rest of the day. They can be prepared in a myriad of ways: fried, boiled, scrambled, chopped, sliced, deviled. They’re an important binding agent in baked goods like cakes and brownies, and add flavor and texture to thousands of dishes around the world. And in the U.S., they’re seen as part of the quintessential American breakfast, usually served with a piece of toast and a sausage link on the side.
If you grew up hearing about the wonders of eggs, you might find yourself wondering how you can still get those nutrients while maintaining a vegan lifestyle. Eggs are also a major ingredient in countless dishes, and their distinct texture makes them difficult to replicate. When you give up eggs, do you have to give up every recipe that includes them? No more cakes, brownies, cookies, omelets, pizza, pasta, cupcakes, or potato salad. And you can say goodbye to the pile of scrambled eggs that always decorated your plate in the morning.
In fact, you don’t have to give up your favorite egg-based dishes. There are plenty of vegan “egg” substitutes that replicate the taste and texture of eggs almost effortlessly. You can continue enjoying your favorite breakfast food while knowing you’ve made the choice that’s best for your health and the environment.
Why Should You Switch to a Vegan Egg Substitute?
At first glance, the egg industry might seem relatively harmless compared to the horrors of the meat industry. The chickens aren’t being slaughtered; if anything, they have to stay alive to produce more eggs. And chickens produce eggs naturally anyway, so why not eat them? The eggs weren’t fertilized, so they weren’t going to turn into a baby chicken.
Unfortunately, the egg industry is just as rife with abuse and cruelty as any other industry that involves animals. Millions of chickens are crammed into tiny metal cages where they barely have room to move around or lift their heads. Often multiple chickens are crammed into a single cage. This causes undue stress on the chickens, and many of them die long before they ever reach the slaughterhouse. They’re also forced to trample around in their own grime and feces, making these farms a breeding ground for disease. Once they die, they’re tossed unceremoniously into the trash, ready to be replaced with another egg-laying hen.
To keep the cycle going, the egg industry forces hens to lay fertilized eggs that are hatched and raised to be the next generation of egg-laying chickens. However, 50% of the chicks that are hatched are male, which can’t lay eggs and have to be raised to produce meat. As a result, millions of chicks are killed within the first day of their lives. The chicks are gassed, electrocuted, and sometimes even ground or shredded to death. As for the females, they’re raised to become egg-laying hens who will spend the rest of their lives in fear and misery.
What are Vegan Egg Alternatives Made From?
Out of all the dairy products in the world, the egg seems like the one that’s truly irreplaceable. Until recent years, vegans were forced to attempt to make their favorite recipes without eggs, or simply give up on egg-based recipes altogether. But with the vegan lifestyle skyrocketing in popularity, a number of brands have developed healthy plant-based alternatives that capture the distinct taste and versatility of eggs.
Most vegan eggs alternatives start with a base of soy or beans that’s formulated with other ingredients to replicate that “eggy” taste. Himalayan black salt is a popular ingredient that has the same vaguely sulfuric flavor you find in hard-boiled eggs. Nutritional yeast is another common ingredient, as it has a similar nutty, savory flavor. While it might seem difficult to replicate an egg, most vegan brands are actually made of all-natural ingredients, not chemicals that were formulated in a lab. The ingredients and flavors are balanced so perfectly that for a moment, you’ll forget you’re not eating the real thing.
Are Vegan Egg Alternatives Just as Versatile as Real Eggs?
Your vegan egg replacement is just as versatile and delicious as a carton of chicken eggs. Some brands come in a bottle that can be poured into a frying pan, so you can make omelets and scrambled eggs with that classic fluffy texture. Other brands offer a suitable vegan egg alternative that can replace eggs in various dishes like cakes, brownies, and pasta. Whether you’re craving a plate of scrambled eggs or need an egg replacement for your brownie mix, you’re sure to find a product that will meet your specific needs.
Is There a Vegan Fried Egg on the Market?
The ultimate question: can you replicate the classic fried egg? It’s one thing to pour a mixture into cake batter or make a yellow plant-based omelet, but a fried egg has the distinct crispy egg white and rich, gooey yolk that makes it an iconic breakfast food. They’re hard to find, but if you do some digging, you can indeed find vegan fried eggs on the market. Like the liquid egg substitutes, they’re made from soybeans and other natural ingredients. If you don’t feel like hunting down the elusive vegan fried egg, you can try making them at home using one of several online recipes.
Where Can I Find a Vegan Egg Replacement?
Vegan egg substitutes are a little trickier to find than other vegan products, although they’re increasingly finding shelf space in grocery stores and health food stores. Check out your local grocery store and see if they have any options next to the traditional eggs. If they don’t have it, try a specialty store or a health and wellness store. Gourmet food stores often stock specialty items that you won’t find in Wal-Mart or Target.
Shopping online is also a great way to get your vegan egg substitute delivered right to your door. Most vegan brands have online storefronts where you can order products with a few clicks of a mouse. Not sure where to begin? Check this website’s recommendations for some of the best plant-based egg products on the marketplace.
Are Vegan Egg Substitutes Expensive?
There’s no denying it: for only a few dollars, you get a whole carton of eggs that might last you a week or two. But that doesn’t mean you have to blow out your budget to purchase a vegan substitute. Most vegan brands give you enough product to last at least a week or two (or more, if you don’t eat eggs very often.) Vegan products also last much longer than real eggs, as they’re made of shelf stable ingredients that don’t expire as quickly. Can you imagine leaving a carton of eggs out on your countertop? Vegan egg replacements aren’t just delicious–they’re also natural and safer to consume.