Being vegan is morally fulfilling but your overall nutrition can take a hit. Vegans strictly avoid the consumption of meat, dairy, poultry, seafood or any animal-derived food items. Eggs, a poultry item, are a rich source of protein, amino acids, good fats, vitamins and minerals with only 77 calories. It is a versatile product for all types of meals at any time of the day.
Unfortunately, vegans cannot consume eggs. After food research and hard work, plant-based eggs have been made and introduced for vegans which try to match and compete with original eggs, in terms of nutrition.
Plant-based eggs are trending a lot in the vegan world, but there are both positive and negative controversies around their taste, safety and benefits. This article is an attempt to learn and explore all about plant-based eggs in depth.
What Is A Vegan Egg?
Vegan means vegetarian and egg is a poultry product which usually is not vegan. But a vegan egg in simple words is an egg artificially made with plant-based ingredients suitable for vegetarian consumption. It is a result of vegan-friendly ingredients combined to resemble the taste, texture, binding capacity and nutrition of traditional poultry eggs.
Most vegan eggs come in a pourable form that can be directly used to make scrambled eggs, omelettes, bakery items, quiche etc. Some famous brands manufacturing the best vegan eggs are JUST eggs, Follow Your Heart, Simply Eggless, Nummy Nibbles and Vegg.
What Are Vegan Eggs Made Of?
There are many vegan ingredients that can be used to achieve an egg-like product. Earlier brands used Flax seeds or chia seeds as a base for eggless liquid eggs. Just eggs and Follow your heart use soy or mung means as a primary substitute as it has high protein content.
Further to create the fluffy texture of scrambled eggs or omelettes, multiplying agents like cellulose and carrageenan is added to add volume. Finally, the distinct taste of eggs is infused and brought on by oil, salt, herbs and nutritional yeast. You can also make an egg replacer at home for binding purposes to add to your vegan recipes. Follow these simple steps:
- Take 2 1/2 tbsp water and Mix 1 tbsp flaxseed meal in it
- Stir it well and keep aside for 5 mins
- It is done! Use it as an egg substitute to get that binding effect.
Are Vegan Eggs Healthy?
Vegan eggs provide a considerable amount of health benefits. The biggest pro of vegan eggs is undeniably zero cholesterol levels. Since these are plant-based, there is no cholesterol present in them as compared to poultry eggs. This is beneficial for heart patients.
Although, egg cholesterol is not a negative dietary compound. However, plant-based eggs fall short in protein count. A single chicken egg packs 6 g of protein. Vegan eggs have just 3 -5 g of protein roughly. Further, these eggless vegan eggs are highly processed which pushes people to a risk of obesity.
Plant-based eggs pack excessive levels of sodium as well due to added salt and flavours. One plant-based egg has around 150 -170 mg of sodium whereas a normal egg has only 65 mg of sodium. So, as a final verdict vegan eggs are partially healthy but do not offer any extraordinary health advantage over poultry eggs.
Chicken Egg Vs Vegan Eggs Nutrition
Chicken egg nutrients source link USDA’s Food Data Central.
|Nutrient||Chicken Egg||Vegan Egg (Just Egg)|
|Protein||6.5 g||5 g|
|Sodium||65 mg||170 mg|
|Cholesterol||186 mg||0 mg|
|Calories||78 kcal||70 kcal|
|Carbohydrate||0.5 g||1 g|
|Fat||5.34 g||5 g|
|Saturated Fat||2 g||0 g|
Are Vegan Eggs Sustainable?
Traditional Eggs are sourced from chicken. Being animal-derived is obviously against planet preservation. Chicken farms contribute to climate change and land toxicity. Feed production for chickens accounts for the majority of soybean cultivation, which requires vast land.
A new study stated that the carbon footprint per dozen eggs read as 2.7 kg of carbon dioxide which is similar to milk. Vegan eggs are environmentally friendly. The growing concern towards climate change is giving a push to the vegan egg industry. Plant-based ingredients do minimum harm to nature and show mercy on egg-laying hens and chickens. It also uses less land and water for growth. Therefore, Vegan eggs are sustainable.
Must Try Vegan Eggs Brands
1. Just Egg
Just egg is a renowned plant-based substitute brand which makes zero-cholesterol vegan eggs for people avoiding poultry or people with egg allergies.
It comes in liquid form which can be poured over a hot pan to make an instant breakfast. You can toss in some vegetables to make it a healthy and wholesome meal. It has 5g of protein which is close to the whole egg.
There is no weird aftertaste of this egg and it does taste pretty good like an egg. It can be also added to cakes and other bakery items. The only negative factor is price. It is an expensive product. One bottle will typically last for only 2-3 days of breakfast.
2. Follow Your Heart
This brand has come up with a vegan egg premix. The vegan egg comes in the usual egg carton but instead of eggs, there is crumbled/powdered vegan egg. You need to mix this powder with cold water using a blender with speed.
Just like that, you are ready with your scrambled egg. You can put this on the pan and roast it with veggies or other vegan ingredients like vegan cheese, bread etc.
It is perfect for bakery purposes as well. The taste, texture and consistency are close to chicken eggs. In addition to this, follow your heart discloses its eco facts on the label behind the box. According to the label, 100 vegan eggs can be made with the same water used to produce just 1 chicken egg. The carton is also fully biodegradable. The only drawback is that it has only 3 g of protein which is way lesser than a poultry egg.
3. Simply Eggless
This brand makes liquid-based vegan eggs. The most striking feature of this vegan liquid egg is that along with being plant-based, it is also soy-free, gluten-free and nut free.
People with soy allergy can safely savour it. It has a non-beany and neutral taste. You can free to add any seasonings of your choice and also use them in desserts.
The texture is slightly firm and cracks easily rather than mixing softly. It does not resemble eggs very closely but it’s a very affordable egg replacer. It also makes frozen egg patties for ready-to-eat breakfast options.
4. Nummy Nibbles
Nummy Nibbles makes egg-based breakfast mixes in many different flavours. It is made from chickpea flour and dehydrated vegetables with a pinch of black salt. It has a nice and satisfactory eggy flavour.
You can easily make veggie scrambles and omelettes with this vegan egg mix. Just add water and put it on the pan to get that protein-packed breakfast. This No egg crack mix gives you 12g of protein overall.
Vegg is a soy protein egg replacer. It has tonnes of product options ranging from- vegan egg yolk, Vegg power Scramble, Vegg French Toast mix and Vegg Uncaged Baking Mix. It replaces the taste and texture of farm eggs with a high degree of accuracy.
It gives that eggy flavour to all your desserts and breakfasts. It is a fat-free, gluten-free and cholesterol-free formula. It is in powdered form which needs to be mixed with water for making scrambles, dipping and other cooking uses.
That was all about vegan egg or plant-based egg substitutes. Yes, they are perfectly safe to consume by vegans and partially nutritious as well. They are low in protein, vitamins and minerals but low in cholesterol and fat. Upon that it’s a small sub-solution against animal cruelty, climate change and land degradation.
Seeing the increasing awareness and number of socially responsible people, it is forecasted that the vegan egg replacer market will grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years. According to research the vegan eggs market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 16.7% from 2022 to 2030. Plant-based eggs are not just good for vegans but also for people looking to cut down on cholesterol. Have a vegg-citing day ahead.