Categories
Plant-Based Science Sustainability

New Plant-Based Egg Alternative Makes Going Vegan A Lot More Accessible

Photo courtesy of Zero Egg

Switching to a plant-based diet, whether it be for ethical or environmental reasons, often comes with a cost increase. Outside of tofu, there’s not a lot of cost-effective vegan options out there.

Plant-based eggs is a category that’s particularly expensive. A bottle of JUST, equivalent to 8 eggs, costs $4.50 ($6 for a dozen). Follow Your Heart, a powder egg alternative, can cost $7 for a carton that’s equivalent to a dozen.

A new alternative, Zero Egg, has just emerged onto the market and hopes to make vegan eggs a lot more accessible. Their product, a mix of potato, pea, chickpea, and soy protein, costs 11 to 18 cents per egg, or just over $2 per dozen. It claims to have price parity to a dozen cage-free eggs, which sell at retail for about $3-$4 per dozen.

Photo courtesy of Zero Egg

Zero Egg comes in two varieties: a formula ideal for egg replacement in scrambles, and another meant to substitute into baking mixes. The brand’s big selling point is texture, as it claims to be more fluffy than other egg alternatives available. However, it also is more versatile, as not all egg alternatives can be used for both scrambling and baking.

Nutritionally, Zero Egg’s product contains about 40% of the protein of an egg per serving (roughly 2.5 grams), but is a complete protein source. Environmentally, it uses 93% less water to produce than standard eggs.

As for cost, Zero Egg was able to bring that down through working with co-packers. They didn’t need a novel new factory process to make their substitute, making it easier to produce at scale.

Any restaurants that use Zero Egg will have ways to make it identifiable, including toothpick flags that can be stuck into sandwiches, akin to what Impossible Foods did with its initial burger launch.

Zero Egg will be available to restaurants via Gordon Food Service starting on World Egg Day, October 9th. A retail product will be hitting stores some time in the next couple of years, but there is also a “Home Store” option for any consumers who want to try to access the vegan egg through there.

Categories
Fast Food Plant-Based What's New

Fast Food’s Iconic Folded Egg Just Got A Plant-Based Version In Grocery Stores

When you go to fast food chains like McDonald’s or Sonic for a breakfast sandwich, you can usually tell it apart by the distinct folded shape of the egg. A feat hard to pull off in the kitchen, it acts as a signature for these fast food morning meals.

Folded eggs have never been something you could just buy somewhere, since pre-cooking eggs into that shape and freezing them isn’t the most ideal way to store it. However, plant-based egg maker JUST came out with a form that is ready to reheat and stick into any breakfast sandwich.

The new plant-based folded eggs were just announced in a press release, providing a convenient folded egg-like product that can be used at home for breakfast. JUST’s vegan egg is made predominantly from mung bean protein, and the company claims to use 98% water, 83% less land, and 93% less carbon dioxide emissions than conventional egg production.

Each box of the folded plant eggs comes with a pack of four, and will be sold in the freezer section. While the folded egg is obviously meant for those wanting to put it into a sandwich, another usage for it could be to reheat the vegan egg, cut it up, and put it into a fried rice or other dish that calls for scrambled egg.

Photo courtesy of JUST

JUST also announced a drastic price slash on its refrigerated liquid egg product, cutting the cost down by a whopping 35 percent, according to VegNews. This makes a bottle of JUST egg on par with the cost of a dozen organic eggs, approximately $4.99. While it’s still on the pricier end of eggs in general, flexitarians and plant eaters alike have a more accessible and affordable animal-free alternative as a result.

The folded eggs will be available in 5,000 stores at its launch in April, with stores like Whole Foods, Albertsons Safeway, Gelson’s, Kings Food Markets, and Giant Martin’s getting a first crack at it. As for JUST’s standard product, the price drop will occur some time in the second quarter of 2020.

Categories
Grocery Opinion Plant-Based

Breaking Down Two Of The Top Plant-Based Egg Alternatives Available Now

Plant-based alternatives are getting increasingly closer to their original replicas, especially in the world of egg substitutes. Today, you can purchase alternatives to eggs that work in all kinds of applications, like scrambling, baking, sauces, frittatas, and more.

In the current industry of egg alternatives, two companies really stand out: Follow Your Heart, one of the earliest to create an egg alternative, and JUST, the successor to Hampton Creek whose scrambled egg substitute has become a viral success.

Of course, you’re probably not going to have multiple egg alternatives in your food supply at once, so if you’re looking for which one of these two top choices to go with, here’s a look at what each one does best. From there, you can decide for yourself which one you should be getting on a regular basis.

JUST

Photo courtesy of JUST

JUST uses a mung bean protein to make their plant-based scramble, and it has all the form and function of standard scrambled eggs. Fellow Foodbeast Peter Pham captured the alternative being cooked at Expo West, and watching it turn into perfect scrambled eggs is mind-blowing.

Check out the video below:

In terms of capability, JUST’s “egg” is ideal for anything you want to do in terms of scrambling. This includes soft scrambled eggs, frittatas, Spanish tortillas, pancake batters, and anything along those lines. Its ability to thicken also makes it useful for batters for items like French toast.

Photo courtesy of JUST

Outside of that primary ability, though, JUST’s product isn’t incredibly versatile. It’s okay at some lighter baking applications (ie. cookies), but it really is made to be a scramble above all else. JUST itself doesn’t recommend using it as a substitute in baking just yet, although its working on a version that will hold up. It’s an amazing replica of a scramble, but not as strong when it comes to other usages of egg.

JUST also does require refrigeration and has a relatively short shelf life, so when you do buy it, you’ll want to use it sooner rather than later.

Follow Your Heart

Photo courtesy of Follow Your Heart

At first glimpse, Follow Your Heart’s VeganEgg is very different from what JUST offers. Follow Your Heart’s soy-based version is a powder that you mix up with water when you want to make your egg substitute. You do get enough per batch to equate to about a dozen eggs, give or take. It’s not as convenient as the ready-to-pour JUST, but still pretty simple to use.

Follow Your Heart’s egg does take a bit longer to scramble, needing about 8-10 minutes versus the 2 minutes for JUST. As for texture, it’s a little more runny, but still has a similar taste and texture.

Photo courtesy of Follow Your Heart

Unlike JUST, however, Follow Your Heart excels at being versatile, especially for baking. Its base liquid form and thickening ability make it ideal for sauces and vegan versions of custard (tricky to pull off, but possible). One of my personal favorite usages for it is as the “egg” of a plant-based carbonara sauce, where it both coats and enriches to perfection.

The VeganEggs are also a great egg replacement in baking applications, particularly in cookies and cakes. It works so well in baking because Follow Your Heart’s product can withstand the higher heats without needing to scramble, and incorporates well into baking and other mixes. You can also utilize it in batters for items like pancakes, waffles, and other breakfast staples.


Overall, if you prefer eating savory foods or want to cut out eggs from your morning routine, I’d go for JUST as the top alternative to scrambles in the game. If you’re more into baking and general applications, though, Follow Your Heart is more ideal.

Categories
Grocery Health Opinion Packaged Food Plant-Based

The Best Vegan Replicas Of Animal Products You Can Buy, According To A Meat Eater

I’m certainly not vegan by trade, and have consumed many steaks, nuggets, what have you in my lifetime. However, I’ve also tasted a ton of what’s out there in terms of plant-based alternatives that claim to be substitutes to animal products.

To be frank, some plant-based meats are just downright dreadful to taste, but there are a tastemaking geniuses out there putting together solid replicas to the OG food. In some cases, you could be bold enough to say that it tastes just like the original.

If you are looking to move away of meat, but still yearn for its familiar taste, texture, and aroma, these products are the best way to do it.

Best Burger Patty Replica – Impossible Burger 2.0

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Impossible Foods (@impossible_foods) on

The original Impossible Patty was already pretty close to beef, but their 2.0 version is the best replica of beef in the burger world. The 2.0 is even better in terms of beefy flavor, doesn’t have much of an aftertaste, and comes with an improved formula that delivers on micronutrients like iron. I seriously can’t wait for this to drop in grocery stores, because when it does, it’s going to change how we all buy “beef” as we know it.

Best Fried Chicken Replica – Gardein 7 Grain Crispy Tenders

When it comes to vegan fried chicken products, it’s hard to pick a favorite. A lot of different brands have solid flavors to back them up, and deliver on texture as well. What makes the Gardein tenders stand out, though, is the breading. It tastes like it has more seasoning and aroma behind it than KFC’s famous batter, giving it a strong edge over the rest of the market. The texture isn’t identical to that of chicken, sure, but when it comes to chicken tender replicas, nothing comes close, from a flavor perspective.

Best Egg Replica – Follow Your Heart

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Follow Your Heart (@followyourheart) on

There are really only two competitors in the vegan egg space: JUST Egg and Follow Your Heart. JUST is a great scrambled egg substitute, but it doesn’t have the product versatility that Follow Your Heart’s vegan egg powder does. It’s a little more complicated to set up, as it requires hydrating prior to using, however, the applications it excels in are numerous. I’ve used it to make everything from carbonara-style pasta sauces, to shortbread cookies.

Best Ricotta Cheese Replica – Kite Hill

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kelly Peters (@thewholesomeminimalist) on

Kite Hill’s ricotta cheese impresses in that it mimics the function of ricotta to perfection, something that’s hard to pull off. Ricotta isn’t really a cheese that melts, but it is perfect as the base for lasagnas, cannelloni, stuffing for pancakes, etc. Kite Hill’s product can accomplish all of that easily, making it a great plant-based alternative for those not quite ready to give up some of their Italian favorites.

Best Fish Replica – Gardein

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Gardein. Meatless Meats. (@gardein) on

Fish is one of the trickiest animals to replicate in plant-based form, mostly because of its aroma. While no current vegan product in stores can replicate it, Gardein comes closest in terms of texture, appearance, and taste. This will probably be the best alternative until Impossible Foods comes out with its plant-based fish, which it is rumored to have already cracked the code in terms of flavor.

Best Sliced/Shredded Cheese Replica – Follow Your Heart

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by foodbeast (@foodbeast) on


The biggest problem with vegan cheese is that most of it struggles or completely fails to melt, however, Follow Your Heart’s varieties come closest, as seen in the above video. Their American and Pepper Jack slices can retain a somewhat gooey texture and have solid flavor, and the Parmesan actually helps make dishes more creamy rather than just dissolving into a pasta or risotto.

Best Milk Replica – Oatly

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Oatly (@oatly) on

Shoutout to The Boba Guys for exposing how good oat milk can be. In terms of creaminess, no other plant milk can really stack up. It has a neutral flavor that makes it ideal for just about any application, savory or sweet. There’s a reason this brand is virtually always sold out in stores and impossible to track down. Silk has an alternative that just came out if you’re looking for oat milks and can’t get hold of this gold standard.

Best Sausage Replica – Morningstar Farms

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by MorningStar Farms (@morningstarfarms) on

Morningstar Farms is a long-running brand in the world of plant-based products, and their breakfast sausage patties are a big reason for that. They deliver on salty and savory flavor while having a texture akin to that of cooked sausage meat. I’ve been consuming these since I was a kid, and love them just as much as regular breakfast sausage (which I’m a huge fan of). My personal favorite way to eat them? With soy sauce and rice.

Best Shrimp Replica – New Wave Foods

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by New Wave Foods (@newwavefoods) on

Vegan shrimp is a new arena companies are starting to innovate in, and the closest reproduction so far comes from New Wave Foods. Their plant-based shrimp is made from algae, and while it still has some grittiness to address from a texture standpoint, its sweetness and flavor are almost exactly to that of shrimp. Their fried shrimp product is spot-on in all regards, and makes for a great substitute for those looking for a vegan shrimp solution.

Best Yogurt Replica – Kite Hill

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kite Hill (@kitehillfoods) on

Kite Hill impresses in the cultured dairy category, and their almond milk yogurts are no exception. They are arguably just as creamy and tangy as a standard cup of yogurt, and can come in a variety of flavors as well. It’s also a double-health bonus since you also get the probiotics used to culture Kite Hill’s signature, and it’s already ubiquitous enough that you can find it many stores nationwide. Out of all of the plant-based substitutes out there, this is the one you’re most likely to find, and should definitely pick up.

Categories
News Now Trending Packaged Food

Hampton Creek Attempts Comeback With New ‘Just Scramble’ Vegan Eggs

2017 has been a pretty rough year for plant-based giant Hampton Creek. They lost one of their big-name clients, Target, when alleged food safety and mislabeling concerns took most of their products off the shelves. Furthermore, nearly every member of their board, save for CEO and co-founder Joshua Tetrick, eventually resigned from or left the “struggling startup,” as Bloomberg described them at the time. Now, Hampton Creek is looking to turn things around with a new product, called “Just Scramble.”

“My mind was blown.”–Forbes Read more about #JustScramble at the link in our bio!

A post shared by @hamptoncreek on

The “Just Scramble” product is a liquid predominantly made from mung bean protein that slowly congeals into vegan scrambled eggs upon heating. Bruce Freidrich, executive director at The Good Food Institute (a plant-based advocacy group), claims to the SF Chronicle that this is the first-ever plant-based scrambled egg. However, Follow Your Heart already has a powder-based vegan scrambled egg mix in stores, but Friedrich compared the product to a “black bean burger” and that it doesn’t “cook like eggs.” (Writer’s note: As someone who’s used Follow Your Heart’s eggs, I strongly disagree with how Friedrich characterized a plant-based product like those his company promotes, but am curious to try Hampton Creek’s product as well.)

CEO Josh Tetrick estimates the cost of a 322 gram bottle, the equivalent of seven eggs, to be about $4-$6. A serving of Just Scramble has the consistency of scrambled eggs within a minute, and already contains seasonings like salt, pepper, and oil.

To promote the new egg substitute, Hampton Creek is taking a page out of the Impossible Foods playbook. They’re starting out by serving the fake eggs out of a single restaurant, Flore, in San Francisco. A serving there, which comes with spinach, mushrooms, and goat cheese, costs $14. Hampton Creek does plan to have the product in more restaurants by the end of the year, and in stores sometime in 2018, according to CNNMoney.