Seeing is BeLeafing…this is a plant-based fried “egg”!
Looking for a way to lower your weekly grocery bill? How would you like to lower your cholesterol at the same time? The price of eggs skyrocketed in the past twelve months due primarily to the worst outbreaks of avian influenza on record. More than 58 million chickens were killed as a result and the industry is struggling to repopulate their laying hens. A shortage of labor and rising costs due to inflation are complicating those efforts.
While Americans became somewhat accustomed to shortages of food and other necessities of daily life during 2020 and 2021, in the past year full shelves have greeted us on most trips to the supermarket. The bad news is the sticker shock…the cost of these readily available items seems to climb weekly. Inflation has caused prices to rise across all sectors of the economy but food prices, and eggs in particular, have seen one of the steepest increases. In January of 2023, egg prices were approximately 70% higher than the previous January. The average price for a dozen large eggs climbed to $7 in California and hovered around $5.50 nationwide. These costs may not be prohibitive on their own but for today’s consumers facing higher fuel costs along with skyrocketing rent and mortgage payments, many are saying “no thank you” to eggs.
And the egg does not stand alone! They are one of the basic ingredients in many baked goods, causing those prices to go up too. Then there are restaurants. Eggs are either on the menu or key ingredients of menu items…when they can be found. And yep, that leads to higher operating costs which in turn dings our credit cards as we pay the check.
Now the good news! We are sharing some of the latest plant-based egg products on the market. Until recently egg substitutes consisted of applesauce, mashed bananas, flax meal, chia seeds, tofu, and aquafaba (the liquid from canned chickpeas). Affordable and healthy, we highly recommend incorporating some of these items in your weekly meal plan. They produce outstanding results when used properly and many a guest has been surprised to learn the cookies they are relishing are indeed vegan!
Still, sometimes those of us who follow plant-based lifestyles miss “traditional” eggs, aka chicken eggs. The vegan food world is listening and has been working hard on solutions. We think you’ll agree the results are impressive!
In January 2023 Crafty Counter launched WunderEggs, the first vegan hard- boiled “egg” on the market.
Sadly, none of My Cooking Magazine’s team members have been fortunate enough to lay our hands on a package of the latest thing to hit the vegan egg market…WunderEggs! They are the world’s first whole foods, plant-based hard-boiled egg. Minimally processed and made from healthy ingredients like cashews, almonds, and coconuts, WunderEggs are free from seven of the top eight allergens. Visit the company’s website for more information: CraftyCounter.com
Reviews from the lucky customers who snagged a package (or two!) are all raves. At last, plant-based aficionados can enjoy deviled eggs, a boiled egg sliced on top of avocado toast, add chopped boiled eggs to potato salad, or quartered and mixed into a hearty Cobb salad. Keep your eyes peeled (pardon the pun) next time you visit your local Whole Foods, the first grocery chain to carry this product. Additional retailers will be selling them soon!
Just Egg is another popular brand that offers liquid egg substitute, frozen folded egg patties, and a variety of frozen sous vide egg bites.
The liquid egg is ideal for quiches, frittatas, omelets, and French toast. Make a breakfast sandwich with the folded egg patties. Simply toast a bagel or English muffin, add the heated egg patty and a slice of vegan cheese and you have a handheld breakfast that will satisfy your cravings. For a real treat enjoy the sous vide egg bites, ideal for a gourmet breakfast on the go. Microwaveable and very portable.
- Vegan Egg: 0 mg cholesterol, 5-9 grams protein
- Chicken Egg: 186 mg cholesterol, 9 grams protein
New products are coming on the market every day! There’s even a vegan fried egg product! BeLeaf Vegan Foods has created this tasty treat you can serve with sweet potato hash and a few slices of avocado. Many brands offer giveaways so search by brand and see what you might be able to score free!
Plant-based products are not only good for your health. They reduce animal agriculture and are environmentally friendly. Plants don’t get the flu and they are naturally rich sources of the nutrients and fiber our bodies need to maintain optimum health.
Just Egg French Toast
Yields: 6 slices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
6 slices of day old bread – sourdough and hearty multigrain are good choices
1 12-ounce container liquid Just Egg (2 ounces is the equivalent of one chicken egg)
½ cup of plant-based milk – I like full fat oat milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Vegan butter for grilling
Toppings – choose one or more!
- Maple syrup or agave
- Fresh berries
- Powdered sugar
In a medium bowl combine the Just Egg, plant-based milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine. Place the bread slices on a small cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Pour the Just Egg mixture evenly over slices, reserving about half for the other side. Flip slices and repeat using the rest of the Just Egg mixture. Let stand for 5-10 minutes.
Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter and then add bread slices. Cook them in batches if they wont fit without overlapping. Allow to brown on one side before flipping, keeping a close eye on them. If they begin to brown too quickly, lower the heat.
Serve immediately and top as you please. I like to warm my maple syrup, add in-season berries or banana slices and serve with crispy slices of veggie bacon or plant-based sausage links. Enjoy!