Choosing to follow a vegan diet does not mean you have to give up your savory breakfasts. On the contrary, adapting to a vegan diet can help you get out of your comfort zone and try new ingredients in old, tired recipes.
Fried eggs are a staple in many homes and they are, admittedly, rather difficult to imagine duplicating without using an actual egg, but not impossible! Thanks to a certain ground-breaking product and a little creativity, even vegans can have their fried eggs and eat them too.
What are the best vegan egg substitutes for frying?
The best vegan egg substitute for frying is The Vegg’s vegan egg yolk, which is a 100% plant-based simulation of an egg yolk that will fool even the pickiest of eaters. You will need to pair this with a few other ingredients to get the rest of the egg fried up, but it’s the only real option for a believable yolk for your fried egg.
Keep reading for a detailed review of the product as well as some practical guidelines for replacing eggs in your vegan eating plan.
The Vegg – A Detailed Review
Not everyone who decides to eat a plant-based diet is ready to or even wants to give up their egg-based products.
There is just something special about dipping a warm piece of toast into the center of a perfectly fried egg, and the Vegg vegan egg yolk delivers that same visceral pleasure. (Check it out on Amazon.)
Aside from looking, tasting and feeling just like an egg yolk, it can be used in all your favorite egg-based recipes, including hollandaise sauce.
The Vegg Products
The Vegg vegan egg yolk is one of the most popular products from this company, but they also have a surprisingly vast lineup of additional egg replacement products. (You can find all of their products here).
Their Vegan Egg Baking Mix is also very popular, being specially formulated to give you the flavor, and more importantly, the binding power of eggs in just 1 tsp of powder.
If you’re not overly worried about having your fried egg sunny-side up, the Vegan Power Scramble Mix is quick and easy, giving you a high-protein, plant-based scramble that’s even easier than cracking eggs. And there are no shells to worry about.
Finally, The Vegg has a mix that is specifically designed to give you the perfect golden brown crispy French Toast.
What we’re really interested in right now though, is their Vegan Egg Yolk.
One of the coolest things about this product is that you can mold it to look and act just like a sunny-side-up fried egg, but it is a bit of a specialized technique. For more common usage, you can simply blend up the mixture and put a dollop in the center of your fried tofu or chickpea for a lovely, runny yolk.
- a 100% plant-based egg yolk replacement
- Looks, tastes and feels just like a real egg yolks
- Gluten-free, soy-free, cholesterol-free, fat-free, and GMO-free
- No MSG or artificial flavors, the color is derived from nutritional yeast and beta carotene
- High in vitamin B12, which is incredibly valuable in a vegan diet plan
By far the biggest drawback is that the product itself is a powder and in order to make a true, spherified yolk-like experience, you do need to carefully follow directions and have a few additional ingredients.
The product works like a charm for all other egg uses, including a runny yolk, without much fuss, but to get a yolk-like sphere, it’ll take some practice. If you’re vegan because you don’t want the experience of eating animal products, this might be a bit too “real” for you.
Vegan Egg Substitutes in Fried Egg Dishes
If crafting a vegan fried egg seems like too much of an ordeal for you, you might want to whip up a delicious plant-based quiche, frittata, omelet, or scramble. There are plenty of easy options available to you.
No matter what type of plant-based eggy breakfast you’re making, you’ll want to make sure you have the right spatula. Good thing we’ve got you covered with our article The Best Spatulas for Omelets!
Soy and Tofu
Tofu is the most common replacement for eggs in scrambles, quiches, and omelets. Firm and extra-firm tofu can be crumbled and fried with spices to create a dish very similar to your favorite scrambles.
You can use silken or soft tofu for quiche and, even though chickpea flour tends to be the go-to choice for vegan omelets, tofu does a pretty fantastic job as well.
Tofu on its own is quite bland so, to make it really delicious, you’ll want to spice it up with some sautéed onions, garlic powder and/or other seasonings.
To get a little extra flavor, nutrition, and egg-like color, adding some nutritional yeast is a great plan.
Turmeric can also give some of the nice yellow color and it’s packed with nutrition. Of course, you’ll also want to use plenty of additional veggies and even some vegan cheese, just like you would with a real egg-based meal.
Chickpea Flour and Aquafaba
Chickpeas are truly claiming every last second of their 15 minutes of fame. Not only are they versatile in their whole pea form, the water they’re cooked in can be used in many recipes to replace egg whites and the flour is remarkably similar to eggs when it’s used to whip up omelets and quiches.
This is a popular and common option, but the texture is a lot more pancake-like than egg-like. It is flour, after all. The nice thing about this option is that it’s soy-free if you’re conscious about your soy intake.
Lentils and white beans can also make a great egg-free, high-protein dish. Lentils are tiny enough that if they’re sautéed with other ingredients you might put in an egg scramble, they’ll give you a similar consistency.
White beans won’t necessarily fool you into thinking they’re eggs, but if you mash them up they can create great fried patties that are packed with nutrition and will keep you protein-powered all morning.
Black Salt (Kala Namak)
The options above will give you a texture similar to eggs, but the most popular source of getting a sulfurous, eggy flavor is black salt (Kala Namak).
It’s a type of Himalayan sea salt and it has a quite powerful flavor, so you’ll want to be careful if you use it and definitely stick to recipes at least when you’re just getting familiar with it.
Replacing the Nutrition from Eggs in a Vegan Diet
Eggs are often argued to be one of the healthiest foods in the world, but with a well balanced, plant-based diet, you can replace all the nutrition fairly easily.
Protein is one of the easiest and most important nutrients that you’ll need to make sure you get plenty of. Pulses, such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas, are great vegan sources of protein. Nuts and seeds are also high in this particular macro.
Eggs are high in healthy fats which are absolutely crucial to a healthy body. You don’t want to replace the healthy fats in eggs with processed, unhealthy trans fats, but you do want to eat plenty of nuts, seeds, and avocados to get healthy fats into your vegan diet.
Vitamin A is plentiful in the yolks of eggs, but it’s easy to replace as long as you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, particularly orange ones like carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and apricots. Some greens, like spinach and kale, are also high in Vitamin A.
Also found in leafy greens is folic acid, which you can get from eggs as well as cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and also asparagus and beetroot.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that eggs are rich in, but so are sunflower seeds, almonds, and hazelnuts. In fact, plant-based sources are even richer in this nutrient.
Eggs are also rich sources of potassium, which is easily replaced by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, and iron, which is found in good supply in beans, lentils, and green leafy vegetables.
Two nutrients that are difficult to get through a plant-based diet are Vitamin D and Vitamin B12. You may want to consider a high-quality supplement for these if you’re going to say goodbye to eggs for good.
What Are Good Vegan Egg Replacements for Baking?
Baking is something of a scientific process, requiring a perfect combination of ingredients to leaven, thicken and bind your baked goods. Eggs tend to efficiently master all of those jobs, though not always all at once. Depending on what their purpose is in your recipe, you have a few vegan-friendly options:
- Binders: chickpea flour, fruit and/or veggie purees, silken tofu and/or non-dairy yogurts
- Leaveners: chickpea flour or other flours, baking soda, apple cider vinegar
- Thickeners: fruit and/or veggie purees, silken tofu and/or non-dairy yogurts
Can I Make Vegan Custard?
Custards are, by their very definition, made from egg protein. While it won’t be a true custard, there are ways that you can create a vegan-friendly version that taste and feel very similar, though they can be difficult to master and take plenty of practice and adjustments.
Most vegan custard recipes work with a combination of ingredients including soaked cashews, silken tofu, chickpea flour and/or aquafaba, which is the liquid from canned chickpeas, agar power and/or coconut milk.
What Is a Good Substitute for Eggs for Breakfast?
If you’re looking for a healthy protein and fat-packed breakfast without the eggs, consider some of the following options:
- Overnight oats made with vegan yogurt or coconut milk
- A smoothie boosted with protein and healthy fats
- Pumpkin puree pancakes
- Avocado toast with fried tempeh or tofu slices and vegan cream cheese
- Chia pudding made with dairy-free milk and your favorite fruit flavorings
- French toast with creamy peanut butter
- Vegan-friendly protein bars and
- of course, any of the egg substitutes mention in the article above!