A more ethical egg (and alternatives) offers something for everyone, no matter what your diet. Most eggs are from battery farms, and most male chickens (even free-range) are killed at birth, as they are of no economic value (up to 30 million are killed yearly, takes up to 2 minutes). But with most people eating eggs, at least eat free-range from local farmers, who let chicks survive, with good welfare.
If you have land and no predators, you may wish to adopt ex-battery hens (this requires great care, and big hen houses). Also avoid ‘hidden battery eggs’ in processed foods. Hen Nation is the first company in England producing eggs from free-range eggs, that are allowed to live out their natural lives. Also know your labels. Grade A hen eggs must say if they are free-range, organic, barn or cage, but liquid egg (and those laid by ducks, quail or geese) don’t have to. Ignore Red Tractor and Red Lion labels, these are nothing to do with welfare, just ‘British’.
Don’t let pets near these, they contain pet-toxic ingredients (garlic, onion, salt).
- Kala Namak is ‘black salt’ with a smoky taste and smell, so often use in vegan egg recipes (with a little turmeric for colour).
- CRACKD is made with pea protein. There are 8 ‘eggs’ in one bottle to make cake, frittata, muffins, scrambled egg or Yorkshire puddings.
- Yes You Can is made with organic chia. Good for cakes, bread, muffins and pancakes, but not scrambled, boiled or poached.
- Learn how to make a flax egg. This mixes freshly ground flaxseed with water, to replace an egg in baked goods.
- Vegg is sold in various mixes for scrambles, baked goods, egg yolk and French toast mix. Plus The Vegg Cookbook, to show you how to use it.
- Terra Vegane Organic Omelette Mix only needs water to make quiche, frittata or egg-free fu yung. Or replace yolks with Vegane Golden Exx Egg Alternative (also in megga egg).
Vegan ‘Eggy’ Products
- Bonsan Breakfast Scramble (made with tofu & spices).
- Inspired Vegan offers a rich creamy hollandaise sauce for potato salad and asparagus, and can also be used to make tofu-based eggs benedict. Or try Badger’s Egg Mayonnaise Alternative (pasta, chickpeas, vegan mayo, turmeric, mustard, lemon juice and vinegar).
- Janda Lemon Curd is a plant-based alternative, to a popular condiment usually made with egg yolk.
Aquafaba (bean water)
A few years ago, scientists found that if you whizzed up brine water from canned chickpeas and added a little sugar, it turned into ‘vegan meringue’:
- Oggs Aquafaba whisks, whips and binds just like eggs and can be used to make sauce, mayo, mousse and meringue. The cartons contain ‘4 eggs’ that are kept in the fridge for up to a few days, once open.
- Rubies in the Rubble Chilli Mayo is made with aquafaba (whizzed up chickpea brine water) to use up waste and give an airy ‘meringue’ feel.
- Baking Magic with Aquafaba is just one of many books with recipes to use this unique ingredient. If you live with animals, see foods to avoid near pets. Choose palm-oil-free vegan butters.