Sunday, May 29, 2016

a vegan egg??

So, awhile ago I picked up a package of Follow Your Heart's Vegan Egg from my local co-op. I've been mostly sticking to minimally processed foods in an effort to avoid anything that results in trash and clean up my diet in the process. I've been doing pretty well, but I really wanted to try this out so I finally caved and bought one.


The outside of the package is easily recyclable, but inside, the powdered product is packaged in a plastic bag (of course). I have been making tofu scrambles for years and have been happy with the results, but I'd heard good things about this new(ish) product and my curiously got the better of me. I finally tried the Vegan Egg out this morning, making up a scrambled "egg" to go along with my hash browns and cantaloupe. Was it worth the plastic I'll now have to toss? Sadly, no. Let's be honest, it would have to be pretty darn amazing to be worth the plastic, but anyway...

First, this product is far from cheap. Beyond the high price however is the product itself. Sure, it's plant-based and cholesterol free, but how does it taste? The cooking time is much longer than my usual scramble (seriously, it seemed to take forever!) and the resulting "egg" was rather disappointing. The texture is a bit odd, the flavor is bland - I only added minimal seasoning as I didn't want to add much to cover up the taste of the actual product. Granted, it's been quite awhile since I've had chicken eggs, but I do know, I won't be buying this again. Curiosity satisfied, it's back to bulk bin shopping and no trash for me. :-)

As more and more of the population adopts a plant-based diet, food scientists have been working hard to develop vegan replacements for those animal-based favorites. One can purchase vegan burgers and hot dogs, ice cream, cheeses and just about anything else you might desire. Often though, the simple alternatives are the best in both flavor and nutrition. I make a yummy vegan mac and cheese from scratch and my black bean burgers rock! But I'm also more than happy making foods less familiar to me.

So, you may wonder... Is tofu scramble just like scrambled eggs? Nope, I'm not gonna lie, but it makes me happy in more ways than one. By shopping from the bulk section (my co-op carries bulk tofu!), I avoid the trash and it doesn't require any chicken servitude. Yes, there are less inhumane sources of eggs (stick with free-range, local eggs if you must!), but hens do age and stop laying. Then what? Not many people will keep old hens who are no longer "earning their keep" until they pass naturally. We all know where they eventually end up... the same place as non-productive milk cows. :-( And what becomes of the majority of the roosters hatched? It's not just the hens I'm concerned about. I decided to stop eating meat when I was around 11 or 12, but I still consumed plenty of dairy and eggs. Was my environmental impact lessened in comparison to my meat-eating days? Absolutely! Every positive change is worth making even if we aren't yet ready to go all the way! These days, I have a much better understanding of the egg and dairy industries, so it's all plant-based for me. :-)

There are tons of tofu scramble recipes out there - just do a quick Google search and you'll find more than you'd ever have time to try. Here's the one I found years ago and still enjoy using. Most of this guy's YouTube videos are mechanical or musical in nature, but this is a great, basic tofu scramble recipe (seasoned with a sprinkling of humor):

If you aren't already eating a plant-based diet, be adventurous and try some vegan alternatives to your old favorites. You just might be pleasantly surprised! :-)

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