If you’ve been vegan for as long as we have, you likely remember some pretty basic, early- to mid-ninties vegan staples that are now, happily, obsolete. Tofutti’s chalky dairy-free ice cream and plastic-y vegan American cheese slices? Anything in powder form from Fantastic Foods? And how about that boxed Ener-G Egg Replacer?
To be clear, I mean no offense whatsoever to these early vegan mainstays and these blazers of vegan trails—without them, we’d be nowhere. But the vegan and animal-friendly world is, awesomely, a much different place than it was twenty some years back. Back then, the demand for this kind of thing was so low; now, happily, it’s a fucking bandwagon entrepreneurs are elbows-out jumping on, and it’s making it not only easier than ever to go plant-based and animal-free, but also tastier than ever.
So, yes, there are a million better vegan ice creams (like Van Leeuwen, who we just interviewed) and vegan cheese slices on the market (like Chao + Follow Your Heart’s slices, which we also recently wrote up); yes, there are amazing falafel joints at ever turn in most ever urban center and, failing that, great store-bought humus from Sabra; and yes, there’s now finally a vegan egg alternative that you can actually use in things other than baking recipes.
Again, no disrespect to the early vegan path-finders, but Ener-G’s product—while great as an egg-replacer in baked goods and other recipes needing an egg-like binder—was never intended for use as an egg-substitute in things like omelets or scrambles. The new product from Southern California’s Follow Your Heart is.
First off, full disclaimer—neither Katie nor I were ever huge fans of eggs as food. It was just a taste, texture, and general concept that neither of us ever got behind. That said, we were excited to give Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Egg a try while in New York recently. Unlike us, our hosts—one of them at least—were indeed huge egg fans in their pre-vegan lives and couldn’t stop singing the praises of this new, magical, cruelty-free “egg” product. Made primary of algal flour and algal protein of all things, nay-sayers or non-vegans could easily call the Vegan Egg an empty shell protein and starch; for those that have given up the egg but still crave a good scramble, it could easily be a god-send. It takes some work in the form of constant stirring over heat, but, eventually, the Vegan Egg—which, while it’s savvy packaging hints at conventional egg containers, is actually a powder—whips into a convincingly scrambled egg-like texture, with the sulfurous black salt in the “egg” giving off a distinctly eggy scent. Again, we were never huge fans of the conventional touchstone here, but what we had, we loved—scrambled Vegan Egg on toasted focaccia with a slice of Chao and some sriracha for a perfectly decadent, post-Thanksgiving breakfast sandwich.
If you’ve long given up egg, or—better yet—are considering doing so and need that extra little push, give Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Egg a try. We’re guessing you’ll love it. In the Los Angeles area, you can get it at local super-shop, Organix; elsewhere, check FYH’s page for the nearest location to you (or order from Food Fight).
Below, Vegan Egg prep and the glorious breakfast sandwich.