Update: Word in the street is that Follow Your Heart Market & Cafe will start carrying the VeganEgg starting Saturday November 7th!
Update: Your can pre-order the VeganEgg through Food Fight Grocery. Anticipated release is November 11th.
It’s a big deal!
The vegan world is buzzing with word that progressive food research and development groups are perfecting the egg-less scramble, a formally unattainable vegan dish. Hampton Creek has been the public face of the quest, then earlier this year The Vegg released The Vegg Scramble and now Follow Your Heart is the first second to deliver a product: VeganEgg™ !
Follow Your Heart founders Bob Goldberg and Paul Lewin based their egg on algal flour and algal protein. “When we discovered that microalgae are a highly-sustainable source of nutritionally rich ingredients, we immediately knew they could help us make better plant-based foods,” said Mr. Goldberg. They go on to explain that whole algal flour and protein naturally contain high levels of healthy lipids, carbohydrates and micronutrients. These nutrient-dense microalgae also contain all essential amino acids and are a great source of dietary fiber. Or in in more familiar terms:
I got my hands on four “eggs” to run a cooking and taste test on. I don’t have any video of my scrambling, but it looked exactly like this:
— Follow Your Heart (@FollowYourHeart) October 18, 2015
Everyone been asking “What is it?” Well, it’s a powder! A dusty pale yellow pile of the following: Whole Algal Flour, Whole Algal Protein, Modified Cellulose, Cellulose, Gellan Gum, Calcium Lactate (Plant Source), Carrageenan, Nutritional Yeast, Black Salt.
The power itself is mild (yes I ate some raw) with faint nutty undertones from the nutritional yeast and sulfuric sharpness from the black salt. It is also:
The VeganEgg™ officially launches in late October/early November and will initially be available online through Amazon.com for $6.99 – $7.99 per 4 oz. package—each of which is equivalent to a dozen eggs. This product will change the world of vegan breakfast, but at this price point I’d recommend sticking with older egg replacers (such as Ener-G) for baked goods and batters.
First Impression: It really looks like a pile of scrambled eggs! The VeganEgg™ is spot on in texture. It creates a soft, milky, curd and has the delicate firmness of perfectly prepared scrambled eggs. Because it cooks slower then an egg it’s easier to get it juuuuust right—no overcooking to dry rubbery bits. The flavor is neutral, almost non-existent, without apparent sulfuric tones despite including black salt in the mix.
After trying a VeganEgg™ scramble unadorned, I wrapped up the rest in a Breakfast Burrito with plain Chao, sauteed tomatoes, peppers and onions and tempeh bacon. The texture of the VeganEgg™ performed splendidly but the flavor got lost in the mix. I found a touch of salt (black or sea) after cooking goes a long way in bringing out their presence.
Next up: Fried Rice! I sauteed brown rice and barley with peas, corn, carrots, garlic, baked tofu, soy sauce and scrambled egg! This time I added some additional black salt directly to the raw egg to bring out the flavors. I also tried cooking it a few minutes longer and found the curd stayed tender throughout. This non-breakfast dish suggestion came from the brilliant minds of Thug Kitchen… seriously, they are brilliant!
On dish number three, Herbed Scramble, I got a little lazy.The instructions make clear that the power is to be mixed with Ice Cold Water. Instead, I used Cold Water. At first, the egg broke into a bubbly watery mess, then set quickly into a sort of pancake which I attempted to scramble. While cooking, I mixed in fresh sage, Good Taste Farm’s garlic chives and fennel seeds—a flavor combination based on one of the egg dishes I miss most, the Simple Tuscan Omelette at Lil’Frankie’s in NYC. You can see the scrambled quality on this batch was not as lovely.Still, the delicate combination of herbs are perfect with the VeganEgg™ which still tasted good despite my water temperature mistake.
In the final round, Vegetable Tartines, I thoroughly iced my water and added herbs directly into the raw egg. The VeganEgg™ set beautifully, with a loose delicate curd flecked with garlic chives. Plated atop Prager Brothers Multi Grain Bread, Heidi Ho Black Lava Cashew Cheese, garlic sauteed kale or Good Taste Farm tomatoes… I felt like I was eating eggs again.
Bravo Follow Your Heart!
- Use Ice Cold Water, it really is important to the food science going on in these things.
- Stick to gentle flavors (like herbs) to compliment the delicate VeganEgg™
- A little black salt will help up the eggy flavors… if you are into those flavors.
- There are more cost effective options where the egg is not the star, but when you need a egg-less scramble that will stand on it’s own, the VeganEgg™ is the new go to!