Going egg-free makes tremendous sense, and it’s so easy to do. Even more so than meat, eggs might be the most objectionable of all foods. In this guide, I’ll review the main concerns regarding eggs, and then show you how easy it is to rid them from your diet.
Why Go Egg-Free?
People moving toward plant-based diets often drop one animal-based food at a time, saving eggs until last. But if your goal is to eat more compassionately, consider cutting out eggs right at the start.
Most eggs sold worldwide come from hens cruelly confined to tiny wire cages. The birds stand on metal slats, and sleep pressed into it, all while lacking sufficient space to spread their wings. Since hens lay about 300 eggs a year, that means they only lay about one egg every 30 hours. That’s a great deal of time spent enduring appalling conditions in order to produce such a tiny amount of food. It’s therefore hard to deny that eggs from caged hens contain more misery-per-mouthful than meat or dairy products.
Even free-range eggs farms utilize disturbing farming practices. Most buy their hens from hatcheries that grind unwanted male chicks alive. And all egg farms, including those that are cage-free, kill their hens by the barn-full once egg yields decline to unprofitable levels. They refer to this mass-slaughter as “depopulating” their barns. Hens at egg farms never die of old age. To learn more about the animal welfare concerns regarding eggs, as well as several environmental and public health considerations, please see my eggs page.
Going egg-free is easy. Let’s explore how to make the transition.
How to Drop Eggs from Your Diet
Avoiding eggs might seem difficult, since they appear in all sorts of baked goods: muffins, cakes, pies, and so forth. They’re also a key ingredient of mayonnaise and appear in any number of recipes. Yet despite their ubiquity, eggs are remarkably easy to avoid.
When you think about it, there are only two reasons to use eggs. The first is in foods that feature eggs as the main ingredient, such as scrambled eggs, omelets, and souffles. The second way eggs are used is in relatively small quantities for binding, moistening, or glazing. As we’ll now see, excellent alternatives exist for both of these purposes.
Just Egg launched in 2018, receiving rave reviews from the vegan community. This product is ideal for scrambled eggs, French toast, and omelets. Think of Just Egg as a vegan liquid egg. You simply pour out whatever quantity you require for the dish you’re making.
If you’re looking to capture the flavor of egg yolks for recipes like quiche, French toast, or custard, you’ve got terrific options. Another vegan product called The Vegg imparts a flavor indistinguishable from egg yolk—without all the fat, cholesterol, and animal cruelty.
Even when you’re buying packaged food, eggs are easy to avoid. Most natural food stores sell vegan versions of just about every product that typically contains eggs: cookies, muffins, waffles, even mayonnaise.
Baking recipes that call for eggs are easily converted. Just swap in a convenient and inexpensive Egg Replacer powder that’s mixed with water as the package directs.
In stove-top dishes that rely on eggs for moisture, several alternatives work wonderfully. Simple ingredients like applesauce, mashed bananas, or ground flax or chia seeds can replace eggs while providing additional flavor.
Regardless of whether eggs are the star of the meal or a bit-player, they’re easy to replace. Scrambled tofu is an outrageously good alternative to scrambled eggs. And you can likewise find super-eggy omelet recipes made entirely from vegan ingredients.
Every vegan cookbook is by definition egg-free. Check out our cookbooks page for recommended titles covering every niche, including fantastic dessert cookbooks. For more egg-free baking coverage, see our vegan baking guide and also our vegan desserts page.
To equip yourself with the ultimate arsenal for bypassing eggs, turn to cookbooks like Vegan Brunch or Whole Grain Vegan Baking. Every good vegan dessert cookbook features egg-free recipes for cookies, brownies, cakes, pancakes, and muffins.
Going Egg-Free has Never Been So Easy
Years ago, quitting eggs required genuine sacrifice. Egg-free baking recipes often produced lackluster results. And some foods, like a superb omelet, seemed forever out of reach.
But the emergence of vegan baking cookbooks and the influx of egg substitutes has changed all this. The textures and flavors of classic baked goods and desserts no longer require egg whites and yolks.
Eggs certainly remain widespread in Western cooking and processed foods, but they’re now easy to avoid. In nearly all cases, you can easily replace eggs without anyone but the hens noticing the difference.