Vegans have been defying culinary norms for years by using alternatives like tofu to trick their taste buds. The one animal product that’s late to the vegan game: eggs. Enter JUST Egg.
Plant-based food companies are stepping up their game. In recent years, we’ve seen bleeding burgers, meat-like sausages and dozens of non-dairy milks. But few have succeeded in making a plant-based egg alternative that actually tastes like eggs…until now. The newly-launched JUST Egg has shocked vegans and meat eaters alike.
How did they make plants taste like eggs? Let’s find out.
What is JUST Egg?
JUST Egg is a vegan egg substitute made from mung beans. It comes in a liquid form, so it’s sold in the refrigerated section next to liquid eggs.
Hen’s eggs are notoriously high in cholesterol. Since JUST Egg is cholesterol-free, it’s touted to be a healthier alternative to eggs.
If you take your eggs scrambled, you’re in luck. JUST Egg is best used to mimic scrambled eggs as opposed to sunny side up, poached, boiled, etc. It can also be used as an egg replacement for baking.
Meet the Makers
JUST Inc. is the creator of JUST Egg. They’re known for their vegan mayo, but they also make dressings and cookie doughs free of animal products.
The company gets its name and mission from the desire to eradicate the unjust practices in the food system.
Eggs, like other animal products, take a hefty toll on the environment, human health and animal welfare. The makers of JUST Egg want to disrupt the egg market with an alternative that’s more sustainable, healthier and kinder to animals.
JUST Egg Ingredients
The main ingredient in JUST Egg is one that Americans don’t consume frequently but has been around for more than 4,000 years.
It’s mung beans.
As JUST Inc. found out, mung beans gelatinize and scramble when they cook, making for the perfect egg texture. Add in some turmeric and carrot extract for color, and you’ve got yourself chicken-free eggs.
Here is the full list of JUST Egg ingredients:
- Mung Bean Protein Isolate
- Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil
Contains less than 2% of: Dehydrated Onion, Gellan Gum, Natural Carrot Extractives (color), Natural Flavors, Natural Turmeric Extractives (color), Potassium Citrate, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Sugar, Tapioca Syrup, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Transglutaminase, Nisin (preservative).
JUST Egg Nutrition Facts
Aside from the JUST Egg being more sustainable, it’s main appeal to meat eaters is the impressive nutrition facts. It’s high in protein yet free of cholesterol.
Here are the JUST Egg nutrition facts:
- Serving size: 3 tbsp (uncooked)
- Calories: 70
- Total fat: 5g
- Saturated fat: 0g
- Trans fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Sodium: 170mg
- Carbohydrates: 1g
- Fiber: 0g
- Sugar: 0g
- Protein: 5g
Since JUST Eggs are made with mung beans, which are legumes, it’s quite high in protein. A medium-sized egg contains approximately 5.5 grams of protein, so the JUST Egg has nearly the same amount of protein as a chicken’s egg. If you consume eggs frequently, you can still meet your daily protein requirements by swapping in JUST Eggs.
Dietary Concerns and Allergens
Like many vegan meat substitutes, this egg alternative contains soy. Specifically, the liquid version of JUST Egg contains Soy Lecithin. JUST Egg sold in patty form (to restaurants only) is reportedly soy free.
However, JUST Egg is gluten-free and dairy-free. It’s also egg-free (obviously).
Is JUST Egg Vegan?
Yes, JUST Egg is vegan. It’s made with 100% plant-based ingredients, and it’s not tested on animals. No chickens were harmed in the making of JUST Egg, so vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters can enjoy this plant-based scramble.
Why People are Eating JUST Eggs
Vegans have taken a liking to the JUST Egg for obvious reasons. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy the savory taste of eggs without contributing to the egg industry?
Surprisingly, meat eaters are just as excited about JUST Eggs. Not only is JUST Egg sold alongside real eggs, but it’s also beating out the non-vegan competition. In just one week, the vegan egg outsold liquid Egg Beaters.
Giving up meat seems like a huge life change to some people, but swapping out eggs isn’t as threatening. Here’s why non-vegans are giving the JUST Egg a chance.
One of JUST Egg’s main selling points is that it’s cholesterol-free. Considering the amount of cholesterol in one chicken’s egg, this is a big deal to people who are monitoring their cholesterol levels.
The USDA estimates that one medium-sized egg contains 164mg of cholesterol. Compared to JUST Egg’s 0mg of cholesterol per serving, the cholesterol in eggs will add up quickly.
Well, how much cholesterol is too much? In 2015, the USDA changed their position from recommending an upper limit of 300mg of cholesterol per day to recommending “as little dietary cholesterol as possible.”
Sustainability: Requires Fewer Resources
Like the Impossible Burger, the JUST Egg appeals to people from an environmental standpoint. Producing any type of animal products requires tons (literally) of water, land, waste, gases, etc.
According to JUST’s sustainability metrics, consumers of JUST products have saved approximately 295 million gallons of water, 2.9 million kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions and 4.5 million chicken’s eggs.
Does JUST Egg Taste Like Real Eggs?
Vegans, non-vegans and even professional chefs have all praised the JUST Egg for its realistic taste and texture. It cooks up like scrambled eggs, but can it fool a scrambled egg enthusiast? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious.
Like real eggs, the JUST Egg needs to be jazzed up. The founders recommend cooking it with butter and milk like you would with real eggs. Vegans can, of course, use plant-based butter and milk.
JUST Egg Reviews
The Washington Post conducted a blind taste test of the JUST Egg and real eggs. The tester immediately identified the vegan option and endorsed it as a tasty alternative to hard scrambled eggs. However, she astutely described the real eggs as being “eggier” than the JUST Eggs.
Buzzfeed also tried and liked the JUST Egg. The tester described the flavor as “insanely similar” to real eggs. Even her dog was convinced they were real.
Where to Buy JUST Egg
After years of development, the wait is finally over.
JUST Egg is expected to roll out nationwide to all Whole Foods Market and Sprouts locations soon. Check your local health food store now because some locations are already carrying it.
It’s also available in select stores like Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Fresh Thyme and Safeway.
To find a JUST Egg retailer near you, use this store locator.
Pro tip: Call ahead and check if it’s in stock. Stores that carry JUST Egg report that it consistently sells out. Even at a price point of around $8.99, people are dying to get their hands on the JUST Egg.
Eggs are a staple in many American households. They’re a classic breakfast food, and they’re a must-have for baking.
Vegans have hailed the tofu scramble as the plant-based version of scrambled eggs, but anyone who has tried a tofu scramble can attest that it’s simply not the same.
With JUST, we can all enjoy the familiar taste of eggs without the cholesterol, cruelty and environmental toll. I’d say that making your omelet with mung beans is an egg-cellent alternative.
(Top image: JUST)