What Are Vegan Eggs Actually Made From?

If you're a vegan who's tired of the tofu scramble, or if you're curious about introducing more plant-based foods into your diet, you might have checked out a package of vegan eggs. Similar to liquid egg whites or other egg substitutes, vegan eggs can come in liquid form convenient for making omelets and adding to recipes such as French toast. The company JUST Egg also makes a folded version for heating in a microwave, skillet, oven, or toaster. But considering no chickens are involved in creating vegan eggs, what are vegan eggs actually made from?

JUST Egg lists two of its main ingredients as mung beans (specifically, mung bean protein isolate) and turmeric. Mung beans are small, green members of the legume family that are native to India and widely used in Southeast Asia and China (via Healthline). Mung beans provide protein (about 5g per serving in JUST Egg) and texture while turmeric adds the egg-like golden color. Other ingredients include natural carrot extractives (for color), canola oil, dehydrated onion and garlic, and salt (via JUST Egg).

For some nutrients, regular eggs take the edge over vegan eggs

In other words, depending on the brand, vegan eggs and regular eggs are quite similar, according to New York City-based dietitian Natalie Rizzo (via Runner's World). When comparing a regular egg with the JUST Egg liquid form, Rizzo noted that both have 70 calories and 5 grams of fat per serving (one large egg versus 3 tablespoons). Regular eggs also contain 6 grams of protein compared to 5 grams of protein in JUST Egg (via Runner's World).

However, real eggs edge out vegan egg substitutes in terms of nutrients such as vitamin D, vitamin B12, choline, and antioxidants like zeaxanthin and lutein. While consumers tend to focus on protein content, these other nutrients are essential for bone health, energy, eye health, cognition, and pregnancy health, Rizzo told Runner's World.

In addition, while mung bean protein isolate isn't necessarily bad for you, it is a processed ingredient, which might concern people attempting to eat more whole foods, Rizzo added. Vegan eggs also can contain processed ingredients such as soy lecithin, canola oil, and potassium citrate. So if you're not already following a plant-based diet, you might want to whip up some organic eggs instead.