When someone decides to go vegan, the two biggest things they have to learnt o live without, as in really learn to live without, are dairy products and eggs. Vegetarians have it pretty easy as cutting meat still leaves you with more than enough to work with, but removing milk makes things complicated, and then stripping eggs from certain foods can leave someone feeling utterly crippled in the kitchen. Take heart knowing that you weren’t the first to struggle here. And take heart knowing that the hard part of finding good egg substitutes is already taken care of by your forefathers of the veganhood. Here’s everything you need to know about getting by without eggs.

A lot of people find it rather confusing as to why in the world a vegan would want to give up eggs, and while to a vegan it doesn’t seem like anything unreasonable, to someone who loves eggs and views them differently, I suppose it would seem strange or “extremist.” But there’s no extreme here, just a logical progression of values. Vegetarians feel that eating animals is wrong, or inversely that eating animals is unhealthy or at least less healthy than abstaining. Similarly, vegans see animal products and feel that it’s not right to use animals for the personal gain of humans, or inversely that removing eggs and milk from one’s diet is a healthy choice (and with milk that couldn’t be more true much of the time).

Eggs though, there are so many debates surrounding eggs. Yes, they do come from chickens, but we don’t eat eggs that are meant to be sat on and hatched into chicks. Rather, we eat eggs that aren’t fertilized and have no purpose other than to either be eaten or else just rot. So the problem isn’t necessarily whether you’re eating an egg that could become a new life, but about whether you’re eating a product that an animal formed that has no relation to you as a human.

Furthermore, studies have been done back and forth to determine whether eggs are good for you or bad for you. Every year it seems to yo-yo back and forth between positive and negative, with one year saying that they’re a great source of protein and then the next saying that they raise your cholesterol and then the year after we learn that the egg whites lower cholesterol while the yolks are all fatty and blah blah blah, there is no solid consensus as to whether they’re healthy or not and in what form equals each.

We can say with much certainty that egg substitutes are the healthier option though, and as such vegans have discovered that nixing eggs is not only much simpler than previously thought, but far easier than it should be. For example, one of the biggest needs for eggs is in baking for cookies and cakes and such. It’s not for flavor but rather for getting everything to stick together more simply. Turns out half a ripened banana works just as well when smashed up and turned into banana paste. Mixing a tablespoon of water with a teaspoon of soy flour will have the same desired effect.

If it’s the texture or taste of the eggs that usually get you going, you can rather easily find perfectly good egg substitutes in all grocery stores (yes they’re that popular now!), or if you’re feeling rather daring you can always just use tofu and mash it up to resemble scrambled eggs. Surprisingly, the two are pretty close to one another, so you won’t feel like you’re missing anything at all!

Eggs are enjoyable, but they aren’t everything. Those who want an alternate to eggs can find them without having to look very hard at all. It just takes a small adjustment of attitude and it’s easily possible. So who out there can give good suggestions for egg substitutes? How do you get around the need for eggs in so many recipes? Leave a comment and let me know! In the meantime, I have some tofu scramblers to try, so please excuse me.