PRODUCT OF THE WEEK: JUST Egg, Plant-Based Egg Substitute
JUST is the brand that shot to prominence with JUST Egg, a liquid, plant-based egg replacement made from mung bean (photo #1).
It caught the attention of not just vegetarians and vegans: Half of the customers are conventional eaters who seek sustainability, zero cholesterol, and high protein.
The liquid product contains natural colors from carrots and turmeric. When cooked, it looks very much like scrambled eggs, and tastes very similar.
Last year, JUST Egg expanded nationwide and quickly became the number 1 liquid egg product.
You don’t have to look too far to see that plant-based foods have exploded in popularity, far beyond their historic audience of vegans and vegetarians.
In fact, the company found that the majority of purchasers are neither vegans nor vegetarians; and more than 20% are using the egg substitute as a main source of protein.
Soon, JUST Egg will debut Folded Egg, an omelet-like variation that is sold frozen, and can be heated in a microwave or toaster (photo #2).
It’s faster than scrambling the liquid egg, and can be eaten as a breakfast sandwich, on toast or a biscuit (photo #3), or on a plate topped with standard omelet fixings (we did a quick sauté of bell peppers, onions and mushrooms).
The folded product is also made from mung bean protein, but with a slightly different texture, enabling foldability.
We received an early taste of the new product, and give it thumbs up!
The mung bean (Vigna radiata, family Fabaceae), is native to India.
Cultivated since ancient times, it later spread to China and Southeast Asia, where the protein-rich legume became a nutritional staple.
It is used in curries, salads, savory pancakes, soups, and even desserts.
Also known as the green gram, maash and moong, the legume called “mung bean” is not well-known in the U.S.
Instead, we know it by its fully sprouted form, bean sprouts—the crunchy, slender white filaments used in Chinese and Thai cuisines (photo #5).
Mung bean protein is the key ingredient in the plant-based alternative in Just Egg’s egg substitute.
The English word mung, correctly pronounced moong, derives from the Hindi word moong, which itself derives from the Sanskrit word mudga.
To make mung bean protein:
To extract the protein, raw mung beans (photo #4) are de-hulled and milled into mung flour.
The flour is then mixed with water and other ingredients to create a slurry, which precipitates solubilized protein extract.
The protein extract solids are separated from the slurry, and take a curd-like form.
This is your mung bean protein, the basis of JUST Eggs’ delicious products.
Beans are one of the oldest-cultivated plants, an important source of protein. Cultivated bean fossils have been found dating to the early 7000s B.C.E.