Bird flu, soaring costs cause egg prices to skyrocket
Anyone going to buy a dozen eggs these days will have to be ready to pay up because the lingering bird flu outbreak, combined with soaring feed, fuel and labor costs, has led to prices more than doubling over the past year. (Jan. 10) (AP video: Teresa Crawford, Carrie Antlfinger)
Trader Joe’s has been my New York City go-to for less expensive eggs. But when I went earlier this week, eggs were scarce and the cheapest carton was still higher than what I usually pay.
Across the country in Phoenix, my editor looked for eggs and found empty shelves at Costco and Sprouts.
On Twitter, users are sharing similar experiences with price hikes and shortages, too.
“These egg prices make me wish my husband got me six geese a-laying for Christmas,” @mommajessiec tweeted.
Jaclyn Schultz shared a video on Twitter of empty egg shelves — wit a few egg-centric puns.
“WHO HAS EGGS???!!! I’m fried with the Easter egg hunt in the egg shortage,” Schultz wrote. “Over a half-dozen days and several locations- no eggs at Trader Joe’s. I was told I have to come first thing in the AM. I’m cracking my brain…. Anyone have tips for this chick ?”
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A lingering bird flu outbreak, combined with soaring feed, fuel and labor costs, has led to U.S. egg prices more than doubling over the past year, and hatched a lot of sticker shock on grocery aisles.
“USDA economists find that highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is one of the primary factors driving high egg prices,” Marissa Perry, U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesperson told USA TODAY in an emailed statement. “Continued outbreaks of HPAI in commercial table egg layer flocks since February 2022 have led to the depopulation of over 44 million laying hens.”
The national average price for a dozen eggs hit $3.59 in November, up from $1.72 a year earlier, according to the latest government data. Grocery prices that were up 12% in November are driving inflation higher, even though the overall pace of price increases slowed a bit through the fall as gas prices eased.
But even though eggs are a staple, there’s actually a lot you can make — including recipes that would traditionally call for eggs — without. If you’re finding yourself eggless due to prices or a lack of grocery store inventory, we have a few recipes to help.
Here are six egg free recipes (including breakfast options) that you can use to keep on cooking even without one of the most-used kitchen ingredients.
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Protein-packed breakfast tacos
Who said breakfast tacos need eggs? Not Dole. The produce brand’s online recipe index has several recipes for egg-free breakfasts including these protein-packed breakfast tacos that include tofu, quinoa and more.
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- ½ large sweet potato, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 Triple Quinoa & Kale Salad recipe (or kale and quinoa mix of your choosing)
- 1 package (14 ounces) firm tofu, patted dry and chopped
- ½ medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
- ¼ cup hot sauce plus additional for serving
- 12 (6-inch) thin white corn tortillas
- 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ cup roasted unsalted pepitas
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sweet potato; cover and cook 10 minutes or until golden brown and tender, stirring occasionally. Add salad, tofu and bell pepper; cover and cook 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in hot sauce; remove from heat. Makes about 6½ cups.
- Stack tortillas on microwave-safe plate between 2 damp paper towels; heat in microwave oven on high 30 seconds or until warm. Fill tortillas with sweet potato mixture; top with jalapeño and pepitas. Serve with lime wedges and additional hot sauce.
Recipe courtesy of Dole Food Company.
Mini banana pancake bites
Another from Dole’s library, these breakfast bites look like they might be the perfect add to your brunch spread — and who doesn’t love bite-sized? So cute.
Makes: 4 servings
- ¼ cup chopped mango
- 2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
- ¼ cup chopped strawberries
- 4 ripe bananas, peeled and cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces
- 1 cup protein pancake and waffle mix
- 2 tablespoons natural buttery spread with olive oil, melted
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 300°F; line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper.
- Heat mango, 1 tablespoon sugar and ¼ cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat; reduce heat to low and cook 4 minutes or until mango is very soft, stirring occasionally. Transfer mango mixture to a blender; purée on high until smooth. Makes about 3 tablespoons.
- Heat strawberries, remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and ¼ cup water to a simmer in same small saucepan over medium heat; reduce heat to low and cook 4 minutes or until strawberries are very soft, stirring occasionally. Transfer strawberry mixture to a blender; purée on high until smooth. Makes about 3 tablespoons.
- Whisk pancake and waffle mix, buttery spread and ¾ cup water in a medium bowl.
- Preheat large nonstick skillet over medium heat; spray with cooking spray. In 2 batches, dip bananas in batter to coat, allowing excess to drip off; place in skillet and cook 4 minutes or until tops and bottoms are golden brown, turning once. Stand bananas upright and cook 1 minute, turning to brown all sides. Transfer to prepared pan; keep warm in oven while cooking remaining batch. Makes about 40 bites.
- Serve pancake bites with mango and strawberry mixtures for dipping.
Recipe courtesy of Dole Food Company.
Vegan vanilla cake
When considering baking, eggs often come to mind. But, for says Gena Hamshaw, a registered dietitian in New York City who authors “The Full Helping” blog and cookbooks, eggs aren’t usually on the menu. If you have a celebration coming up and lack eggs in the fridge, her vegan vanilla cake is a good option.
Makes: 12 servings
For the cake:
- 3 ½ cups cake flour or 3 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour mixed with 6 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups vegan buttermilk (1 3/4 cup non-dairy milk + 2 scant tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, allowed to sit for at least 5 minutes before using)
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 3/4 cups can sugar
- ½ cup avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the vanilla buttercream frosting:
- 3 sticks vegan butter, at room temperature
- 5 cups sifted confectioners sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt)
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons oat, soy, almond, or cashew milk
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- To make the cake, preheat your oven to 350F. Butter or spray with oil three 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pans. Line the pans with parchment paper rounds. Prepare the vegan buttermilk.
- Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Mix to combine.
- In a separate mixing bowl, stir together the buttermilk, sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk the wet ingredients together until they’re mixed.
- Pour the wet ingredients into your dry ingredients. Use a spatula to fold everything together. Avoid any streaks of flour, but little clumps in the batter are OK. Pour the batter as evenly as you can into the three cake pans. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown at the edges and set in the center.
- Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack. After 30 minutes, remove the cakes from their pans (I like to use pans with a removable bottom—it makes this step easy). Cool the cakes on the cooling rack until they are completely cool, at least a couple hours.
- To make the frosting, place the butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until the butter is fluffy. Stop the mixer, then add the sugar. Cover the mixer with a tea towel. Mix the frosting on low speed for 2 minutes. Remove the tea towel and add the salt, vanilla, and non-dairy milk. Beat on medium speed for another 3-4 minutes, or until the frosting is very fluffy again. Beat in the white vinegar, then stop the mixer.
- Trim the tops and sides of the cakes to make them even for frosting if you wish. (If you do this, save the scraps for crumbling onto fruit, vegan yogurt, or ice cream, or just for snacking.) Place one layer of cake onto a cake stand and cover the top with frosting (about 1 cup). Place another layer on top and frost. Add the final layer of cake and frost it. Proceed to frost sides, maintaining a thin layer of frosting to start with—this is your crumb coat. Refrigerate the cake after the crumb coat application for 20-30 minutes.
- Use the rest of the frosting to cover the entire cake, making some nice swirls as you go. Make any additional decorations you like. Slice and enjoy your cake!
Recipe courtesy of Gena Hamshaw, The Full Helping. Photographs by Trine Rask.
Lazy peach cobbler
While we’re on the baking train, Tabitha Brown’s vegan lazy peach cobbler is also made without eggs — or butter.
- Coconut or avocado oil spray, for the pan
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- ½ cup sugar
- Pinch of ground cinnamon (add a little more if you want more, honey)
- One 7.4-ounce can condensed coconut milk
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) vegan butter, melted
- One 29-ounce can sliced peaches in heavy syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9- or 10-inch deep-dish pie plate or square baking pan with oil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the condensed milk and use a spoon to stir until no more bits of flour are visible and the ingredients come together to form a dough (this is a workout for your arm, honey).
- Pour the melted butter into the prepared pie plate. Make sure the butter covers the bottom.
- Transfer the dough to the pie plate. You can spread it out a little, but don’t worry about it if you don’t feel like it. The oven is going to do most of the hard work for us.
- Pour the peaches with their syrup on top of the dough. Pour the vanilla on top, and add a little more cinnamon there if you want to.
- Bake until the peaches are browned on top and the crust is golden brown, 50 minutes to 1 hour. (Slide a sheet pan onto the rack below the cobbler while it bakes to catch any juices.)
- Honey. Do you see and smell what the good Lord has done here?! Let it cool for a few minutes before scooping out servings so you don’t burn your tongue off!
From “Cooking from the Spirit” by Tabitha Brown. Copyright © 2022 by Tabitha Brown. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Carrot cake muffins
Muffins often work well for breakfast or for a snack. And usually, I’d expect a recipe to include an egg or two in the mix. But Gabrielle Reyes, a musical vegan chef who sings and cooks on social media platforms including TikTok and Instagram, has a recipe for carrot cake muffins that are egg-free and look delicious.
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup organic sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup apple sauce or flax egg
- ½ cup grapeseed oil or vegan butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream cheese frosting ingredients:
- ¾ cup vegan cream cheese
- ¼ cup chilled vegan butter
- 2 ½ cups organic powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1-2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 355 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.
- Once the dry ingredients are combined, add the wet ingredients to the large bowl and mix together until a batter forms. Add the carrots and walnuts LAST.
- Grease a muffin tin with vegan butter or grapeseed oil to avoid sticking. Once greased, fill muffins cups with the batter ¾ of the way full.
- Bake the muffins for 24-30 minutes or until they are cooked all the way through, testing with a fork or toothpick.
- While the muffins are baking, mix together the ingredients for the cream cheese frosting in a standing mixer or with a large bowl and a whisk. When combined, set aside in the fridge.
- Let the baked muffins cool for 10-20 minutes and then ice with the cream cheese frosting along with the zest, cinnamon and walnut garnishes.
Recipe courtesy of Gabrielle Reyes, @OneGreatVegan.
Cajun breakfast egg muffins
If you just can’t shake your desire for eggs, we have a substitute recipe that might satisfy your craving. Reyes’ cajun breakfast egg muffins are egg-free but hopefully fulfill that egg quota.
- ¼ cup chopped green onion for garnish
- 1/3 cup oil or vegan butter
Ingredients for “Egg Mixture”:
- 2-3 cups chickpea flour
- 1-3 cups vegetable broth or plant-based milk
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Ingredients for “Egg Seasoning”:
- 1½ teaspoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1-3 tablespoons hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon Indian black salt
Ingredients for Cajun seasoned vegetables:
- 3-5 tablespoons grapeseed oil or vegan butter
- ½ cup diced yellow onions
- 1½ tablespoons minced garlic
- ½ cup diced green pepper
- ½ cup diced red pepper
- ½ cup diced mushrooms
- 1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped green onions
- 2½ tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1-2 teaspoons pink Himalayan salt
- 1-2 teaspoons black pepper
Ingredients for creamy avocado sauce:
- 2 avocados
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
- 1½ tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh jalapeño
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ¼-1 cup coconut milk
- 1-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2-4 teaspoons pink Himalayan salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Use oil or vegan butter to coat sides of muffin tin.
- In a large pan, sauté the diced white onions, and when they begin onions to sweat add minced garlic, a dash of salt and cook until translucent.
- Add all the chopped vegetables (except for the chopped green onions) to the large pan and add Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the egg mixture and egg seasoning.
- Add in ¼ cup of cooked Cajun seasoned vegetables to each greased cup of the muffin tin. Sprinkle a bit of chopped green onions into each cup.
- Fill muffin tin cups halfway with the egg mixture.
- Bake muffins at 375 degrees F. for 15-20 minutes.
- In a blender, add all the ingredients for the creamy avocado sauce and blend until smooth.
- Once the muffins are done baking, let cool for 5-10 minutes, remove from muffin tin and garnish with reserved chopped green onion.
- Serve Cajun breakfast egg muffins with a side of creamy avocado sauce.
Recipe courtesy of Gabrielle Reyes, @OneGreatVegan.
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