Starbucks, which is constantly making headlines for new menu items and merchandise, also offers an impressive array of standard breakfast items. The menu spans a wide range, from sweet bread to hearty breakfast sandwiches, catering to various morning cravings. Over the years and throughout the seasons, Starbucks' offerings have evolved, introducing and retiring numerous tasty items. A standout among these was the Bantum Bites — the delightful, poppable cream cheese-filled bagel ball menu item that we sorely miss. Although these beloved portable bites have vanished from the menu, Starbucks still offers innovative, savory offerings.
In January 2017, Starbucks introduced its protein-packed Sous Vide Egg Bites, a new contender in the quick breakfast arena. Available in a few flavors, these egg bites have quickly become a popular, convenient option. With the popularity and success of these egg bites, we've taken to making them at home, and they even inspired us to try Starbucks' other eggy options, like the new Potato, Cheddar & Chive Bakes.
What Are Starbucks Egg Bites?
Starbucks' egg bites present a perfect solution for those seeking a quick yet satisfying breakfast. Conveniently served in a pack of two, they come with a small plastic fork, making them ideal for on-the-go meals. This offering caters particularly well to those looking to avoid bread-heavy options, offering a protein-rich, lower-carb alternative.
Unlike many of Starbucks' food items, the egg bites are prepared using a unique cooking method: sous vide. Most other items available in the pastry case are baked, like muffins or even breakfast sandwiches. Many of the breakfast items that Starbucks offers — such as the spinach, feta, and egg white wrap — can be a little cumbersome to eat on the run. In contrast, the egg bites are a little easier to consume; rather than managing something like a wrap that can get leaky as you eat it, the bites have a firm texture that results in very little mess. Plus, several of the options are vegetable-forward, providing an easy option for plant-based eaters looking for a quick morning bite.
Starbucks' influence in popularizing sous vide egg bites extends beyond its cafes. In fact, the trend has caught on in grocery stores as well, with well-known egg brands like Nellie's, Eggland's Best, and even Trader Joe's releasing egg bites to compete against Starbucks' offerings. Having these options in grocery stores allows anyone to enjoy a similar experience at home, reflecting the widespread appeal of the trend.
How Starbucks Makes Its Egg Bites
The cooking process behind these Starbucks egg bites is known as sous vide, a French term that translates to under vacuum. The process uses warm water and vacuum-sealing technology to cook food slowly. In essence, rather than frying or baking with oil or butter to cook, hot water held at a consistent temperature provides the heat transfer to cook food. Basically, the food item, in this case, egg, cottage cheese, and a mix of other ingredients, is sealed into a vacuum pack. This packet is then submerged in water heated to a precise temperature. The principle is akin to the feeling of being enveloped in warmth while sitting in a hot tub.
The vegetable ingredients in the egg bites need to be chopped quite small to mix easily with the eggs and cook thoroughly in the mix. As a result, you won't find any large chunks of vegetables or mushrooms, only small pieces. This makes for a uniform consistency that is smooth rather than crunchy and devoid of any chunky textures that might develop from larger chunks.
Varieties Of Starbucks Egg Bites
Starbucks' current selection of egg bites includes three varieties: kale and mushroom, egg white and roasted red pepper, and bacon and Gruyère. While all three contain egg and cottage cheese as a base, the additional components vary. Each variety is characterized by a fluffy texture, attributed to the sous vide cooking technique used in their preparation.
The kale and mushroom egg bites feature a mix of Swiss and Monterey Jack cheeses with Portobello mushrooms. They contain parsley and seasonings, and the kale is finely chopped and wilted. The egg white and roasted red pepper option uses only the whites rather than the whole egg, combined with Monterey Jack and feta cheese, spinach, and fire-roasted red peppers. The fire-roasting of the peppers is intended to enhance their flavor without changing their appearance. This variety also includes green onions.
Compared to the plant-based options, the bacon and Gruyère egg bites are the most substantial in calories. They contain uncured applewood-smoked bacon and a mix of Gruyère and Monterey Jack cheeses. Previously, Starbucks has also had additional flavors on the menu, such as the chicken chorizo and tortilla Sous Vide Egg Bites, which were available in the summer of 2018. It remains to be seen if new flavors can be expected.
Nutritional Information About Starbucks Egg Bites
Depending on what you're looking for to power you through your day, the three different egg bite flavors offer differing amounts of calories, cholesterol, sodium, and protein so that you can make the best choice for yourself. The lightest among these is the egg white and roasted red pepper flavor.
In a serving of two egg bites, you'll find 170 calories, 8 grams of fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 470 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrates, and 12 grams of protein. Next is the kale and mushroom flavor, offering a bit more in terms of substance. This variant contains 230 calories but with 14 grams of fat. At 180 milligrams, the level of cholesterol is also higher. There is 340 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrates (the same as the egg white option), and a slightly higher protein count at 15 grams.
The final option, bacon and Gruyère, includes meat. Each serving, comprising two egg bites, provides 300 calories, 20 grams of fat, 215 milligrams of cholesterol, 680 milligrams of sodium, 9 grams of carbohydrates, and the highest protein content at 19 grams. Along with their varying nutritional macros, each egg bite style has a different composition in terms of added ingredients. Binders, like carrageenan, are common ingredients across the three flavors, as are natamycin (a mold inhibitor), canola oil, and starches.
How To Make Starbucks Egg Bites At Home
To achieve the perfect shape and consistency for homemade egg bites, the use of small and shallow mason jars with wide mouths is essential. These jars are ideal for creating individual servings and ensuring even cooking.
While you have the freedom to choose various ingredients, starting with a cheese base is highly recommended for optimal flavor and texture. For cheesy sous vide egg bites, begin by cooking up some pancetta. Then, work on blending your chosen seasonings, eggs, cottage cheese, and cheddar cheese in a blender. This combination forms a rich and creamy base. While these are your core ingredients, feel free to experiment with additional elements. Gruyère cheese, in particular, is a great addition, known for its distinctive flavor, which can be placed directly into the jar with the cooked pancetta.
Once your mixture is ready, pour it into the mason jars. Be sure to leave some space at the top to allow the mixture to expand during cooking. Secure the lids tightly on the jars. Then, place the jars into your sous vide setup, which should be preheated to 167 degrees F.
The cooking time for these egg bites is crucial. They require at least 45 minutes to ensure they are cooked through. However, the exact time may vary depending on the sous vide machine and the size of your jars. A good way to check for doneness is to jiggle the jars, checking for doneness gently.
Starbucks Sous Vide Egg Bites Vs Potato, Cheddar & Chive Bakes
With the Winter 2023 menu update, Starbucks introduced a protein-rich alternative to its popular egg bites: the potato, cheddar, and chive bake. While similar to the egg bites in concept, these egg bakes boast distinct features that set them apart.
Unlike the egg bites, which are prepared using the sous vide method, the Potato, Cheddar & Chive Bakes are, as their name implies, baked. This difference in cooking technique is evident in their appearance and texture. The bakes have a more crusty exterior, reminiscent of an egg casserole, and contain noticeably larger ingredient pieces. For instance, you can see the diced potatoes within these bakes, offering a more rustic and hearty appearance compared to the finely chopped ingredients of the egg bites.
Despite being marketed as a hearty protein addition to the Starbucks menu, the nutritional profile of the new Potato, Cheddar & Chive Bakes is quite similar to that of the existing egg bites. Each serving, consisting of two bakes, contains 12 grams of protein, aligning closely with the protein content of the egg bite options.
Where To Buy Starbucks Sous Vide Egg Bites
Starbucks egg bites are a staple item you can reliably find at almost any Starbucks location across the United States, provided the store includes a food menu. Over time, these egg bites have become a popular but regular feature, so they are typically in stock and readily available. Unlike when they were first introduced, they are no longer a hot new product, which means you're unlikely to encounter them being sold out during your regular Starbucks visit. In-store, these egg bites cost around $5.85, regardless of flavor. Prices may vary from location to location, but you can expect to pay around or under $6.
However, if you're a fan of these egg bites and prefer to have them on hand at home, Starbucks has made this option available, too. In a partnership with Costco, Starbucks offers its egg bites in bulk. Available to Costco members, the egg bites come in packs containing 10 pieces, which equates to five servings. Currently, Costco offers Starbucks egg bites in egg white and roasted red pepper, as well as bacon and Gruyère. At the time of publication, both flavors are $18.40 per box, making them $3.68 per serving, quite a bit less than you pay in the cafe. Bear in mind that prices may vary depending on your location. These egg bites are set to be available for a limited, undisclosed amount of time, so you may want to visit Costco sooner rather than later to pick these up.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.