Our Guest: Plantx Delivers the Ultimate Guide to Vegan Meat Alternatives
New to the world of vegan foods? The market for vegan foods has exploded in the last few years and if you are new, the choices could overwhelm you.
Vegan meat substitutes have propitiously replaced meat and have brought in a few unique vegan options for us. We have compiled this ultimate guide to the world of vegan meat alternatives to show you what’s new and cooking!
Vegan Meat Substitutes On Our List
You’ve probably seen this list everywhere, but here’s why our list is different:
The first 4 options you see are completely natural vegan meat substitutes. Looking to remove meat from your diet without losing its nutritional benefits? This will be perfect for you.
The final 4 are a bit more “specialized”. It’s four of our favorite vegan meat alternatives that’ll make your mouth water.
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
Number one on the list of vegan meat substitutes is textured vegetable protein. TVP is made using soy flour. It contains little to no fat, making it a healthier option. Rich in fiber and protein, you won’t be losing out by switching to TVP. Soy also contains essential amino acids that are vital to the human body as they cannot be synthesized within ourselves.
The texture of TVP is similar to that of ground meat. The best thing about it is that it completely absorbs the flavor of the food it's cooked in. Extremely versatile, TVP goes great in soups, stews, and patties.
TVP is great for those who are allergic to gluten as it’s completely gluten-free. The dehydrated food source is often mistaken for tofu, which is a much softer and fattier alternative. Unlike the others on this list, TVP requires rehydration before it’s cooked.
Seitan is made using whole wheat flour or wheat gluten. It’s available in both ground and sliced forms through a number of popular brands. Often referred to as “wheat meat”, Seitan is a perfect option for those not allergic to gluten.
The stretchy vegan meat substitute mimics the taste of meat and is a delicious replacement for everything from pork to chicken. Seitan blends in well with the dish at hand, with every bite an explosion of flavor. Even those who aren’t vegan prefer Seitan over meat in certain dishes as it absorbs the taste of spices incredibly well.
Seitan is low in calories with high protein content. However, unlike meat, Seitan lacks a good portion of essential amino acids required by the body. We advise you to supplement these amino acids by adding other plant-based proteins to your diet. Nuts, grains, and beans are great sources of amino acids.
When it comes to vegan meat alternatives, nothing beats Tofu in popularity. Tofu originates from China and is a healthy option for vegan meat substitutes. The creamy white blocks are made using condensed soy milk or curds. With over two thousand years worth of oriental recipes, Tofu is a fantastic gluten-free cooking ingredient.
Tofu is low in calories and high in protein. It has an impressive nutrition content as it is loaded with minerals and healthy fat content. Most manufacturers pack Tofu in a calcium solution to preserve freshness, this further supplements its nutrition.
Unprocessed Tofu has a neutral taste. The taste-less quality of Tofu is a plus rather than a con as it seamlessly fits into any recipe it deems worthy. Tofu will absorb the taste of partnering ingredients when added to a recipe, making it extremely versatile among vegan meat substitutes.
Most consider Tempeh to be the lesser-known twin of Tofu. Made using soybeans, Tempeh is a product of fermentation. However, a list of vegan meat substitutes won’t be complete without it! Tempeh is packed with protein and fiber. It is also considered to be healthier than Tofu due to its high vitamin content.
Even though Tempeh is naturally gluten-free, some brands add additional ingredients during processing. Therefore it is important to pick one that suits you! Most vegans do not like the bitter taste of Tempeh, but we’ve got a tip for you - steam it! Steaming the Tempeh before cooking will noticeably reduce the bitter taste.
Just like Tofu, Tempeh will take the flavor of the bowl. But unlike Tofu, Tempeh has an earthy aftertaste to it. Some love it, as it gives it a unique taste when added to dishes.
Four Of Our Favorites
Sometimes, the all-purpose vegan meat substitutes can be a bit of extra work. So we’ve chosen these four to make your life easier! Just tear open the packs and get right into cooking!
Good Catch Tuna
Good Catch Tuna perfectly imitates the umami flavor of fish. It’s perfect for sandwiches and salads. Seasoned to perfection, it’ll save you a good bit of time in preparation.
Sweet Earth Bacon
Tastes just like bacon but it’s entirely vegan! Replicating the texture of bacon can be tedious. This is exactly why we chose this for our top 4. Just fry it and enjoy for a hearty breakfast.
Impossible Burger Patties
Making a plant-based burger patty is certainly doable, but it requires a lot of experience. Getting the perfect seasoning to match the signature taste is an art that may take months to learn. Just grab a pack of these Burger Patties and call it a cheat day!
Vegetarian Plus Black Pepper Steaks
Want to bite into a juicy steak? Black Pepper Steaks are vegan seitan steaks seasoned to perfection. Easy to make, delicious, and completely vegan!
The market for vegan meat substitutes just keeps growing! There is no better time to be a vegan than now. Better and cleaner products flood eager shelves every year. If you are looking to replace meat we’d recommend going with off-the-shelf products at first. Once you test out the different options, you can easily perfect your very own vegan meat alternatives at home.