The Most Mouthwatering Meat Alternatives You’ve Never Heard Of
In a time where more and more people are on a mission to save the planet and live healthier lives, it was only a matter of time before meat and dairy alternatives started getting really good. Gone are the days of tofu and soy milk, we’re now living in a world full of milks made from any nut you can think of, and creative “meats” made from gluten and pea proteins. I love trying all the different alternatives out there, especially since I’m allergic to soy so I was never able to get into the vegan scene before these new options hit the market. Let’s investigate some of the more creative ones out there.
This one is pretty prolific, but I still find it to be a fascinating ingredient. It’s wheat gluten that has been turned into a weird sticky mass that can be cooked and flavored to resemble meat. It does a pretty good job too, since it has somewhat of a meaty texture and absorbs all of the flavoring you add to it. It’s also high in protein and calcium, so it’s a great meat alternative.
Another obvious one out there, tempeh is made from soy (which means I can’t personally attest to its taste). It’s made by fermenting soybeans into a loaf, leaving you with a very strange white block that people apparently love. It’s high in protein and prebiotics, thanks to the fermentation process.
Mycoprotein is one of my favorite meat alternatives out there. It’s made from a fungus, but before that weirds you out too much, just know how delicious it is! I’ve had chicken nuggets made from the stuff and had to double check the box because I was certain it was actually meat. It’s also extremely high in protein, making it a great meat substitute, but many people have had bad allergic reactions to it, giving it somewhat of a bad rap. I highly recommend trying it because it’s amazing, but maybe test out a small bite before digging in!
Ever had a Beyond Meat burger? They pretty much nail the texture of beef and even look like the real deal. The only thing missing is the taste, but if you season it correctly, you can barely tell the difference. The patties are made from pea protein, which has almost all the amino acids your body needs.
You may be thinking, “a fruit used instead of meat??” but hear me out. Jackfruit is a giant fruit from Southeast Asia that has a really mellow flavor and a somewhat meaty texture. It’s delicious on its own as a sweet fruit, but when cooked with sauces, it’s an amazing substitute for pulled pork. Vegans can now enjoy high quality meatless carnitas and BBQ pulled “pork” sandwiches. The only downside is that jackfruit is very low in protein.
That’s right, walnuts. Perhaps the strangest meat alternative I’ve come across is walnut taco meat. I haven’t tried this recipe personally, but the ingredients are already on my next shopping list. You pulse walnuts in a food processor until it resembles the consistency of ground meat and then mix it with a thick sauce. It’s a raw vegan recipe and looks way more delicious than other raw recipes I’ve seen out there. If anyone has tried it, please let me know what you thought!
I’ve only covered six meat alternatives here, though there are tons out there. I’m always on the lookout to try new options and am patiently waiting for lab-grown meat to make its way to my local grocery store. What are your favorite meat alternatives? Let’s chat in the comments!
Cover image via Neurotic Mommy