Many of us have been thinking about being more sensitive to our environment, and we decide to switch to plant-based diet, for the sake of it. However, in no time, we start craving meat, as we have been habitual meat-eaters and those meat based delicacies start tempting us. Finally, we give in to our cravings and order a big bucket of chicken wings. Although we relish the meat, we become guilt-ridden and again start thinking about switching to plan-based diet! And so, the cycle continues.
We now have a solution for people who want to follow a plant-based diet, but the same time cannot control their meat cravings. The solution is- plant-based meat- yes, these meat delicacies are made from plant-based ingredients; they taste like meat, but are not meat.
Before discussing about the plant-based alternatives for meat, let us understand the science behind your cravings.
|Understand your cravings|
Meats are full of umami, the fifth basic taste. It makes foods savory, complex, deeply flavorful and satisfying. This kind of taste is mostly found in the meats, cheeses, or foods that are cooked on high temperature.
Recently studies discovered a taste receptor for umami in humans, which make us enjoy eating umami-rich foods. This is the reason why it is harder for some people to feel satisfied on plant-based diets and they may continue to crave meat and cheese. However, we now know that certain plant-based food are also umami-rich, and these foods can be used to prepare dishes that are conventionally made of meat.
If you care about the environment but still crave for meaty tastes, then try these five awesome delicacies made with meat-like substitutes that will give you a different level of satisfaction altogether!
Sausages are popular meat delicacy enjoyed in many forms. Sausages can now be made from plant-based ingredients and used in your usual hot dogs and burgers. These main ingredients in these sausages include textured vegetable proteins, oat bran and whole wheat flour. Further, they are spiced with fennel seeds, sage, smoked paprika, garlic and soy sauce. These plant-based sausages are as juicy and meaty as the traditional sausages.
These sausages are now finding a place in the menu of many fast food eateries, and are receiving a good response from plant-based advocates.
Burgers / Patties
You can now enjoy your favourite meat-based burger or patties, without the guilt of eating meat. These plant-based burgers and patties are made of pea, rice, mung bean protein and beetroots and apple extract for the color. Some may even include heme for the deep meat flavour. There are both ‘beef’ and ‘chicken’ options available on the market, all made of plant-based ingredients.
Ground Meat & Shredded Pork
Yes! You can enjoy the most famous meat delicacies using ground beef and shredded pork while not eating meat. Ground ‘meat’ is one of the best plant-based meat substitutes around! You can use them to make your favorite tacos or taco salad, Nachos, chillis, pizzas, lasagna and sandwiches.
Plant -based ground meat is made of cauliflower, mushrooms, onion, garlic, carrots, sun-dried tomatoes and pepitas (raw shelled pumpkin seeds), or walnuts. The plant-based pork is made with soy protein called tofu and is designed to look, taste and cook like real meat.
Which meat-lover doesn’t like nuggets? But for those who have just switched to plant-based diet and crave meat, these nuggets would seem like a boon. These plant-based nuggets are perfect for lunch, snack time, or even dinner. Plant-based nuggets use wheat gluten which adds chewiness, making it similar to meat. Wheat gluten is made from the protein portion of wheat; hence these nuggets are high in protein. They can be cooked in the similar way just like meat nuggets.
The plant-based bacons which are currently available on the market use a wide range of ingredients such as seitan (wheat gluten), coconut, pinto beans, tempeh and tofu (soy products). All these ingredients have good nutritional profiles. These bacons are nutritious, and low in fat and cholesterol. Two slices of plant-based bacon have average 75 calories. While cooking you can use maple syrup (or date syrup), soy sauce, garlic powder, liquid smoke, onion powder to enhance the flavors.
Meat-lovers can have a difficult time, switching to a plant-based diet. However, these plant-based meat delicacies can make this transition easier. Following a plant-based diet saves cooking time, makes you healthier and protects the environment. It’s time to start enjoying everything you crave for with a level of satisfaction.
5 Healthy, Whole Food Plant-Based Meat Alternatives. https://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/healthy-whole-food-plant-based-meat-alternatives/ . Accessed on: 28-11-2020.
Vegan Meat Brands That Are Changing Everything. https://www.peta.org/living/food/meat-replacements/ . Accessed on: 28-11-2020.
Meet the Next Generation of Plant-Based Meat. https://www.ift.org/news-and-publications/food-technology-magazine/issues/2020/march/features/meet-the-next-generation-of-plant_based-meat . Accessed on: 28-11-2020.