Plant-Based Meat, What Is It?
At PlantX, we know that even some of the most dedicated vegetarians or vegans find themselves missing what they were able to eat before switching to a plant-based lifestyle. Luckily for them, vegetarians have been developing plant-based meat for as long as there have been vegetarians! Plant-based meat is a catch-all name used to describe any number of plant foods used as meat substitutes like tofu, wheat gluten, tempeh, and many others. These foods have been used for centuries on their own merits, but as more and more people become vegetarian, these foods have been used to develop food that can be used in place of meat.
While many vegetarians and vegans eat and enjoy these meat substitutes, it can be unclear what they’re made of due to the processing required to make them. Here we’ll go over a few of the most popular plant-based meats so you can understand what they are and what makes them so delicious!
Perhaps the most famous food used for plant-based meat is tofu. Originating in China approximately 2,000 years ago, tofu is a type of bean curd made from soybeans. Tofu is traditionally not considered a meat replacement, as many Chinese tofu recipes include meat. Despite these origins, inventive chefs have created ways to cook tofu that replicate the taste or texture of meat, and tofu has become popular with vegetarians and vegans because of its high protein content. Firmer styles of tofu can crumble like ground beef, and can even be grilled on a barbecue! Tofu has been used in plant-based meat products like vegetarian hot dogs, veggie burgers, and Tofurkey.
Another popular replacement for meat is seitan or wheat gluten. Created from washing wheat until all the starch is removed, seitan is a high-protein food with a texture that’s been compared to chicken. Seitan also originates in China, but unlike tofu, seitan is traditionally used as plant-based meat, often in Buddhist cuisine.
Beyond, Impossible, and Modern Meat
Of course, the hottest plant-based meats on the market today are those made with the newest techniques; companies producing these include:
- Modern Meat
- Beyond Meat
Modern Meat’s plant-based meats can be found in meals like PlantX’s Crab Cakes and are made from a variety of all-natural vegetables and protein derived from peas so you can be sure you’re getting just as much nutrition as you would get from meat.
People in the Greater Vancouver area who are interested in plant-based meats should keep an eye on PlantX and our meal delivery page so you can see the delicious meals that we provide through our collaboration with Modern Meat!