Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Beyond Meat: Chicken-Free Strips

I was so pumped for my Whole Foods and Trader Joe's shopping spree today. I love having a fully stocked fridge with all my go-to foods : ). Whole Foods is the only grocery store that sells some of my favorite vegetarian including Soy Boy Baked Tofu, Soy Boy Tempeh, and Seitan. Trader Joe's carries my favorite "chicken-less" strips. HOWEVER, I was SO excited to find a new product at Whole Foods by a brand called "Beyond Meat". I am always skeptical when I see new meat analog products. They are usually very processed, high in sodium, and many of them often have a high carbohydrate content.  I expected to be disappointed upon reading the package label, but as soon as I did, I knew I had just discovered something wonderful. Here's the scoop:

Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips are 100% vegan, gluten free, NON-GMO :), cholesterol free, dairy free, and ABX and hormone free. The protein comes from soy and peas. A generous serving size of seven strips provides 120 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 18 grams of protein, 5 g of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fiber! They contain 40 mg LESS sodium than Trader Joe's version, and 210 mg LESS sodium than Morningstar's.

I'm also impressed with the ingredients in this product. You won't see other chicken-less strips with such an impressive list! I got this from the company's website:

Soy and pea protein isolates: Protein isolates are used in foods like baby formula to provide the highest amount of clean plant protein possible.

Amaranth: Amaranth is an ancient grain originally used by the Mayans and Inca. It is gluten-free.

Vegan chicken flavor: Our proprietary chicken flavor is plant-based and plain tasty. It contains no added MSG or gluten and is 100% vegan.

Soy and carrot fiber: These fibers are GMO-free.

Expeller-pressed canola oil: This is the cleanest form of canola oil. It’s free of saturated fat and extracted without chemicals.

Dipotassium phosphate: Dipotassium phosphate is a common source of potassium.

Titanium dioxide: Our food-grade titanium dioxide is a naturally-occurring mineral.

Sodium alginate: Sodium alginate is derived from brown algae.

Calcium sulfate: This food-grade ingredient is a naturally-occurring mineral.

And the taste? I couldn't wait to try them and added them to my salad as soon as I got home. Not only are the strips visually appealing, but the texture and taste was totally on point! Not "fake" tasting or salty like other chicken-free products I've tried. They were tender, and delicious and are officially my new strips of choice. There are currently three flavors: Grilled, Lightly Seasoned, and Southwestern, and I cannot wait to try them all!