Being vegan or vegetarian has never been easier with the faux meat trend spreading across America. It’s not hard to find Impossible Burgers and Beyond Meat on the menu of fast-food restaurants or in meat cases at grocery stores. In fact, nearly one-in-four Americans is trying to reduce their amount of meat intake. Here’s everything you need to know about plant-based meat.
What’s Plant-Based Meat?
Although the ingredients vary based on the brand, the texture and taste of ground beef is replicated through plant proteins made of soy, peas, beans, rice, and wheat. The color of beef is imitated with pomegranate juice, fruit powder, and other fruits and vegetables.
Both plant-based meat and 80% lean ground beef contain around 20 grams of protein per 4-ounce patty. Plant-based meat has fewer calories and fat, and it has no cholesterol. They do have more sodium than real beef—370 to 580 mg compared to 80 mg in unseasoned meat.
Where Can You Find It?
Many restaurants and fast-food chains offer plant-based meat, but if you’re vegetarian or vegan, make sure you ask about how they prepare the plant-based meat to make sure there is no cross-contamination.
At supermarkets, plant-based meat can usually be found next to real beef in the refrigerator meat case. The price is also often comparable to real beef.
How Does it Cook?
Plant-based meat cooks like ground beef, but just look at the specific tips and cooking temperatures on the packaging. Not all plant-based meat will turn dark brown like real meat does.