It is true that some vegans, if not all, will miss the animal foods they ate before they switched to veganism. If you were that fond of the non-vegan cuisine, the initial days after you quit non-vegan foods are not going to be a cakewalk for you.
However, there are several plant foods that are perfect substitutes for non-vegan foods in terms of flavor and nutrient profile. In this article, we are going to discuss in detail about plant-based meat that can be used in place of beef in your dishes.
How To Mimic The Texture Of Beef?
Animal protein gives a springy texture to ground beef and allows it to bind to itself. Using plant-based ingredients to mimic the texture of animal protein hasn’t been an easy task due to the differences between them. For animals to move their bodies, their flesh should change shape and tension without undergoing any damage. However, plant cells are relatively rigid and hardly flexible.
It took many years of research to isolate appropriate plant-based proteins that can mimic the texture of animal meat. However, plant-based meats still haven’t attained the juiciness of animal meats because of the difference in their saturation levels.
How To Mimic The Appearance Of Beef?
New vegan meats developed after years of research and improvisation have advanced enough to replicate the red color, which is a characteristic of beef. While myoglobin gives the red color to beef, plant-based meat manufacturers commonly use leghemoglobin or beet extract to color the meat.
What Flavors Resembling The Flavor Of Beef Are Available?
As the rules of the Food and Drug Administration do not require companies to mention the exact flavors they used, top vegan meat companies keep their flavor additives as a secret. However, it is mandatory that companies mention whether the flavors used are natural or artificial.
Despite the high degree of refining that a product has undergone, it will only be considered natural if it is solely obtained from plant sources.
The commonly used primary ingredient combinations in the making of plant-based meat include:
- Potato and soy protein
- Pea, mung bean and rice protein
The fat sources usually used are:
- Coconut and canola oil
- Coconut and sunflower oil
The calorie density of plant-based meat resembles that of animal meat. However, unlike animal meats, plant-based meat does not have any cholesterol. While animal meat has no fiber at all, plant-based meat has some fiber. It also has higher sodium levels than animal meat.