With nearly one in four Americans reducing their amount of meat intake, plant-based meat is becoming more popular than ever. Impossible Burgers and Beyond Meat are part of the menu of many fast-food restaurants and they can be found in almost any grocery store. Here’s what you should know about plant-based meat.
What’s Plant-Based Meat?
The ingredients in plant-based meat differ across brands, but basically the texture and taste of ground beef are replicated by using plant proteins made of soy, peas, beans, rice, and wheat. To achieve the pink color of beef, pomegranate juice, fruit powder, and other fruits and vegetables are used.
The amount of protein in plant-based meat and 80% lean ground beef doesn’t differ—they both contain around 20 grams of protein per 4-ounce patty. Plant-based meat does have fewer calories and fat and it has no cholesterol. But, it has more sodium than real beef—370 to 580 mg compared to 80 mg in unseasoned meat.
Where Can You Find It?
In supermarkets, plant-based meats are usually found next in the refrigerator meat case next to real beef. They also don’t differ significantly in price to real beef.
With the popularity of plant-based meat alternatives, many restaurants and fast-food chains have plant-based options on their menu. But, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, make sure before you order the burger to ask how it is prepared to avoid cross-contamination.
How Do You Cook It?
If you know how to cook ground beef, you know how to prepare plant-based meats as they are cooked the same. Just refer to the packaging for specific tips and cooking temperatures. Be aware that not all plant-based meats will turn dark brown like real meat does.