Whether you are thinking about making the switch to a plant-based diet, giving up on meat, limiting your meat consumption or going eco-friendly, questions are bound to arise. You encounter questions like: how am I going to fulfil my protein requirements for the day? Are there alternatives that are easy to access? Are they preservative packed or are there any alternatives that are plant-based? Will they be fit enough to use as a substitute in my existing recipes or will they be pleasing enough for my palette? Would they provide my body with essential nutrients?
Here are some meat alternatives used around the world
- Jackfruit – found in the southeastern part of Asia, this fruit has the texture of pulled pork and is really hard to differentiate from it when cooked with the right sauces. The fruit is high in fibre, vit B6, magnesium and antioxidants. It has a fairly low content of carbs and is effective with bowel regularity, weight loss and cholesterol level maintenance.
- Tofu and Tempeh – while both come from soybeans, tofu is made from condensed soy milk and tempeh is fermented soybean. Both have excellent protein content but due to fermentation tempeh is additively good for gut bacteria. Both are rich in calcium and magnesium and help regulate blood sugar levels and promote bone health.
- Mushroom – umami mushrooms are the perfect carrier of that meaty taste, bustling with flavour. They are low calorie fibre foods rich in protein and antioxidants and are found to be helpful with heart diseases, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s.
- Eggplants – as weird as it might seem but eggplants are rich in flavour and are versatile. It is high in antioxidants, vit A and C. It is also helpful in diabetes as it helps process sugars better because of the presence of polyphenols.
- Cauliflower – high in fibre and vitamin B, it works as a great replacement for chicken. It has excellent antioxidant properties and the phytonutrients in it help against cancer. The high fiber also helps in weight loss and digestion.
- Plant food rich in protein – lentils, black beans, chickpeas are great nutrition and protein rich alternatives. Lentils help you in a low carb diet. Black beans and chickpeas are high carb, high fibre and rich protein food alternatives.
- Plant based sausage and chicken – mock sausages and chicken are essentially made using pea or soy protein which yet again is protein packed. They provide similar texture but due to their highly processed nature it is advisable to have them in limited quantities.
With growing science and biotechnology, cultured meat, leaf protein concentrates and mock ducks are making progress. Success in these fields would ensure meat alternatives that are comparatively friendlier to the environment as well as to the human body.
Conscious recipe developers throughout the world are making sustainable choices in their recipes. The scope and options are surplus, the only thing needed is your effort and time.