By Katie O'Reilly
Vegetarians, vegans and flexitarians are no longer satisfied with the soy-reliant faux meat of yesterday. Soybeans are almost always genetically modified, and they also contain phytoestrogens, which may increase the risk of some cancers.
The good news? Plant-based-food producers have achieved the Holy Grail: savory burgers, deli slices, barbecue and even imitation seafood made from fruits, veggies and other legumes.
1. Beyond Meat
Beyond Meat has made waves in the vegan community ever since Beyond Burgers—crafted with pea protein, beets, coconut oil and potato starch—started showing up alongside beef in the meat aisle. Packed with 20 grams of protein and free from GMOs, soy and cholesterol, these burgers don't just look and taste like meat—they literally bleed beet juice. The quarter-pound patties are available in most major grocery stores and are gradually upping the ante on meatlessness at burger chains across the country. $6 for two patties.
2. Upton's Naturals
Jackfruit trees yield nutrient-dense fruit with a meaty texture. Upton's Naturals supplies heat-and-serve varieties in flavors like Bar-B-Que and Sriracha. $5 per box.
3. Sophie's Kitchen
Something's fishy in the vegan aisle—Sophie's Kitchen makes soy- and wheat-free shrimp alternatives from pea protein and konjac, a.k.a. elephant yam. $5 a package.
Unlike imitation turkey and ham, Lightlife deli slices are reminiscent of hummus and make for yummy, filling sandwiches. About $3.50 for a package of 12 slices.
5. Maika Foods
With a mission to preserve veggies' flavors, hues and nutrients, Maika Foods offers vibrant burgers made from carrots, green peas and beets. $5 for four patties.
Reposted with permission from our media associate SIERRA Magazine.