Healthier options to eating meat
Are you a vegan craving some meat? There’s something for you. Fortunately, there are “meaty” alternatives that could save the day. Plant-based sources of protein often lack some essential nutrients. Meat alternatives bulk meals with tons of proteins to give the eaters just what they need in a healthy meal. For the longest time, meat has been an essential part of a proper diet. This culture is fading fast, owing to the many health problems associated with the intake of meat. Thanks to this, we can significantly reduce instances of high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
If you are looking to spicing up your diet with alternatives of animal protein, consider the following in your next meal:
Tofu is an Asian cuisine that has dominated the vegan diet for ages. This soy-based delicacy is a rich source of protein acting as a meat alternative for vegans. Tofu takes up the flavour of what it’s seasoned with, in the form of spices and marinades. Tofu is a perfect substitute for beef, chicken, pork and seafood. Though spongy and at times tasteless, Tofu can be frozen to give it a firm and chewy nature like that of the ordinary meat. Further, Tofu has an excellent ability to absorb spices to give you the exact taste you are craving.
Also called bean curd or soybean curd, this plant-based protein boats high protein content and low fat. Tofu is also rich in calcium and iron. Thanks to its excellent nutritional value, the delicacy is fast spreading to the Western vegetarians. Unused Tofu should be refrigerated or stored immersed in water and sealed in its original package. Tofu comes in variety, so you get to choose what goes well with you. Don’t know how to prepare it? Don’t worry. There are plenty of recipes online that could save the day.
If you are craving a special type of meaty taste and texture, mushrooms is your go-to option. These fresh, earthy plants – chopped, sliced, or ground can replace meat in any diet. Mushrooms contain tons of minerals, even more than the ordinary meat. Mushrooms are a rich source of protein. Further, they are packed with such minerals as Zinc, Vitamin B2 and B12. Mushrooms are also full of antioxidant substances that are low on fat and carbohydrates. Mushrooms are healthy and delicious vegetables found fresh on the farm whose presence in a meal also reduces calories.
Also called “the vegetarian white meat”, Seitan is a wheat-based meat alternative that brings a feeling of chicken in taste and texture. It’s an excellent source of protein and can take up the taste of chicken, beef, or pork, depending on the spicing. Its dense and chewy texture is perfect for grilling, frying and braising.
To produce Seitan, wheat flour is kneaded with water to produce sticky strands of gluten protein; and the dough rinsed to make it clear of starch. Apart from proteins, Seitan also contains;
Seitan can take up any of your favourite tastes, depending on the spicing and seasoning. Seitan has a meaty texture and comes in various forms, such as ground, sliced, and striped. Seitan can be frozen and stored for up to three months.
Tempeh is a soy-based protein made from fermented soybeans. It’s similar to tofu but has a firmer texture, darker colour, and a nutty flavour. Tempe is loaded with tons of proteins and amino acids, fibre, calcium and vitamins. Because it is fermented, tempeh is a rich source of probiotics – bacteria essential for good gut health. The fermentation also helps to break down phytic acids in soybeans to make starch in tempeh easy to digest. Tempeh is an excellent substitute for fish and ground beef. Preparing tempeh is not much of a hassle and only requires slicing, dicing, and grinding in a food processor. Steaming it a bit before using helps eliminate the bitter taste. It’s not always gluten-free, and may at times, contain such grains as barley, rice, and millet. Bought tempeh can be refrigerated in the original package for up to ten days, while frozen one can stay for up to three months.
These legumes have been serving as meat alternatives for a long time. Lentils boast a hearty texture and peppery flavour, making them a perfect replacement for ground beef. They come in a variety of colors, including red, black, brown and green. Lentils are inexpensive, easy to cook, and you can buy them dried or canned.
Whether for moral, health, or leisure reasons, eating or not eating meat is a personal choice. However, due to the threats, these animal products pose to our health, the number of vegans is increasing over time. If you choose to keep meat off your diet, the above alternatives can get you going. Try them out.
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