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Plant-based meats and proteins great for meat-free alternatives.

With Vegetarianism and Veganism on the rise, plant-based meats and proteins have become increasingly popular, giving us great meat-free alternatives.

By Alicia Jovcevski at Bangor

Nowadays, the fridge/frozen aisles are packed full of a variety of alternatives, including plant-based mince, chicken, sausage, bacon and even duck! Here are some plant-based meat alternatives you can use in place of meat:

Tofu – also known as bean curd, tofu is a versatile meat alternative made from condensed soy milk pressed into solid blocks. Tofu is made like cheese and comes in different grades of firmness from silken to extra firm and will take on the flavour of whatever it’s seasoned or cooked with. With 12 grams of protein per 100 grams, tofu can replace meat in burgers, stir fries, salads and can even be added to smoothies or desserts to give more rich texture.

Tempeh – tempeh is also a soy product, made from cooked and fermented whole soybeans. Tempeh is a great source of protein (~19 grams per 100gram serve).
Tempeh is a probiotic food. This means that it contains bacteria that are beneficial to the human digestive system.
It has a mild earthy taste, hearty chewy texture and can readily take on the flavour of nearly any dish which makes it a great replacement for meat in stir-fries, bakes, soups and grills.

Lentils – rich in essential nutrients including protein (~7 grams of protein per 100 gram serve), dietary fibre, and a range of vitamins and minerals, lentils are a healthy and cost-effective plant-based alternative to meat. Lentils come in several varieties including yellow, red, green and French, and can be used in soups, pasta dishes, curries, burgers and salads.

Black Beans – slightly less in protein (~6.5 grams per 100 gram serve) are still a good meat alternative, especially when combined with another plant-based protein source. Black beans also contain fibre and minerals like iron, and can be enjoyed in salads, burger patties, tacos, nachos and even chocolate brownies and they are bland in taste.

Peas – are a great source of protein, fibre and essential vitamins and minerals. Peas can be used as a plant-based meat alternative for vegans and vegetarians. With 6.6 grams of protein per serve, peas are best combined with another plant-based protein source when replacing meat, but can be eaten whole, sautéed, added to curries, or tossed through salads and pasta.

Chickpeas – chickpeas are a small yet nutritious legumes that contains protein, fibre and essential minerals. They are best consumed with another plant protein source when replacing meat and can be used within salads, soups, casseroles, curries, made into falafels, little fritters and burgers, or eaten whole as a snack.

Plant-based meat has been around for a while now and it has become a great solution to satisfy meat cravings without breaking your meat-free meal or diet.

Give it a try!

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