We clear up myths and show the real advantages of veggie products - here is the best of for healthy meat alternatives
Sesame tempeh skewers with spicy peanut sauce
Author: Talisa Moser
Healthy meat alternatives are more in demand than ever. Not only convinced vegetarians and vegans, meat lovers too have gotten a taste for it and are forming themselves into flexitarians. But what's behind the veggie food trend and what is the best way to prepare it?
The truth about healthy meat alternatives
The question of environmental and animal welfare arises more and more frequently when it comes to meat consumption. The market is literally flooded with veggie products. Whether from innovative start-ups such as Beyond Meat or very classic meat alternatives such as tofu, seitan and Co. But which meat alternatives are really healthy and environmentally friendly? Here are four myths and the truth about the pros and cons of meat alternatives.
Myth 1: Meat alternatives protect the environment
The production of meat substitute products is significantly more resource-efficient than the animal original. Be loud for a kilogram of beef Federal Environment Agency For example, 30,5 kilograms of greenhouse gases are emitted, whereas one kilogram of soy-based meat substitute only causes 2,8 kilograms. In second place in terms of negative CO2 balance are by the way insect-based meat substitute products.
Conclusion: This myth is true
Myth 2: meat alternatives end animal suffering
Many people have now developed an awareness of their meat consumption and reduced it accordingly. Nevertheless, more than 2019 million animals died for meat production in 763, many of them factory-farmed. Processed meat alternatives, such as sausage, are often made from egg white. Caution is advised here and attention is paid to organic.
Conclusion: This myth is only partially true
Myth 3: A meat-free diet is always healthier
Unprocessed meat substitutes can definitely have a positive impact on health. Products made from jackfruit or tofu, for example, are guaranteed not to contain any animal fats or growth hormones. But watch out for organic seals and meat alternatives free of genetic engineering. Because soy in particular often comes from China and the production conditions are not always optimal.
In a healthy diet, variety and balance play a key role. So a lot of fiber, vitamins and minerals - with or without meat. Processed meat should always be avoided, but even with a vegetarian diet, it is important to ensure that substances such as iron and calcium from meat alternatives, Vegetables and legumes, be recorded.
Conclusion: So this myth is untrue
Myth 4: Ready-made veggie products don't taste good
At the latest since the market launch of Beyond Meat Patties or the Mühlen-Schnitzeln, even the harshest critics should have been convinced. The consistency, flavor and taste have now been imitated very well and offer a real alternative. But be careful with the veggie ready-made products. A look at the list of ingredients shows that a lot has to be added so that it tastes the way it should taste. Often the products are also made on an egg basis and are therefore not an option for vegans.
Conclusion: This myth is a matter of taste
Beyond Burger, source Beyond Meat
The top 6 for healthy meat alternatives
- pea protein
- Edible insects
This is the best way to prepare healthy meat alternatives
As with meat, the right preparation is also important for veggie products. We show you how it works.
Tofu: The versatile classic
The classic among meat substitutes: tofu. Many people suspect the meat substitute made from soybeans, but it only tastes bland if it is not properly prepared. Because of its unobtrusive taste, tofu can taste like anything. It is best to marinate it in the desired spices for a few hours beforehand, for example is soy sauce, ginger and chilli. Seared or in the oven, it goes well with all dishes as a source of protein.
Tip: A tofu press will help get the water out of the tofu. This will make it even crispier after searing.
Seitan: The ultimate meat substitute
If you lack the "meaty" consistency above all, you could discover seitan for yourself. It consists of wheat protein and is suitable as a substitute for almost anything. You can buy seitan ready-made in many organic markets or make it yourself. All you need is gluten powder and your choice of spices. This is mixed into a kind of dough and cooked for about an hour using a steamer insert. Then the seitan can be processed as you like, for example fried in slices as a veggie steak.
Tip: It is important to almost over-season the seitan because it loses its taste when cooked.
Tempeh: The insider tip as a healthy meat alternative
Tempeh is a somewhat less known meat substitute. Like tofu, it is made from soybeans that are fermented with a noble mold. It is a good source of protein as a side dish and it also tastes really good on its own. Due to its somewhat firmer consistency and its nutty aroma, it also fits perfectly as a soup insert, for example.
Tip: Tempeh has a relatively strong taste of its own. If you don't like it, you should definitely marinate it before consuming it.
Jackfruit: The vegetable pulled pork
The jackfruit grows primarily in tropical countries and only made its breakthrough on the European market a few years ago. It is becoming more and more popular here, especially as a substitute for pulled pork or chicken. Marinated in a spicy sauce and seared it is also perfect as a meat alternative - and that without additives.
Tip: The jackfruit can be eaten young as well as ripe. But be careful: the ripe jackfruit is quite sweet and is therefore more suitable for dishes such as fruit salad. If you want to use them as a meat substitute, you should rather fall back on the young fruits.
Pea protein: healthy meat substitute with a bite
Manufacturers experiment with pea protein, especially in finished products. Burger, schnitzel or mince become a deceptively real alternative. It is also free from gluten or soy, which many people cannot tolerate. Products made from pea protein are particularly good for frying, because they are less dry than the alternatives made from tofu.
Tip: If you want to make deceptively real burgers, you should heat your pea protein patties on the grill. Then he also gets the popular roasted aromas that you know from your former favorite burger.
Edible insects: the future megatrend
Edible insects as an alternative to animal proteins are the megatrend and has long been a delicacy in Asia and Africa. These are possible in different ways, e.g. as a classic deep-fried snack, insect burger, but also processed in bars or the like. It is important to follow the instructions in the package insert and, if in doubt, always heat the insect protein.
Tip: Insect meal, for example buffalo worm meal, can be used very well for baking and it is also low-carb
Healthy meat alternatives protect the environment
There are many healthy meat alternatives with which you can easily protect the environment. Whether vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian, it is worth trying, because the preparation is easy with a few tricks. In terms of taste, the healthy meat alternatives are in no way inferior to their competition. Be careful with processed products, whether vegan or not, a list of ingredients that is too long is often not a good sign. Organic cultivation is also always preferable for all products.