5 Plant-based meat substitutes to try

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Veganism or plant-based nutrition is all the rage right now.

Why make the switch to plant-based eating?

Numerous documentaries and academic journals can answer this question in greater detail. A handful of the benefits to making the switch from meat to plant-based alternatives include lowering blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and weight. A plant-based diet has been awarded great credit over recent years. A buzz in media was created after the release of a Netflix documentary titled What the Health in 2017, encouraging veganism or a plant-based way of eating.

According to this documentary, the consumption of meat and other animal products contribute heavily to the health issues we have been struggling with for years, such as cancer and diabetes.

Although, the idea of steamed broccoli and cauliflower for dinner does not particularly appeal to most us. So how exactly do we move towards this way of eating but still enjoy our food?

Many companies have been innovative and have created meat-like substitutes. There are a range of brands to choose from. If the idea of a soy or tofu that looks like chicken is not your thing then there are numerous other substitutes for example, having mushrooms in the place of chicken or roasted carrots instead of a hotdog, it tasted better than it sounds.

Do not feel pressured to change your entire diet overnight, this has often proved to be unsustainable.

Prepare your favourite dish, with or without meat. Then, to that meal, add broccoli or any other nourishing green vegetable. Keep doing this with some of your favourite dishes and eventually try substituting some of the suggested plant-based foods one item at a time.

5 Plant-based meat substitutes to try with your next meal:

1. Tofu

Tofu is made from soybeans and is high in protein and calcium. It is a great substitute for meats including pork, chicken, beef, and seafood in recipes.

2. Tempeh

Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and has a nutty flavour. It is firmer than tofu and has a grainier texture, making it great for imitate fish in meals. It also has lots of protein as well as fibre, calcium, and vitamins

3. Seitan

Seitan is processed wheat gluten and it is a great source of protein. Depending on how you flavour it, seitan can be like chicken, beef, or pork depending on the way you prepare and season it. If gluten doesn’t sit well with you, you want to avoid seitan.

4. Textured Vegetable Protein

Textured Vegetable Protein is made from dehydrated soy, and once you rehydrate it, you can do just about anything with it. You can use it for ground beef dishes, to make cutlets, or delicious burgers and meatloaves.

5. Mushrooms

The flavour of mushrooms is rich and meaty, especially cremini or Portobello mushrooms. When you want that savoury, meaty taste, then definitely go for umami mushrooms. Mushrooms could easily replace meat in any meal and they are often the first go-to when making the switch.

Do you have any plant-based favourites to recommend? Tell us on our social channels! 

Don’t feel like cooking? Try out these Top Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in South Africa.

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