Plant-based meat is food made from plants that imitate the taste, texture, and even some of the nutrients of real meat. You can find it in wide varieties, the most popular being plant-based burger patties, bacon strips, nuggets, and sausages.
These faux meats make great options for vegetarians, vegans, pescatarians, flexitarians, and anyone looking to add more veggies to their diet.
And yes, “plant-based meat” can sound suspicious to anyone who hasn’t tried it. If you’re still on the fence about giving it a go, keep reading! The info below will provide you with the lowdown on plant-based meats, their usual ingredients, and why they can be a fantastic choice for your health, animals, and the planet.
What is plant-based meat made of?
Plant-based meat is usually made of soy, tofu, tempeh, pea proteins, and mushrooms, along with plant oils, spices, and natural flavours. Different brands use different ingredients. In fact, some plant-based meats are vegan-friendly while others may contain animal products like milk and eggs.
Brother Sprout products are made with textured soy proteins -- a great source of proteins, dietary fibre, iron, potassium, and other nutrients. While vegan-friendly, the meats here are ideal for those who want more veggie goodness in their breakfast bowl, soups, pasta, and rice meals. The possibilities are endless!
Is plant-based meat healthy?
Plant-based meats can be a healthy addition to your diet if consumed in moderation and with nutrient-rich foods like fresh produce, whole grains, and legumes.
If plant-based meat leads you to less red meat consumption, it could also help lower your risks of developing gut issues and cardiovascular diseases (this is supported by a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, another study published in Foods journal, and plenty others).
But keep in mind that not all plant-based meats are the same. Some contain more salt, fat, preservatives, and artificial flavours, so it’s best to always read the label before purchasing.
The key is to find options that suit your health goals (and taste!) and enjoy them in moderation while trying your best to maintain a well-balanced diet.
What are the benefits of plant-based meat?
Plant-based meats have lots of benefits for your health, animal welfare, and the environment. More specifically, these faux but fine meats offer:
- proteins that help repair and build muscle tissues
- lower calories and saturated fat than real meat
- high fibre content, which helps improve digestion and regulate blood sugar levels
- rich meat-free options for people with dietary restrictions and preferences
- lots of product varieties (including ones that kids and adults who dislike veggies can enjoy)
- longer shelf life (some varieties also require no refrigeration)
- savoury flavours and meat experience, but without animal cruelty
- lower greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and aquatic nutrient pollution than conventional meat (as explained by the Good Food Institute)
Myths and facts about plant-based meat
Myth 1: They can’t replace real meat
While this may be true for people who loooove real meat, this is absolutely false for anyone who needs or wants to stay away from animal meat for health or dietary reasons. And while some plant-based meats can be highly processed, many brands offer healthier options with a good amount of proteins and nutrients and minimal sodium content.
So yes, plant-based meats and other plant-based alternatives can replace real meats if you want them to!
Myth 2: They’re just for vegans and vegetarians
Big nope. While plant-based meat alternatives are more popular among vegetarians and vegans, these foods have also become increasingly in demand among a wider audience – basically, anyone who wants to reduce their meat consumption or adopt a more plant-based diet. Plant-based meats are also well-loved among parents who struggle to feed veggies to their kids.
Myth 3: They're expensive
More and more plant-based brands offer their products at a price lower than or almost similar to real meat. Plus, some plant-based meats have a relatively long shelf life, making them a smart choice for those who reside in areas where fresh meat isn’t easily accessible and, therefore, more costly.
Misconceptions about plant-based meats continue to spread. But hopefully, the info we provided here helps you see that they can be a healthy, affordable, and delicious alternative.
Quick hacks to add plant-based meats to your plate
Making delicious meals out of plant-based meats can be tricky at first. But the good news is you don’t have to go all out immediately. Here are a few tips on how to start slowly but surely:
- Start with flavours & recipes you know you’d like. If you love bacon, go try plant-based bacon first. If you like bacon on pasta, try plant-based bacon with pasta! The point is that you don’t need to create fancy recipes now. Start with really simple ones and reserve the cooking adventure for later.
- Cut the meat into small slices. If you or your kids are still adjusting to the taste and texture of plant-based meat, cutting it into smaller pieces can help you manage. Also, if you’re dealing with picky eaters, keeping the slices small can help you hide the vegetables and get the kids to eat them without them knowing. Sneaky veggies!
- Recreate our recipes! Yes, we post recipes regularly on our Instagram page – all made with Brother Sprout plant-based meats. If you’re ready for some kitchen action, you can copy what we’ve done and add some of your favourite ingredients into the mix.
There’s really no end to the recipes you can try. If you’re ready to have more veggies in your diet, go ahead and add some plant-based meats to your cart and follow us on social media for fun and delicious ideas!
Plant-based meat FAQs
Can you eat plant-based meat raw?
It’s a no for most varieties, but a few kinds like our flavored meats can be eaten as is – like crisps you can snack on anytime and anywhere!
Unless your meat of choice explicitly says in its packaging that it can be eaten raw, do cook or heat it before eating to ensure food safety and to get the best flavour and texture.
Can you get enough protein from plant-based meats?
Yes, but that depends on what plant-based meat brand or variant you have. Also keep in mind that it’s best to have a variety of protein sources to ensure that your body is getting all the essential amino acids you need.
What’s the difference between plant-based meat and vegan meat?
Plant-based meats are made mainly with plant-based ingredients but may still contain animal products like eggs, cheese, and milk. Meanwhile, vegan meats are completely devoid of animal products.