As I have stated on another product review on vegetarian meat substitutes, I’m a meat eating carnivore. I love my meats, but occasionally enjoy a few vegetarian alternatives. These plant based, alternative beef products have improved by leaps and bounds compared to how nasty they were to me way back when I was in elementary school. I will never forget how repulsive the soy burgers back in the day could be. They were not even remotely close in taste to the beef patties they were replacing in our school lunches. Because of this past experience, I was not quick to consider giving any of the new products a try until a few years back. I must say, the plant based meat substitutes have greatly improved over the years.
I have come to like the Boca brand Original Veggie Crumbles the best out of the three products I’m reviewing for this piece. What I like about the Boca brand is their product is the closest in appearance and taste to actual ground beef than the Beyond Meat and Gardein brands. The texture is exactly the same as actual ground beef, and I find it hard to distinguish any difference from ground beef at all when I add Boca Crumbles to a dish. Because of the size of the crumbles, they are also easier to measure out than the Beyond Meat brand. This is critical when you are measuring and tracking what and how much you eat.
I find the Boca Cumbles to be a handy ingredient to have on hand in the freezer. They are fully cooked and take little time to heat thoroughly when used. I have made vegetarian taco’s and Sloppy Joe’s with them. I have also added them to spaghetti sauce and to chili and nobody in my home ever knew the difference. I like the convenience factor with having a package on hand. For instance, when I pack food for the road in my semi, I will add a half cup of crumbles to a can of pinto beans, salsa and habanero hot sauce for a road dinner I pack into a hot food container. I add them directly to the beans without the hassle of browning ground beef and then draining it of fat before use. Without the fat content, the crumbles do not stick together as bad as ground beef will when frozen. These crumbles are a convenient ingredient to have on hand when you are in a pinch for time. If you have ever been curious, this product is worth a try at about $5.00 US per 12 ounce package.
Boca Original Veggie Crumbles Ingredients
Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Contains Less than 2% of Natural Flavor (Non‑Meat, Contains Celery), Malt Extract (Contains Gluten), Salt, Yeast Extract, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Dried Onions, Spices and Herbs.
Boca Original Veggie Crumbles Nutrition
Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles “Beefy” Ingredients
Water, Pea Protein Isolate*, Canola And Sunflower Oil, Rice Flour, Spices, Tomato Powder, Contains 0.5% Or Less Of: Yeast Extract, Sugar, Potassium Chloride, Tapioca, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Salt, Acacia Gum, Onion Extract, Natural Flavor, Garlic Extract
Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles “Beefy” Nutrition
Serving size: 1/2 cup
Servings per container: 5
Calories: 90 Total
Total Carbohydrates: 3g
Dietary Fiber: 1g
On the plus side, the Gardein Beefless Ground is similar to the Boca product in that it is easy to measure. While the taste is not exactly bad, it tastes more like it is a plant based product than the other two in this review. If you want a beef taste, you might be disappointed. If you are a strict vegan, you might be over joyed on this point. The simple fact this one contains organic cane sugar is enough to keep me from buying it again. Not the organic part, it’s the sugar itself that will keep me from another purchase. I wish I had read the label better before buying this product. While the sugar content is not high, I plainly do not consume added sugars in anything for the reasons I have written about pretty extensively. You might enjoy it, however, I will save my $3.97 US on a 13.7 ounce bag and spend it on the Boca product instead.
Gardein Ultimate Beefless Ground Ingredients
WATER, SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE*, EXPELLER PRESSED CANOLA OIL*, ORGANIC CANE SUGAR, SEA SALT, YEAST EXTRACT, ONION POWDER, GARLIC POWDER, CARAMEL COLOR, NATURAL FLAVORS (FROM PLANT SOURCES), SPICES.
Gardein Ultimate Beefless Ground Nutrition
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Servings per container: 7
Total Fat: 1.5g
Saturated and Trans Fats: 0g
Sodium: 230mg Total
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
We will continue doing product reviews for you on food items that are touted as being healthy, or healthier alternatives. We recognize that everyone has different likes and dislikes, and therefore you might still want to try a product even if we do not give it a glowing review. If there is a product you might like for us to review for you, please leave a comment or drop us a request in our contact email. Thank you Julie for the Beyond Meat product review request!