I never thought that anybody would outdo Log Cabin but I like Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free Pancake Syrup better than Log Cabin’s variety. Maple Grove Farms is easy to find at Walmart and is cheap at less than $3/bottle. It has a true maple flavor and has a slightly thick, sticky consistency that adheres to pancakes well. It’s just sweet enough and the maple is stronger than the sweetness which avoids the overly sweet, artificial sweetness of some sugar free products. This syrup is a staple in my pantry. I use it in beans, oats and even full fat, plain Greek yogurt at times paired with Saigon cinnamon for a traditional “brown sugar and cinnamon” flavor. Combined with a little Dukes Mayonnaise and mustard, I can create honey mustard that rocks. There are only 15 calories per 1/4 cup and 6 grams of total carbohydrates.
I started buying Heinz No Sugar Added Ketchup years ago when the only bottle available was an 8 oz. bottle. My son liked it much better than regular ketchup and now at 25 years, he still does. In 1 Tablespoon it has 10 calories and 1 gram of total carbohydrates with that 1 gram being from the natural sugar in tomatoes . It’s a perfectly balanced tomato flavor that is equal parts tangy tomato and slightly sweet. I challenge you to find a better ketchup of any type. It’s really good. The 29.5 oz. bottle is a bargain at about $3.98.
Ah, now the cream of this crop, Duke’s Real Mayonnaise. Duke’s is not a special sugar free recipe. It’s always been sugar free. It’s creamy and slightly tart and perfectly spiced. I believe that the reason it’s so good is that this is an old family recipe that contains more egg yolks than other mayonnaise, with no added sugar resulting in it’s characteristic tangy flavor. It is the third largest mayonnaise brand in the United States and has 100 calories and 0, ZERO grams of carbohydrates. You can pick this delightful product up at Walmart for $3.39.
Condiments add flavor and varied textures to good whole foods. These choices here are low in calories and diabetic friendly. Children love condiments and you can feel good about allowing them to have these products in moderation. I can remember my Mom taking the ketchup off the table because of all the sugar and calories in the products available then. It’s nice to count the calories in your entree and have plenty left for a calorie conscious sauce. Condiments can transform a plain meal into a mouth watering delight. I hope you try these products the next time that you plan your menus. I believe that you will be glad that you did. Enjoy!
As a bonafide carnivore I love my meats, yet being of a healthy mind and a health and fitness author, I like to explore alternative products for both myself and you, the reader. I give my honest opinion of what I think of different products, however, each of us have individual tastes. Just because I may or may not like a product I have reviewed, it does not mean you will come to the same conclusions regarding tastes, smells and textures.
After a week on the road, I really wanted a good breakfast this morning. Beyond Meats plant based sausage Beyond Sausage Brat Original filled this need for me.
Coming out of it’s packaging, I thought these Brats appeared more like an actual meat product, than the burgers and the Hot Italian Sausages. This was just a very minor detail for me though. What I wanted to know was how they were going to cook, and then of course, how satisfying they would be. And of course, they had to be nutritionally sound.
I browned them in a cast iron skillet with a little extra virgin olive oil over a low medium heat. It did not take long before my kitchen was filled with the good smell of sausage being cooked. The sausages browned very nicely in the olive oil, the casings seemed to be a bit better than I remember the casings from the Beyond Meat Italian sausage product. The Brat casing seemed to be pretty similar to any other sausage casing, yet the product is 100% plant based.
Once cooked, I scrambled a few eggs and plated it for myself and my brother in law who was having breakfast with me. Howard is one who might normally turn his nose up to any type of vegetarian or vegan friendly product, and I did not mention that was what he was being fed.
I cut into my Brat and thought it appeared almost realistically meat like in appearance. Truth be told, if I did not know what it was, I probably would not have seen any difference. I bit into my first bite and was instantly impressed with the taste and texture. The only issue with the flavor was I thought it had more of a breakfast sausage sage taste than that of actual meat Brat’s. For me, this was not a bad thing, if it had been a breakfast sausage, the seasoning would be perfect for my taste. I enjoy sage, but it does not take much to be too much for me.
The texture was very much like a good meat Brat, yet there was a very slight chewiness to it. This was a non-issue for me. I also liked that the Brats were not greasy at all. The moisture content was satisfactory, yet I believe they might become a little too dry if overly cooked.
I asked my brother in law how he liked the Brats and he said he thought they were quite good. He was silent for a second and then asked me if they were the plant based product I bought last week at the store. I said they were, and he replied that he liked them pretty good and would not mind having them again. I have two remaining that I believe I am going to cook on my grill over charcoal later this weekend.
Serving size: 1 cooked link
Calories: 190, 110 from fat
Total fat: 12 grams
Saturated fat: 5 grams
Trans fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 500 mg
Potassium: 230 mg
Total carbohydrate: 5 grams
Dietary fiber: 3 grams
Sugar: 0 grams
Protein: 16 grams
(based on 2000 calorie per day diet)
Vitamin A: 0%
Vitamin C: 0%
Water, Pea Protein isolate, Refined coconut oil, Sunflower oil,Natural flavor, Contains: 2% or less of: Rice protein, Faba Bean protein, potato starch, salt, fruit juice (for color), apple fiber, methylcellulose, citrus extract (to protect quality) Calcium Alginate casing
Overall, I find these Brats to be a good nutritionally sound meat alternative that can be found in Kroger grocery stores and their subsidiaries. They can also be bought online from several sources, and are now being served at some restaurants. You might find them a little expensive at $8.99 for a package of 4 links. However, when considering food costs, even if your groceries might cost a little more to eat healthy choices, this expense will be offset by not having unnecessary visits to your physician for any health issues which are a direct result of poor nutritional dietary habits. You can pay a little more in the store for quality foods, or you can had your hard earned money over to your doctor and your pharmacist later when you are suffering from heart issues, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and a whole host of other health problems related to your nutrition or lack there of. The choice is yours. Choose wisely.
Ah, now here’s something that’s a little different in the “No Sugar Added” category. So many of these desserts seem to be missing something, not this one! I buy these for a 25 year old male and he doesn’t eat anything that isn’t good. This is a favorite treat for him!
The chocolaty coating is firm to the tooth yet it doesn’t crumble everywhere when you crunch into it. It’s just sweet enough to give you flashbacks to your childhood on the playground at recess, crunching with abandon into a melting ice cream bar, dripping down your chin. Bear in mind, this bar contains the sweetener maltitol, which has the potential for GI upset, so don’t binge! ONE should be just fine for most people.
The creamy vanilla ice cream inside is smooth in texture and has a near perfect hint of vanilla and a perfect level of sweetness. As you chew the crunchy coating into the ice cream, it becomes a dessert of substance. It doesn’t just melt away instantly. It lingers just long enough for you to truly appreciate both the flavor and texture of this summery delight.
At David’s Way we encourage you to eat whole, unprocessed foods but on the occasion when you really want something a little different, this bar fills the bill. It won’t give you cravings because it doesn’t contain sugar. The caloric count is significant at 180, and 16 grams of net carbs bears noting. As long as you enjoy these delightful ice cream bars on occasion and allow for the substantial calorie count, you can work one of these in most anytime.
Out of 17 flavors of Halo Top, I have only tried two. Therefore in fairness, I concede there may be some better than others. I first heard about Halo Top products and how wonderful they are through a couple weight loss social media sites. Everything I have ever read about Halo Top from those trying to lose weight is that it is a wonderful product that is healthy as well. As with many things in life, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
I found the Chocolate flavor to be far superior in taste and texture over the Lemon Cake favor, but this is not saying much. The ice cream is quite dense and requires a little thawing before you can eat it, which is no big deal unless you are “hangry” when attacking a tub. I found it difficult to spoon out until it had set on the counter for a little while.
Once the ice cream had softened, I found it to be creamy enough. But if I am going to eat ice cream at all, I prefer the creaminess that can only come from a full fat ice cream. Just my opinion, but I find anything else to be lacking in substance and therefore not as enjoyable as a former ice cream connoisseur.
The taste was just alright, kind of mediocre in my book. But, taste is subjective to each individual. The ice cream tasted to me kind of like a fairly bland commercially available chocolate milk you find in any grocery store or convenience store refrigerator shelf. It was not horrible, but it was also nothing to write home about.
I love lemon flavor. I love lemon cake. When I saw this flavor, I just had to try it. I let it sit on the counter to let it soften a bit, and then dug into it with great expectations it would be a blissful flavor. Did I say I like lemon cake?
Hands down, this is the second worse ice cream I have ever consumed in my entire life. The only ice cream I eve enjoyed less, actually refused to eat more than a couple times at best was aboard my first ship in the Navy. That ice cream was made from a powdered mix that was prepared with the ships metallic and jet fuel tasting distilled water.
While the Lemon Cake Halo Top was not as repulsive as ship board ice cream aboard the USS Enterprise, it was still a huge disappointment for me. While I found the chocolate Halo Top to be a little too sweet for my taste, the Lemon Cake did not over power with a sweetness. In fact, I found this ice cream to be almost flavorless. I really could not taste any lemon, no vanilla, there was not much of anything in flavor at all. While it did not taste bad, there just was not much taste at all. It was just a weird flavorless ice cream that also had a strange texture to it. This ice cream was not very creamy, and it also had a bit of a grainy texture that I found odd. The grainy texture was likely caused by the guar gum that some ice cream manufactures are including in their ingredients in order to keep their product from settling too much in case it thaws a little before getting to the customer. Manufacturers are whipping more air into their products as a cost saving, profit enhancing method. The guar gum hides this effect. Guar gum acts as a stabilizer and is normally not a noticeable ingredient as it adds nothing to the flavor, nor does it pose any health risks. Just know that if your ice cream ever has an odd grainy texture, this is why.
Total Calories per 1 pint container is 280 to 320 (depending on flavor)
Serves 4 ( lets be honest, who only eats a half cup)
While I find nothing too much wrong with Halo Top’s ingredients, I will not eat any more of it simply because it contains cane sugar which as I have written extensively about is a huge contributor to our nations obesity epidemic along with all of the health related problems that come from consuming too much of it. The protein content is only 1 gram more than you would get from a serving of Blue Bell ice cream that has 4 grams. Using this low protein amount as a selling point would only appeal to those who might not be nutritionally aware that is an insignificant amount over what you might find in any other ice cream product in your grocery store freezer.
Halo Top is very popular among the Weight Watchers crowd as many think it is a healthier alternative to other ice creams. News flash, it is not any healthier than any other low fat ice cream you can buy. But the others rarely place the calorie content on their labels in such bold lettering. There are better quality products available to you if you take the time to seek them out.
If you are on a weight loss journey, you should really consider skipping this ice cream because the sugar content is going to not allow your cravings for carbohydrates to go away. The sugar in Halo Top is still going to have an impact on your blood sugar and insulin levels as any other ice cream will. The only exception is the fiber component in Halo Top might, (MIGHT) mitigate some of the effects on your blood sugar and insulin. However, this is going to depend largely on your personal discipline to only consume one serving, which is 1/4th of the pint.
Let’s be honest, if you are trying to satisfy a sweet tooth, are you only going to eat 1/4th of the container? Or, are you going to eat from the container and then find yourself just eating a little more, and a little more, as you keep eating the soft stuff around the edges? If we are being truthful to ourselves, odds are that if you are over weight or obese, you likely do not have the personal discipline to just eat the manufacturers recommended serving amount. If you did, you would not have a weight problem in the first place and the need for a healthier ice cream to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings would be a moot point.
Beware of Halo Tops marketing gimmick of advertising that their is 20 grams of protein and only 280 to 320 calories per container. This implies that one container is one serving, while the nutrition label clearly states the container is supposed to be 4 servings. If you are on a weight loss journey, you are treading on thin ice by still eating the crap that got you into trouble in the first place, even if the label promotes the product as being healthier.
If you want to still eat sweet treats that are delicious while being sugar free, and diabetic friendly, then go to our recipes menu, then select the subcategory of sweet dessert recipes and then choose any of the sub-categories under that for cakes, cookies, pies and more. We at David’s Way believe that a sweet treat on occasion is perfectly fine as long as it does not derail you from your weight loss efforts. Our recipes, when followed to the letter will fill that bill for you.
As I have previously stated on a couple of other veggie meat substitute reviews, I am truly a carnivore who loves meat. That being said, I do actually like some of the meat substitutes I have tried, and will sometimes buy them when I might be in the mood for something a little different. Morning Star’s southwest chili black bean burgers make a really good sandwich when you pan sear them in a little olive oil. But now, on with the Morning Star corn dog review.
When you remove the frozen corn dogs from their package, they look just like any other corn dog you might have ever eaten. The instructions say to leave frozen until you either microwave or bake them in your oven. I liked them baked slightly better than I did microwaving them simply because the breading browned better in the oven, thus imparting a little better taste than the microwaved corn dogs.
Once cooked, I cut the end off of the first one to see what it looked like before biting into it. I was surprised to find the hot dog looked and smelled about like any other hot dog on the market. Upon my first bite, I thought it tasted decent enough, the texture was good and I thought I would enjoy them. However, as I ate the corn dog, the taste became less desirable to me. I finished it, and since I had a second corn dog cooked, I thought I would eat it with ketchup and mustard. The condiments helped some, but when I was done, I chucked the two remaining frozen corn dogs I had in the trash.
While the initial flavor was almost appealing, it became less so the more I ate. However, I will say they are far superior to Jenny O turkey hot dogs in flavor, so be warned to never throw your hard earned money away on their products. Yuck…
As with any beef hot dog, the veggie corn dogs will leave an after taste in your mouth. The problem with Morning Star veggie corn dogs is that after taste kind of resembles a beef hot dog that might have been exposed to some kind of mild chemical. You might have a different experience, but this was mine. If you like beef hot dogs and want a low fat, low calorie dog, then try Hebrew Nationals fat free all beef hot dog. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you might want to skip the veggie version of corn dogs. There are better things to eat, and these are really no more healthy for you than an all meat hot dog. They are all heavily processed food products.
4800 mg of sodium
24 grams carbs
less than 1 gram fiber
7 grams of sugar
only 6 grams of protein
Ingredients: WATER, WHEAT FLOUR, SUGAR, WHEAT GLUTEN, YELLOW CORN MEAL, YELLOW CORN FLOUR, CORN OIL. CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF SALT, DEXTROSE, LEAVENING (SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, SODIUM BICARBONATE), METHYLCELLULOSE, BROWN SUGAR (SUGAR, MOLASSES), SPICES, YEAST EXTRACT, ONION POWDER, PEA PROTEIN ISOLATE, NATURAL FLAVORS, CARRAGEENAN, GARLIC POWDER, XANTHAN GUM, RED BEET JUICE CONCENTRATE (COLOR), PAPRIKA EXTRACT (COLOR), PAPRIKA (COLOR), DRIED YEAST.
Pyrophosphate is the first member of an entire series of polyphosphates. The term pyrophosphate is also the name of esters formed by the condensation of a phosphorylated biological compound with inorganic phosphate, as for dimethylallyl pyrophosphate.
I’m not sure I want to eat what ever pyrophosphate might be.
What the world is this all about?
Methylcelluloseis a bulk-forming laxative that increases the amount of water in your stools to help make them softer and easier to pass. Methylcellulose is used to treat constipation and to help maintain regular bowel movements.
It does not get any better.
Carrageenanis an additive used to thicken, emulsify, and preserve foods and drinks. It’s a natural ingredient that comes from red seaweed (also called Irish moss). … Some evidence suggests that carrageenan triggers inflammation, gastrointestinal ulcerations, and that it damages your digestive system.
Just because a food item is labeled and produced as being vegan and or vegetarian friendly does not necessarily mean it is a healthy alternative. Some vegan foods are just as processed and full of bad stuff as any processed dish containing meats. If you are concerned about eating healthy, simply quit eating all food sources with added sugars and simple carbs, and be sure that you are preparing only whole foods for yourself and your family. How ever you manage your dietary habits, ensure that you do so by being fully informed and never just take it for granted that a label is designed with full honesty in regards to the contents.
For a long time I envied everyone making Kodiak Cakes, (David…), a low carb-high protein pancake. The variety that Walmart sells contains gluten and I avoid gluten. One day in Walmart, still checking to see if they might be stocking the gluten free variety, I happened upon Birch Benders Keto Pancake and Waffle Mix. I just had to give it a try because it’s also gluten free. There are other varieties of Birch Benders, but I eat a low carb diet and the Keto variety is the only one that I use. Let me clarify here, I don’t do Keto. I eat low carb but not Keto. This mix is low in carbohydrates so it fits nicely into my menus.
Birch Benders Keto has 160 calories, 9 grams of protein and 5 grams of net carbs per 2 4-inch pancakes. Due to the almond flour and coconut in the mix, there is a slightly chewy texture to the cakes, which I like. It keeps them from having that “simple carb” feel. Paired with Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free Pancake Syrup, they are a sweet delight. This syrup is superior to other sugar free syrups because it has a true maple flavor. The pancakes have a mild, buttery taste and I like to cook them in coconut oil which smokes easily so you have to brown them slowly to a rich golden brown for the best flavor and texture. Cooking them slowly gets them plenty done inside and builds a slightly crunchy crust.
When you cut into the cake, the crust will crunch a bit if you built that crust right. Awaiting inside is a fluffy, slightly creamy, almost sweet, textured center. Cooking in coconut oil enhances their “melt in your mouth” quality. When you add the maple syrup on top paired with either bacon, yes real bacon, or maybe turkey sausage if you don’t eat pork, and eggs they will satisfy any type of craving that you might have. While sugar based syrups and refined grain pancakes give you terrible cravings, this sugar free syrup and almond based pancake mix does not. I was a little anxious that I might start craving sugar after eating this scrumptious meal but they give you no cravings whatsoever.
The only drawback to these wonderful cakes is that two are hardly enough! Although these are a healthy treat, you still need to count your calories. Since there are 160 calories in two, plus the calories in the syrup, bacon or sausage and eggs, proceed with caution! You will definitely be wanting more. 😋
Although we at David’s Way always encourage you to eat whole, unprocessed foods, we are realists. There are times when convenience is paramount and a quick, healthy snack can really help see us through until our next meal. Quite often we go for a protein bar. They’re everywhere but they are not created equally. Some are horrific masses of vitamin flavored, syrupy sweet, mealy textured substitutes for food. Some, however, can give you a protein boost and tie you over for a while with pleasure. For me, the ONE bars are an acceptable choice.
ONE bars come in many flavors and to be fair to the product, I will review them separately. I have not tried all of them so this review is limited, but as I sample them I will write about the new flavors that I try.
“Almond Bliss” is the first ONE bar that I tried. I’ve got to tell you that at first, I totally agreed with the name. It was pure bliss. If you like an Almond Joy candy bar, this protein bar is for you. It’s tastes a lot like an Almond Joy. It’s chewy and chocolatey and smells wonderful. You can buy a box of 12 from one1brands.com for $23.76 or a box of 4 at Walmart for $7.12. They will cost you about $2.31 for a single in most places. Like I said, at first I thought that I had found a treasure. While they are really good, I tired of them pretty quickly as I tried other flavors. Although this is a good bar with 20 grams of protein and just 1 gram of sugar, all of the bars seemed to taste a little alike and the Almond Bliss lost it’s edge. It’s loaded with almonds and coconut and did fill me up for about two hours. Overall, it’s good in a pinch. Eating them too often can become a habit and they don’t seem as good after a while. Reaching for any processed food habitually will eventually encourage you to overeat because they are processed, or the equivalent of partially digested. I choose to eat protein bars infrequently and fill up on whole foods to keep myself full and satisfied. This bar has 230 calories.
Ahhh…”Birthday Cake”… I thought that I had found Nirvana with this one. It’s a true Birthday Cake flavor and at first bite, it melts in your mouth. While the “Almond Bliss” remained good for me for the duration of the bar, this one did not. I have tried more than one of these over the course of a year or so and every one that I have tried has had a slightly mealy texture and seemed almost too sweet. They are so sweet that the sweetness becomes the “flavor”. The creamy, dreamy vanilla smoothness of the traditional birthday cake flavor gets lost in an overabundance of a sugary onslaught of white “frosting” and sprinkles. This one was irksome about halfway through. The price is the same as the Almond Bliss and again, it has 20 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar. Walmart carries these single or in the box. You can have a taste of birthday cake for 210 calories.
I really liked this bar and have bought it more than once. It’s a bit sweeter than I like almost immediately but the slight tartness of the blueberry flavor balances the sweetness nicely. Before I finish one of these however, it still seems too sweet. The novelty of the “Bluberry Cobbler” flavor is pleasant but after buying a few of these, I don’t buy them very often at all anymore. It has a good chewy texture and the coating is creamy and sweet. If you miss blueberry cobbler, you will be charmed by this bar at first. It has 20 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar for 220 calories. You can buy these at Walmart.
I liked this bar with coffee. The only place that I’ve ever found these is at GNC. It does have that “sameness” that all of these ONE bars have and it is very sweet. The main sweetener in these bars, Maltitol, can cause GI upset for some people, so don’t overdo it. Although I liked this one the best, the sweetness was a bit overpowering. The bitterness of the coffee took some of the edge off of the sweetness and left the cinnamon taste behind. It’s a novel flavor and is very interesting at first. I would not recommend buying a box of any of these bars until you try a couple of singles. The slightly warm cinnamon flavor is crowded by the sugary aftertaste. Like the others, it has 20 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar.
Now… this “Peanut Butter Pie” offering is not too sweet. If you like a really sweet bar, you may not like it. For longevity, I do. Although this bar has that same “whey” taste that all of these bars have, since it’s only slightly sweet, it’s pretty good to the end of the bar. It has a nice, chewy texture and is satisfying because it has that protein punch of 20 grams with only 1 gram of sugar for 220 calories. The peanut butter flavor is authentic and not overpowered by too much sweetener. I have bought these several times.
I have tried other flavors and I will review them in the weeks to come. If I buy a protein bar, this is the ONE that I seek. They are not always easy to find but are far superior to some of those convenience store sugar and calorie bombs. Some of the so-called “protein bars” are merely candy bars with protein added. If you need a quick snack, you may want to try ONE the next time you’re late for a meal. It may help you avoid binging with the 20 grams of protein, while keeping your caloric intake low and avoiding most sugar. Never allow yourself to get and stay too hungry for too long. At David’s Way, we know that the best way to avoid empty calories is to fill up on good ones, full of nutrition. These bars can help with that on occasion.
Friends, as a bonafide, meat loving carnivore, I must say there are a few vegetarian/vegan friendly foods on the market I enjoy for a variety of reasons. The first thing I want to know is if the product tastes good. If it is a vegetarian product, I do not care if it really tastes like the meat it is supposed to be replacing. I just want to know if it tastes good.
Next, I want to know if the product is any healthier than the actual meat product it is replacing. For example, I have tried Morning Star Vegetarian Corn Dogs, and while I found them to taste real similar to actual corn dogs, I did not find them to be any healthier once I looked at the ingredients.
The next thing I want to know about the product is if they are handy to use in place of cooking actual meat.
I have found Boca Crumbles to satisfy all that I look for in a vegetarian meat substitute. Boca Crumbles represent ground beef quite well, and can be used in any dish in which you might use ground beef without anyone knowing the difference. The crumbles look and taste like ground beef and are a delicious addition to chili, spaghetti sauce, beans, and even Sloppy Joe sandwiches. I personally really enjoy mixing them with pinto beans, salsa, chili lime seasoning and habanero hot sauce for a hearty and satisfying meal. If you or a family member has health issues where you are not allowed to consume beef any longer, you will find Boca Crumbles to be a worthy substitute.
I consider myself to be nothing even close to being a vegetarian or vegan. I am a carnivore at heart, yet I do often enjoy vegan friendly foods such as vege-burgers. Not that I expect them to actually taste like a ground beef hamburger, I just happen to enjoy them because many of them are pleasing to my palate. If I am in the mood for a sandwich that is a little different, a Morning Star Southwest Black Bean Burger can hardly be beat as an alternative to ground beef. I have been seeing advertisements for a few months for Beyond Meat’s products and became intrigued with their Beyond Burger. I had no idea they also produced a vegan friendly hot Italian Sausage and Brats until I found their Beyond Burger in my local Dillon’s grocery store. I have now eaten the burgers and Italian sausages and once I try the Brats, I will do a review on them as well.
The picture on the left is from an advertisement for Beyond Burger, the picture on the right is one I snapped of the actual product. As you can see, the advertised picture appears to resemble ground beef patties much better than how the product actually appears. This reminded me of days gone by where hamburgers advertised for sell at movie concession stands appeared significantly better than the limp patty and soggy bun you actually received if you bought one. Curiosity still had me so I made my purchase despite the deception of the pictures I had seen in a multitude of adds.
What is a Beyond Burger?
From Beyond Meats website:
The Beyond Burger is the world’s first plant based burger that looks, cooks and satisfies like beef. It has all the juicy, meaty deliciousness of a traditional burger, but comes with the upside of a plant based meal. The Beyond Burger packs 20g of plant based protein and has no GMOs, soy or gluten.
Can this be true? And what is in them?
This might be spooky as the vegan meat substitute is advertised to even bleed out the same as a ground beef hamburger when you cook it. I’m not sure I get why a vegan friendly burger that seeps blood would ever appeal to a vegan though. But, here are the ingredients and nutritional values for a burger:
Pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, water, yeast extract, maltodextrin, natural flavors, gum arabic, sunflower oil, salt, succinic acid, acetic acid, non-GMO modified food starch, cellulose from bamboo, methylcellulose, potato starch, beet juice extract (for color)
270 calories per burger
20g fat 5g sat)
Just because of the difference of appearance between the advertisement and actual product, I was skeptical about if I would enjoy these burgers. I opened the package and instead of being red in color, the burgers were more of a brown color with specks of solid coconut oil interspersed to resemble beef fat. Instead of resembling beef patties, my initial impression from sight and smell was the patties appeared and smelled more akin to something resembling canned dog food, only not as strong in smell.
However, at $6.00 US and given the fact I have lived on worse food concoctions within military MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat), I was going to cook them and at least taste them despite the fact I damn near chucked them into my kitchen trash can. I sprayed a little olive oil into a non-stick skillet over medium heat and began browning them. This is the point where my mind began wondering if they might actually be good after all. The coconut oil specks began to dissolve, and low and behold, there appeared a liquid that resembled blood seeping from the burgers. As they browned, that vague smell of canned dog food was replaced by an odor that more closely resembled that of frying beef. My brother in law who lives with us, came into the kitchen and thought from the smell that I had changed my mind and was actually cooking beef. The trial is beginning to look up now.
Once I had browned the burgers on both sides (about 3 minutes per side) I served them up to my brother in law and myself. I had told Howard that if they were no good to not feel bad about chucking it into the trash if he did not care to finish his burger. (He is kind of picky and had turned his nose up about vege-burgers)
Howard had his on bread with ketchup and mustard, mine was on a low carbohydrate, high fiber tortilla with Heinz 57 sauce. I was pleasantly surprised by the first bite. The burger had a taste and texture remarkably like actual lean ground beef. The taste was such that I believe you could feed someone one of these burgers and they would never realize it was entirely vegetarian, it was that realistic. The burgers browned nicely and looked just like ground beef once cooked.
Will I try them again? Yes, the package in the picture is my second purchase. At first, Howard only said they were alright in a non-committed way. About an hour later, he fessed up that he also thought they were pretty darn good too.
Beyond Sausage, Hot Itallian
From Beyond Meat web site: The worlds first plant based sausage that looks, sizzles and satisfies like pork. Nope, I’m going to disagree, but it is not all bad.
Beyond Sausage Ingredients:
water, pea protein isolate, refined coconut oil, Sunflower oil, natural flavors, Contains 2% or less of: Rice protein, Faba Bean protein, potato starch, salt, fruit juice for color, vegetable juice for color, apple fiber, methlycellulose, citrus extract, calcium alginate casing
230 mg potassium
5g total carbohydrate
Well, I actually enjoyed the hot Italian sausages, yet I did not think they even remotely resembled a pork sausage during the cooking process. I sprayed a skillet with olive oil and began browning them all around. Being as there was no casing from an animal source, they did not brown the same as a sausage made from meat. In fact, they left the vege-casing material a little bit stuck in my frying pan. While their smell during cooking was pleasing to me, I never smelled anything resembling pork. There was a smell of spice and something else I could not describe as anything I ever cooked, yet it was certainly not a bad odor.
Once I had my sausage fully cooked, I was ready to taste it. I sliced into it with a knife and I was not disappointed to not see a bunch of fat pour out. It was almost like they were made with lean meat in the same way as the burger. The sausage was firm and not greasy at all. The taste was good, however, I thought it tasted much closer to that of a very mild Mexican Chorizo than Italian sausage. They are advertised as being hot, yet I did not think they were the least bit spicy. But be warned, I also go through a bottle of habanero pepper hot sauce about every two weeks.
While I did not find them to taste much like pork, I thoroughly enjoyed the Italian sausage as a sandwich. At $6.00 US for 4 links, I enjoyed them enough to try them again and look forward to trying Beyond Meat’s Brat product in the near future. I will do a review on them too.
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