Let’s face it: there is nothing like meat.

As a recovering carnivore, many times I wondered if there was anything that could ever compare to a hot, juicy steak. Would I get to experience the texture of a chicken tender again? Would Thanksgiving be the same without a crispy piece of fried turkey?

To a person who just discovered the lifestyle, vegetarianism may seem like a diet that revolves around raw fruits and vegetables. Yes, both these food groups are important to any diet, but the vegetarian diet can be much more exciting than that.

If you want to transition to vegetarianism yet are still dependent on meat in your meals, one option is try to is a meat alternative.

Tofurkey is one of the most popular name brands in the alternative meat market. With a product line including deli slices, a sausage links, pockets, pizzas and ground version, Tofurkey is also one of the biggest meat alternative brands.

It is only normal to be concerned about the taste of ‘fake’ meat. If you are skeptical, it helps to know the Tofurkey brand has been recognized and awarded by VegNews, Inc. Magazine, Age Magazine and the Humane Society of the United States for the excellence of their products and formulas.

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Photo by Quan Siler

 

Other well-known meat alternative brands include Boca, Morning Star, Gardein and Quorn.

Still, you may be wondering how can these companies create a products that looks like real meat, feel like real meat and taste like real meat, but is not real meat?

While recipes will differ, the common ingredients stay the same.

For example, combining oats and soy protein along with various vegetables and spices makes veggie burgers, such as the ones by Gardein and Morning Star.

Anything that resembles a burger, such as Veggie Patch’s meatless meatballs or Tofurkey’s Italian sausage links are made with a combination of soy protein and vital wheat gluten.

‘Chicken’ gets its unique texture from soy protein, Kamut, vital wheat, gluten and oats.

Meat alternatives can be enjoyed exactly like their animal counterparts, so they are a great tool to use for the transitioning carnivore. The alternatives are also healthier, easier on the digestive system, and most contain more protein then actual meat.

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