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A mere decade ago, faux meats were mostly a fringe food, sought after at small health food stores by vegetarians and vegans.

Some tasted great, others were as appealing as dog food.

I remember my first veggie hot dog, back in 1997, purchased at a speciality vegetarian supermarket. It reminded me of potpourri with salt.

Over the past decade, vegetarianism (even if occasional) has been adopted by millions of people around the world, consequently resulting in a wider variety of much tastier faux-meat products available at conventional supermarkets.

While they definitely fall into the “processed food” category and therefore should not be daily staples, they are okay to have once in a while.

One of my absolute favorite products is the soy beef crumbles available from the folks over at Boca Burger and Morningstar Farms.

I especially like to add some to my vegan chili.

As I always like to say, you know a soy product is good when steak enthusiasts gobble it up, can’t believe that’s ground SOY beef they are eating, and ask for seconds!

Now, let’s compare and contrast.

Two ounces (two thirds of a cup) of Boca ground soy beef crumbles contribute:

  • 60 calories
  • 0 grams of saturated fat
  • 270 milligrams of sodium
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 13 grams of protein

The same amount of Morningstar farms soy crumbles adds up to:

  • 80 calories
  • 0 grams of saturated fat
  • 240 milligrams of sodium
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 10 grams of protein
  • They are also fortified with half of the daily B12 requirement!

If you were to use that same amount of 70 percent lean ground beef in a recipe, you would be adding:

  • 153 calories
  • 4 grams of saturated fat
  • 14.5 grams of protein

This is not to say all your animal meat dishes should be replaced with vegetarian options.

However, soy beef enables you to satiate your taste for red meat in a different way.

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4 Comments

  1. Anonymous said on February 26th, 2008

    Some women do not like processed soy products, believing they can fuel estrogen-dependent cancers. For texture and some added nutrition (although not the beef flavor or high protein) you can add black beans, barley (not pearled) or wheat berries.

  2. Anonymous said on February 26th, 2008

    Some women do not like processed soy products, believing they can fuel estrogen-dependent cancers. For texture and some added nutrition (although not the beef flavor or high protein) you can add black beans, barley (not pearled) or wheat berries.

  3. Micah and Katie said on February 28th, 2008

    Just wondering for women with low iron stores, and need to consume beef, does this soy product contain iron that can help keep the stores up?

  4. Micah and Katie said on February 28th, 2008

    Just wondering for women with low iron stores, and need to consume beef, does this soy product contain iron that can help keep the stores up?

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