Tis the season to barbeque! Both vegetarians and vegans now have more burger options than ever before. And since Impossible and Beyond Burgers were introduced to the market, at least a handful of new brands have joined the plant-based burger scene.
But how do all these new brands stack up and compare to their forerunners? For your convenience, we have purchased, skillet-cooked, and tasted six emerging veggie grinds and stacked them up.
Meatless Farms Plant-Based Ground
A pea protein-based ground found at Whole Foods. Although it is vegan, gluten free, non-GMO, and has added vitamins, the grind was difficult to cook. Not only that, the smell and flavor did not live up to expectations. The texture was not as firm as a burger and did not seem to try to emulate the flavor of a burger which might appeal to those who find accurately imitated options off-putting.
Trader Joe’s Protein Patties
Plant-Based Burgers, they are also made from pea protein and are vegan. Although each patty is a 20% serving of iron, these patties were also tough to cook and required double the cooking time than instructed. The texture was also on the soft side and flavor left wanting.
Simple Truth Plant-Based Meatless Grind
Emerge is a Simple Truth Plant-Based Meatless Grind. They are soy based, vegan and non-GMO. For coloring, they utilize both vegetable and fruit juices. They also include grill and smoke flavor for that barbeque feel. Although they are still harder to tell when cooked, the flavor is a step up from Boca burgers.
Whole Foods 365 Plant-Based Meatless Ground
This ground improves upon texture and tastes like a burger. It is made from pea protein, it is vegan and gluten free, it contains 20 grams of protein and a whopping 30% daily value of iron. They also utilize both fruit and vegetable juices for coloring. They come recommended this barbeque season.
Open Nature Plant-Based Ground
Gluten free and pea protein-based. Even though cooking time also requires longer than directed, the meaty texture is impressive for those looking for accurate burger imitations. The outside of the patty is browned, while the interior remains pinkish, maintaining that real feel.
Pure Farmland Plant-Based Protein Starter
Finally, we have a soy protein-based, gluten free and comes pre-seasoned with both garlic and onion powder lending itself to a tasty quality. Although it is more difficult to discern when to flip the patty versus its forerunner, the Impossible burger, the red beet juice enhances a similar cooking experience to real meat. They also fund community gardens, “so, the next time you bite into [their] delicious burgers…you can feel good knowing that we’re growing something good, together.”
Overall, each plant-based ground or grind has its own unique qualities. Some proved better than others, but at least there are a lot more options for vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and non-GMO consumers. For this article, cooking ease, color, texture, and taste were major factors in comparing these various new brands. Color provided by fruit or vegetable juices and a firm texture enhanced the overall experience. This article introduces expectations for meatless grinds to aspire toward as these new options continue to grow.