Plant based and vegan foodies love a good veggie burger. Sure, there is plenty of great plant based whole foods out there, but our programmed minds want to chomp into a good burger from time to time. Right now, we are in the middle of the summer, which is BBQ season. Why can’t us plant based/ vegan folk get in on that BBQ action?
It’s taken me what seems like forever to get my hands on some Beyond Meat Beast Burgers. My local Whole Foods, in Hyannis (MA), is the only joint that carries them, and the couple times I was there, they were out. It doesn’t help that I am on an island, a man-made island, but there are only two bridges to get of this sandbar so, there’s that. We are not to progressive here on Cape Cod. I had to put my name down to get some, and it felt like an eternity before they got a shipment in.
In the meantime, I was able to score some of the Beyond Meat Beefy and Feisty Crumbles. THAT NIGHT we had to have tacos. The Feisty Crumbles we’re nearly jumping out of the bag on into the skillet to get warmed up. I cooked up based on the instructions, added them to my shells, sprinkled some Daiya on and tried not to douse them to much with Franks Red Hot. Hands down, this is the closest texture wise to “real” meat. They were not to dry, although I did add some water when warming them up as I’ve found most plant based/ vegan crumbles dry out pretty quick. The flavor? Soooo on point! I am a taco connoisseur. If it’s spicy, or has a hint of zippiness, it takes precedence over any food for me. My mom was born and raised in Louisiana, and though I was the first to be born back in the North, I swear my taste buds were made for spicy foods.
Everyone and their mom is making some sort of “beef” crumble, hoping to corner the market. I’ve tasted most of them, and each has their own flavor. But, getting down to replicating ground beef, Beyond Meat is by far the closest. Ask my wife, she is the biggest critic of meat replacements. I have yet to see her go back for more. She will eat other replacements, but doesn’t necessarily enjoy the flavor. When we had them for dinner, she went back for more.
By now you know the story, Beyond Meat didn’t set out to become just another replacement, they set out to make meat better. That sounds odd, but it’s what makes them different. Yes, they mean to make a replacement, but not just any replacement.
Beyond Meat has stepped up the game as far as nutrition goes, let me point out the facts that are important to me. Being a guy with cholesterol issues, I have to watch my saturated fats. A 1/2 cup of ground meat has 4 grams of saturated fats which is 20% of the daily value. The amount of cholesterol in ground meat, in a 1/2 cup, is 18% of the recommended in take. That’s only a 1/2 cup and you’re getting all that saturated fat and cholesterol!! With the amount of tacos I crush, I was easily reaching 40-60% in on sitting. Now, as a plant based vegan, I can still crush taco after taco and not worry about my saturated fats or cholesterol, because there aren’t any in the Fiesty Crumbles! Yeah, I said none! Zip! Nada! That’s a major score in my book!
FINALLY I get the call that my Beast Burgers are in and I jump in my truck and nearly hit mach 3 trying to get to Whole Foods. From what I’m told by the workers there, they can’t keep this stuff in stock. As soon as it hits the shelves, they are out again. That wasn’t happening this time. I got three packages!
Our expectation level was high, this had to have been the most hyped veggie burger out there, no joke. So was it what it was built up to be? …. umm yeah! There’s a reason they are called the Beast, and that’s got to be their size, they are monstrous. Most veggie burgers barely fit on a regular size bun, as a matter of fact, most seem to disappear! Not the Beast Burger. It hangs over the edge with an attitude, almost taunting you with a bully like confidence that IT IS a burger. It’s no mere veggie patty, it is a legit burger replacement. The texture is spot on! The flavor is so darned close it will have you second guessing and checking the ingredients label. I cooked them on the grill and in a pan. You do have to watch them and make sure you don’t over cook them. There’s has been word on the street about them being a bit dry, and that happens if they are overcooked. So just keep an eye out.
It’s not all fun and games though, the nutrition facts are worrisome for someone like me. They are not staggering numbers, but I’m wondering how there is this amount of fat, when the crumbles are seemingly devoid of it. Check this out:
Calories from fat 140
I guess 2g is a little nit picky, but that stuff adds up when all you want to do is crush another Beast Burger after eating the first. I understand fat is good, too an extent, but I have to count every gram. Beyond Meat boasts that they are trying to do better than meat. With a whopping 23g of protein per patty, not only are they satisfying, but they are great after a workout! haha!
All in all, after this long winded review, our burger patties have been replaced in my house hold. The crumbles are unmatched and are now a staple after trying them the first time. I’m not sure what you are waiting for but you’ve got to try Beyond Meat.
For more info: http://beyondmeat.com/