We get that you wanna sink your teeth into some tender, tasty jerky —
but guess what? You don’t need a cow to satisfy your craving!
You can satisfy your jerky craving with mouth-watering vegan jerky that tastes as good as the real stuff – but without involving animals in the process.
So, what is vegan jerky, how is it made, and why is vegan jerky the future of the jerky industry?
That’s why we’re here!
What is vegan jerky?
Traditional jerky is salted and dehydrated strips of beef that come in various flavors, but it can be made with other types of meat as well, such as turkey or fish.
Jerky makes an awesome on-the-go snack for road-trips, work, hiking/biking, well, you catch our drift – basically anywhere. You don’t need to refrigerate it, and it can keep for months without spoiling. Vegan jerky offers the same benefits plus it often has higher nutritional value and takes 1/3th the resources to produce compared to its animal counterpart.
Plant based jerky mimics the chewy texture and smoky flavor that you’d expect from a meat-based jerky, and brands are popping up all over the United States, offering their own unique spin on this snacking sensation.
Does it taste like real jerky?
The answer is, it depends. If you’re looking for vegan snacks that replicate the exact taste and texture of a meat-based jerky, you can definitely find it. Vegan beef jerky made with soy as the base, such as our jerky, is crafted to taste as similar to the real thing as possible. But, that isn’t necessarily the goal of all vegan beef jerky brands.
What you are able to do with our jerky that would not work with the meat based ones is use it as a complete protein replacement in or on any dish. From pizza, tacos, and chili to stroganoff and spring rolls.
You’ll find tons of vegetarian jerky that doesn’t taste like meat at all and instead embodies the taste of the base ingredient while also being chewy and easy to throw in your bag and go. For example, if you choose to purchase a watermelon jerky, you can expect it to taste mostly like watermelon plus whatever flavors are added.
So, to answer the question – yes, some vegan jerky will taste very similar to real jerky, while others will not.
What is vegan jerky made from?
Vegan jerky is made using various ingredients, from coconut to eggplant and everything in between. There isn’t a specific recipe to create a vegan jerky, so there is lots of experimentation across the different brands.
Some plant based jerky brands use fruits like jackfruit or veggies like mushrooms as the base for their jerky. Although you can create just about any flavor with spices and marinades, it is hard to entirely replicate the texture and taste of traditional jerky using fruits and veggies alone. That said, if you’re craving a yummy snack on the go, you can find it made with:
Our vegan jerky uses certified whole non-GMO soybeans as the base for our jerky, which effectively mimics the texture of jerky and enables us to create a variety of delicious flavors. Soy is incredibly high in iron, protein, calcium, and magnesium (much more than beef), plus it has none of the cholesterol or saturated fats and is not a class one or two carcinogen!
Soy is used in tons of vegan mock meat products because it’s such a versatile ingredient. On its own, soy doesn’t have much taste, so it takes on whatever flavors you season it with.
Our vegan jerky is flavored with natural ingredients such as tamari, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, ginger, chili powder, and natural smoke to help create the meaty, full-bodied taste profile.
The future of jerky
Jerky has been a staple snack food for thousands of years (even the Ancient Egyptians were making it). It’s incredibly high in protein and keeps for a long period of time, but traditional jerky has its downfalls. The meat industry has a devastating impact on the environment, and many Americans are choosing to reduce the amount of meat they consume as a result.
However, even more prevalent is Americans choosing to skip out on meat for health reasons, such as to lower their cholesterol. According to the CDC, 38% of American adults have high cholesterol, putting them at risk for heart disease and strokes. Choosing plant-based alternatives, even some of the time, can help lower these risks.
You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy vegan jerky. It’s a delicious and nutritious snack option for meat-eaters, pescatarians, flexitarians, and all the other ‘arians’ too! With flavors like black pepper and sea salt, prickly pear teriyaki, and prickly pear chipotle, it’s not hard to find a vegan jerky to satisfy your salivating palate.