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#foodbeast Brand Fast Food Health Plant-Based Restaurants

The Halal Guys Just Launched PLANT-BASED GYROS

As plant-based options continue to increase at restaurants globally, many companies have defaulted to teaming up with big plant-based names to make faux meat products.

The Halal Guys just went the extra mile, however, and created their own plant-based gyro cones that are cooked on a rotating spit, just like regular gyro meat would be.

Photo courtesy of The Halal Guys

Their new Meatless Gyro, a limited-time offering, is a gluten-free and plant-based alternative to the standard gyro meat. The Halal Guys version is made with pea protein, brown rice, coconut oil, Halal Guys spice mix, beets, mushrooms, and paprika. A serving of the Meatless Gyro comes with 21 grams of protein.

Of course, when at The Halal Guys, there’s all of the toppings you can add to the rice, lettuce, and protein option. One of those is tzatziki, which normally contains dairy, but The Halal Guys has created a plant-based version of that as well. That iteration uses aquafaba, the leftover liquid from cooking chickpeas, to get to a similar texture on the sauce.

Foodbeasts Elie and Oscar got a chance to try the Meatless Gyro early. To Elie, the plant-based gyro version held up texturally to the original, while Oscar loved that it could be shaved off the cone the same way as regular gyro meat would. It had the same level of flavor since it uses the same Halal Guys spice blend, with Elie noting it was a tad more “earthy.” 

As for the plant-based tzatziki, it was a little thinner than the original due to the aquafaba, but it paired really well with the vegan gyro meat. For the overall meal, both Elie and Oscar noted that they felt really good and not bloated after eating it. 

“I’m definitely gonna be getting this meatless gyro into my rotation,” Elie noted afterwards.

Photo courtesy of The Halal Guys

Also joining The Halal Guys menus is a refreshing eggplant hummus, which combines eggplants and chickpeas for a refreshing snack, dip, or addition to your meal. Oscar even dipped his sandwich into it, combining the two for what he described as a “nice addition.”

The new Meatless Gyro and Eggplant Hummus will be available at participating Halal Guys locations nationwide starting for a limited time. You can get it in sandwich or platter form with all of the usual fixings, including that plant-based tzatziki for those looking to keep everything animal free.

Created in partnership with The Halal Guys.

Categories
Health News Plant-Based Science

Plant-Based Filet Mignon Is Now A Reality

Photo: Juicy Marbles

The plant-based meat wave is no longer just that and truly the green movement is here to stay, with the ebbs and flows of the notion mellowing out as a dietary constant. The popularity and mainstream appeal of Impossible and Beyond Meat are the banners for this declaration, with more plant-based innovations on the way. One of which happens to be a game changer courtesy of Juicy Marbles: plant-based filet mignon.

Co-founders of Juicy Marbles, Tilen Travnik, Luka Sincek and Maj Hrovat, managed to create a plant-based cut of filet mignon without any use of 3D printing, GMOs or laboratory alterations. The secret lies in how Juicy Marbles was able to use soy protein to mimic the muscle texture and marbling of real meat by arranging and layering the protein fibers from the bottom up using a patent-pending machine they call the Meat-o-matic Reverse Grinder™ 9000. Playful name aside, the reality of this applied technique is groundbreaking.

“The biggest challenge was getting the right fiber alignment and intramuscular fat structure – the marbling. The most expensive steaks in the world are known for their lush marbling. It takes a lot of energy and a rare breed of cow to attain that. With plant meat, we control it and, thus, over time, can scale up our steak production and bring down the price. Eventually, we’ll be able to make the most premium meats attainable for everyone,” explains Luka Sincek.

Photo: Juicy Marbles

So thanks to Juicy Marbles, the world’s first plant-based steaks can be purchased on their website and ship to the 48 states and throughout Europe for a limited time only.

According to the Juicy Marbles website the cuts of meat have a firm texture “while the linear fibre placement results in juicy chunks tearing away softly, like real muscle.”

With the possibility of actual plant-based cuts of meat being available directly to consumers, it will only be a matter of time before the flood gates open for other proteins to get a fully plant-based treatment in the form of individual cuts of meat that have an uncanny resemblance to the real thing.

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Recipes

We Nailed Vegan Queso Fresco And Other Phenomenal Plant-Based Recipes

These past few years, plant-based foods have had their own renaissance. Today, the picture of vegan food has drastically transformed into nearly something identical to its carnivorous counterparts. 

In this week’s Foodbeast Recipe Challenge, the Foodbeast Family was tasked with creating mouthwatering vegan dishes that you wouldn’t typically see on restaurant menus. 

Boy, did they deliver. 

One of the coolest entries had to have been Foodbeast @Oscaroni creating a block of Vegan Queso Fresco from almonds and throwing it on an entirely meatless torta. 

Check out the video to see exactly how he pulled it off, as well as all the other amazing vegan recipes the Foodbeast family whipped up. 

This month’s chefs also include: @OneGreatVegan’s Haitian Jackfruit Enchiladas, @Dandy.Eats‘ Plant-based Nacho Burger, @AriamsVeganVida‘s Vegan Al Pastor Nachos, @Constantine_Spy‘s Vegan PopTart, @ReachHard_‘s Vegan Sloppy Ma Po Tofu Joe, and @MrBrownVegan‘s Vegan Birria Queso-Tacos. 

Categories
Grocery Plant-Based

Beyond Meat To Debut ‘Extra Juicy’ and ‘Lean’ Varieties in 2021

Photo courtesy of Beyond Meat

In a move to further position themselves as a grocery store alternative to ground beef, Beyond Meat is taking a page out of the beef industry’s playbook. They’re going to start selling blends of their plant-based product that vary based on fat content.

The new forms don’t have official names yet, but one is being touted as the “brand’s juiciest patty” while the other is described as the company’s “most nutritious patty yet.” To differentiate, you could almost think of them as “Extra Juicy” and “Lean.”

In terms of ground beef varieties, you could consider Beyond Meat’s regular version to be standard ground beef, “Extra Juicy” to be like 80/20 or Extra Fatty, and the “Lean” one to be like a 96/4 blend of beef.

The “juiciest patty” form still has 35% less saturated fat than 80/20 ground beef, while the “most nutritious” form has 55% less saturated fat than 80/20 ground beef.

For context, Beyond Meat’s current iteration has 5 g of saturated fat per quarter pound, and 80/20 ground beef has about 8 grams of saturated fat per quarter pound. The “juiciest patty” form should have slightly more fat than Beyond’s standard product. Meanwhile, the “most nutritious form,” at 55% less saturated fat than 80/20 beef, would have slightly less than 4 grams of saturated fat per quarter pound based on Beyond’s claims.

Some folks will be sampling the new varieties in a sold-out tasting event in Los Angeles later in 2020. As for everyone else, they can expect to find the new options in stores in early 2021.

Categories
Fast Food Plant-Based What's New

McPLANT: McDonald’s Long-Awaited Plant-Based Menu Coming In 2021

Photo courtesy of McDonald’s

McDonald’s has been taking its time when it comes to adding plant-based foods to its menu. Outside of a couple of international tests and launches, the burger chain hasn’t added anything vegan onto its dining options. We now know the reason why: the burger giant was working on making its own forms of plant-based meat.

This new platform of items, called the McPlant, will start with a plant-based burger test that will happen in select markets globally in 2021. The plan is to bring this, along with meat-free chicken and breakfast offerings, to McDonald’s locations over the next few years.

According to USA Today, the announcement was made by McDonald’s International President Ian Borden during the chain’s most recent investor update call.

“McPlant is crafted exclusively for McDonald’s, by McDonald’s,” Borden said. “In the future, McPlant could extend across a line of plant-based products including burgers, chicken-substitutes and breakfast sandwiches.”

Making your own plant-based substitutes is no easy feat, which explains why McDonald’s has been taking so long. According to CNBC, McDonald’s was working with Beyond Meat behind the scenes for a while to make their McPlant lineup happen, but are choosing to not tack the company’s name onto their plant-based offerings.

How their take on a plant-based burger will stack up to what’s already out there, however, remains to be seen.

After McDonald’s big news, the remaining national fast food establishments to have not tested or announced a plant-based or meat-free substitute include Arby’s, Wendy’s, Jack in the Box, and Sonic, amongst others.

Categories
Plant-Based Science Sustainability

New Plant-Based Egg Alternative Makes Going Vegan A Lot More Accessible

Photo courtesy of Zero Egg

Switching to a plant-based diet, whether it be for ethical or environmental reasons, often comes with a cost increase. Outside of tofu, there’s not a lot of cost-effective vegan options out there.

Plant-based eggs is a category that’s particularly expensive. A bottle of JUST, equivalent to 8 eggs, costs $4.50 ($6 for a dozen). Follow Your Heart, a powder egg alternative, can cost $7 for a carton that’s equivalent to a dozen.

A new alternative, Zero Egg, has just emerged onto the market and hopes to make vegan eggs a lot more accessible. Their product, a mix of potato, pea, chickpea, and soy protein, costs 11 to 18 cents per egg, or just over $2 per dozen. It claims to have price parity to a dozen cage-free eggs, which sell at retail for about $3-$4 per dozen.

Photo courtesy of Zero Egg

Zero Egg comes in two varieties: a formula ideal for egg replacement in scrambles, and another meant to substitute into baking mixes. The brand’s big selling point is texture, as it claims to be more fluffy than other egg alternatives available. However, it also is more versatile, as not all egg alternatives can be used for both scrambling and baking.

Nutritionally, Zero Egg’s product contains about 40% of the protein of an egg per serving (roughly 2.5 grams), but is a complete protein source. Environmentally, it uses 93% less water to produce than standard eggs.

As for cost, Zero Egg was able to bring that down through working with co-packers. They didn’t need a novel new factory process to make their substitute, making it easier to produce at scale.

Any restaurants that use Zero Egg will have ways to make it identifiable, including toothpick flags that can be stuck into sandwiches, akin to what Impossible Foods did with its initial burger launch.

Zero Egg will be available to restaurants via Gordon Food Service starting on World Egg Day, October 9th. A retail product will be hitting stores some time in the next couple of years, but there is also a “Home Store” option for any consumers who want to try to access the vegan egg through there.

Categories
Drinks Fast Food Plant-Based

Dunkin’ Beats Starbucks In Race To Launch Oatmilk Nationwide

Over the past few years, oatmilk has emerged as one of the top-tier vegan milk alternatives. Renowned for its texture and sweetness, brands like Oatly! have taken off and spread like wildfire across the nation.

As oatmilk’s hype is continuing to grow, many fast food chains are starting to incorporate it into their drinks, including Dunkin’ and Starbucks. Both began testing the plant-based alternative earlier this year, but it was Dunkin’ who beat out Starbucks to launching oatmilk drinks nationwide.

Photo courtesy of Dunkin’

Dunkin’ has teamed up with Planet Oat, a major oatmilk brand from food conglomerate HP Hood LLC, to make their nationwide launch happen. Starting today, customers can select oatmilk in place of almondmilk, milk, or cream as a creamer for their coffee drinks, including frozen ones. An additional upcharge may apply to that substitution.

An official Oatmilk Latte has also been added to Dunkin’s lineup as part of the launch.

Oatmilk had started to test in California for Dunkin’ in January 2020, at the same time Starbucks began serving up oatmilk drinks at 1,300 stores in the Midwest. Starbucks has yet to release oatmilk nationwide, but has expanded its offering to Canada in the interim.

With Dunkin’ oatmilk beating everyone to the national playground, however, it will only be a matter of time before every major coffee chain has an oatmilk alternative available nationwide.

Categories
Grocery Packaged Food Plant-Based What's New

Plant-Based Swedish Meatballs Arrive In IKEA Stores This Summer

In 2019, IKEA announced that they had begun developing a plant-based version of their iconic Swedish meatball. This was part of efforts to reduce the company’s climate footprint, meat being a big portion of that in the food department.

IKEA is now ready to unveil their plant balls to the world, and will do so starting this summer.

IKEA’s version of plant-based meat is based in yellow pea protein, and also uses ingredients like potato, apple, onion, oats, mushroom, tomato, and roasted vegetable powder. All of this gives a texture and flavor that gets pretty close to what one of the retailer’s original Swedish meatballs tastes like.

In terms of sustainability, IKEA claims that the plant-based meatballs have just 4% of the climate footprint of the meat versions. “If we were to convert about 20% of our meatball sales to plant balls that would mean around 8% reduction of our climate footprint for the food business at IKEA,” added Sharla Halvorson, Health & Sustainability Manager for IKEA’s global food business.

The fact that IKEA was able to develop their own plant-based meatball version is remarkable, and I’m definitely curious to see how it tastes like in a standard Swedish meatball plate.

IKEA will start selling the meatballs in Europe in August of 2020, and they will arrive in the United States on September 28th, 2020. They’ll be sold in bulk frozen bags you can purchase in the grocery section, or as an alternative to the classic meatballs on their Swedish meatball plate — cream sauce, lingonberry jam, potatoes, and veggies all included.